Wilmington, Del.–August 9, 2004 Governor Ruth Ann Minner today announced the names of nine school districts and one charter school who will receive funding to implement full-day kindergarten pilot programs in their schools beginning this school year.The ten funding recipients are:
- Appoquinimink School District
- Capital School District
- Indian River School District
- Lake Forest School District
- Laurel School District
- Red Clay School District
- Seaford School District
- Smyrna School District
- Woodbridge School District
- Academy of Dover Charter School
“In this year’s State of the State, I proposed $1 million in my recommended budget to pilot full-day kindergarten programs. The General Assembly agreed and approved my recommendation,” said Governor Ruth Ann Minner.“Kindergarten is an exciting and important time for children. We understand the importance of ensuring that children have a solid beginning as they start the learning process.” Added Governor Minner, “These ten kindergarten pilot programs will afford us the opportunity to look closely at the kindergarten instructional process. From this effort we will be better able to answer the questions about the impact of full-day versus half-day kindergarten.”
“Understanding the impact full-day kindergarten will have on children’s learning and social development will be crucial,” said Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff. “This full-day kindergarten pilot will allow us to examine how different instructional approaches affect children’s achievement. We are excited to have this opportunity to work with districts as they implement these exemplary full-day kindergarten programs.”
In June, the Delaware Legislature approved $1 million in funding to pilot and evaluate a full-day kindergarten program in up to ten schools. The funding would be made available on a competitive basis to school districts and charter schools for both existing and newly proposed full-day kindergarten programs.
A competitive application and request for proposals was released in July in an effort to give districts and programs an opportunity to be ready to implement their programs at the beginning of the 2004-2005 school year.
Sixteen applications were received and reviewed by DOE. The review process included: examining each program’s proposed curriculum, the instructional practices they proposed to address the content standards, program design, staffing patterns, professional development, family involvement, approach to serving a diverse population of children, and budget. As a result of the review, ten applications were recommended for funding the full-day kindergarten pilot programs. Four of the programs to be funded are already providing program or district-wide full-day kindergarten and will use the funding to strengthen and enhance their kindergarten classrooms. The remaining six pilots to receive funding will be new full-day kindergarten classrooms.
The Department of Education will work with Dr. Michael Gamel-McCormick and the University of Delaware’s Center for Disability Studies to comprehensively evaluate the ten pilot programs. Areas that will be evaluated include child achievement, instructional practices, parent and teacher satisfaction, and impact on children’s ability to handle a full-day program.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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