CKSD ponders expansion of all-day kindergarten

Budget could be shuffled to help tech, intervention programs, too.

The Central Kitsap School District board of directors heard three new recommendations for the 2008-09 budget Wednesday night, one of which involves offering all-day kindergarten in as many as six new buildings next school year.

Superintendent Greg Lynch and David McVicker, executive director of business and operations, rolled out the recommendations at a Wednesday study session that preceded the board’s regularly scheduled meeting.

The plan has Cougar Valley and Woodlands elementary schools taking on free all-day programs and Brownsville, Emerald Heights, Green Mountain and Silver Ridge elementary schools offering up tuition-based programs.

Lynch and McVicker also made recommendations to maintain funding streams for technology and intervention programs in the district.

Altogether, the recommendations will require the district to divert about $1 million from their Initiative 728 and capital projects funds.

That will require the district to accept some level of uncertainty.

“I think what we’re doing is absolutely the right thing to do — but it’s hard to (predict) risk right now,” Lynch said. “When we say ‘risk,’ we’re taking a risk, but it’s a prudent risk.”

He and McVicker believe that expansion of an all-day kindergarten program would help sew up enrollment shortfalls in the future. Tech funding would help cover the replacement of the district’s rapidly aging computers.

Intervention programs in the district, which target struggling students, also would continue to be funded. Three of the district’s principals were on hand at the board meeting to discuss the success of such programs.

If the tech recommendation was approved by the board, the $600,000 required for the plan would come from the district’s capital projects funds.

The all-day kindergarten expansion would require $300,000 and intervention funding would require $100,000, all of which would come from the district’s I-728 budget.

That could be a tad controversial, given the results of the district’s online Zoomerang survey on I-728 funds, which were unveiled at the board meeting.

The survey was conducted last month to gauge where district staffers and members of the public felt I-728 money should be spent.

At the top of the list, 94 percent of respondents ranked reading interventions as a high or medium priority, while all-day kindergarten came in at fifth on the list, with 76 percent of respondents ranking it a high or medium priority.

The district advertised Wednesday’s meeting as an opportunity for public comment on dispersal of I-728 funds, but no one spoke up.

“We received a lot of input for the survey and unfortunately there wasn’t much turnout (Wednesday) night for more input on that,” CKSD spokesman David Beil said.

The district will continue to plan the budget through the end of the school year before approving a final budget on August 13.

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