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Milton school board to hear 4K proposal

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
December 4, 2010
— The Milton School Board on Monday will get its first official look at a proposal to bring a 4-year-old kindergarten program to Milton as early as 2011.

A committee of school district administrators, teachers and day care providers started meeting earlier this year to study and discuss how a 4K program in Milton could be organized and structured and what it could cost.


Monday, the committee will present the school board with a plan for 4K that proposes a partnership between the school district and local day care and preschool providers.


The plan calls for the district to hire teachers and for local day care providers and preschools to hire aides for a 4K program, Milton Schools Special Education Director Krista Jones said in an email.


Under the proposal, most class sections would be located at local day cares and preschools, Jones has said.


Jones, who is a member of the committee studying the 4K plan, said the majority of day care and preschool providers involved in discussions have agreed on the proposal.


Startup fees for the program would be approximately $725,000, including a $1,200-per student stipend paid directly to each day care and preschool provider hosting a 4K site, Jones said.


The district could have a demand for about 175 students, or 12 class sections of half-day 4K.


Itís still unclear how the district would fund a the plan or how transportation would work. The program would have to be OKíd by the school board.


Officials said the meeting Monday is a chance for the 4K committee to give the board details on the proposal. But officials said itís possible the board could vote on the proposal as early as Dec. 13.


The district proposed a 4K program in 2009, but the board voted it down in a 3-3 tie amid questions over funding and the need for the program. At the time, parents and some private providers voiced concerns that a 4K program would force people to decide between free preschool and religious instruction.


Now, Jones said at least four local day care and preschool providers could be interested in partnering with Milton School District for 4K.


Still, Jones said none of the providers has committed to the proposed program, and the district has declined to name any interested providers prior to the boardís decision on the program.


If you go

What: A Milton School District study committee will propose to the Milton School Board a plan for a four-year-old kindergarten program at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6.


Where: Milton High School Library, 114 W. High St., Milton.



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