LOGAN – A new supplemental kindergarten class will be offered at Hillcrest Elementary School this fall and will be funded by the parents whose children will be attending the class.
Earlier this year, Logan City School District received several parent and school community council requests asking if they would consider a supplemental kindergarten program for Hillcrest Elementary. The district’s Board of Education looked into options for funding and structure, said Logan City School District Superintendent Frank Schofield.
“We’re looking at an opportunity to provide an extended kindergarten program for our students who don’t have that program funded by state or federal money,” Schofield said.
Most schools with supplemental kindergarten (either extended hours or full day) have been funded through state grants or federal funds. Those funds are determined by the school’s demographics for low socioeconomic status, and Hillcrest Elementary doesn’t qualify for those funding sources. Wilson Elementary is the other school in the district that doesn’t offer supplemental kindergarten, but Schofield said they are just looking to implement it at Hillcrest at this time.
“If it’s successful, and if other communities express interest, we are open to investigating the options,” he said.
The program will be funded with tuition paid by participating students and is completely optional. The school was able to reach the threshold to hire a part-time kindergarten teacher the same weekend it opened registration.
“The parents who were requesting this program recognized the cost associated with it and they’re willing to pay,” Schofield said. “In order to promote that equity, the cost of that student helps subsidize the cost of a non-paying student. This provides the opportunity for those who can’t pay the tuition to request admission into the class”
The board has been discussing this program since January, Schofield said. Questions about how the program affects families, students, the impact of full-day kindergarten versus extended hours were all asked and addressed. The board was unanimous in their decision to move forward with the program during their June board meeting.
Schofield said the feedback they have gotten has been “quite positive.” The registration process went quickly and all those who had originally expressed interest signed up quickly.
“We’ve had parents reach out to say thank you for working with them on this request,” he added.