Successful pilot project leads to all-day kindergarten for Kenton County Schools
FORT WRIGHT, Ky. (WKRC) - There was a round of applause and standing ovation when the Kenton County School Board approved all day kindergarten starting in the fall of 2018.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Superintendent Dr. Henry Webb. “I think it gives our kids opportunities to grow at an earlier age.”
Kenton County is one of only nine school districts in the state that does not offer all-day kindergarten. Changes in curriculum, new classroom space and 40 new staff members will cost the district between $1.2 and $1.5 million a year.
Dr. Henry Webb says the investment in early childhood education is worth it.
“It is my understanding that three out of every four kids across the country go to kindergarten full day. So our board went to work, stepped up, and once again made a courageous decision. I’m excited for what that holds for the future of our kids here in Kenton County," said Dr. Webb.
The district launched an all-day kindergarten pilot program last fall at Fort Wright Elementary. All of the children chosen for the full-day experiment were lagging behind their classmates in reading and math. By early winter, the full-day students had caught up with the rest of the class. By spring, they had moved passed them.
“We anticipated that the students would catch up to their peers,” said the district’s Director of Early Childhood Education Ellen Zimmer. “But what the data actually shows is they not only caught up but they went far beyond what we anticipated they would do and their scores are even higher than what their peers were able to do.”