Improving Verona K is a parent-led advocacy group supported by the Verona early educators and principals to bring Full Day Kindergarten to our town. We've held more than four presentations around the community focusing on peer-reviewed research on the pros and cons of Full Day K [which you can read here].
Improving Verona K endeavors to enhance the educational opportunities of all Verona students by providing full day Kindergarten. This necessary extension to the Kindergarten day will ensure that students continue to receive the best possible education in the Verona school district. Students should have every opportunity to reach their potential through targeted, small group instruction, structured play-based activities, and additional time for attention to every type of learner. Studies show that more time in kindergarten will allow all students vital opportunities to build social and emotional skills necessary to navigate the world around them.
Children are better prepared for first grade and beyond; particularly in language arts and math.
The day includes expanded time for socialization through structured play and center-based learning.
Provides more opportunities for interventions for at-risk children through small group and individualized instruction.
The expansion of foundational educational opportunities would position Verona to be more competitive with neighboring districts.
Students will have more access to teachers and early intervention which will result in a reduction in costs for the special education budget.
Tell me more about the curriculum...
The total cost of the full day kindergarten program is $215,000 per year, which is included in the 2018-2019 budget, and will need to be voted on in November as a ballot question.
If the referendum passes, the average assessed home of $499,000 would have taxes increase by approximately $42 per year
This change will be permanent and will not increase once full day K is implemented. Importantly, these funds are restricted to be exclusively for the use of full day Kindergarten and the board cannot use this money for other initiatives.
What does the cost include?
Do we need to hire new staff?
No! The four neighborhood elementary schools are able to handle full day kindergarten without any additional classrooms or teachers.
When does the program start?
February, 2019—midway through the school year
What other nearby towns have full day programs?
Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn, Montclair, Nutley, Roseland, West Orange
Isn't this just baby sitting?
No, students will have more time to learn structured play, develop social skills and the program will help them prepare for first-grade and beyond.
“This is NOT a taxpayer-funded way to get free childcare. That’s not what this is about.” —John Quattrochi 5/22 BOE meeting
Isn't it a long day?
Research shows that children can handle a longer school day. When a school day is broken up with additional opportunities, students reap the benefits of a full day. [Source: NEA Fact Sheet]
How can I get involved?
FDK can increase children’s self-regulation, school readiness (Pelletier 2014), self-confidence, and ability to work and play with others more than half-day kindergarten (Cooper 2010).