By JOHN T. WARD
After almost four years of study and discussion, a proposed full-day kindergarten program goes before Little Silver voters next month in the form of a funding referendum.
On the ballot: a $750,000 bond to pay for a two-classroom addition to the pre-k-to-fourth-grade Point Road School.
In an open letter posted online Monday, schools Superintendent Carolyn Kossack lays out the rationale for the expansion of the program from half-day to full-day. She also details the costs and construction schedule, with a goal of having the program open its doors to students in September, 2013.
If approved, the measure is expected to increase the tax bill for the owner of a home assessed at the borough-average $502,000 by $13 this year and $25 in 2013, Kossack writes.
In subsequent years, debt service costs are expected to fall below current levels because two existing bonds will have been paid off, Kossack writes.
Noting that the two-school district is among the 27 percent of New Jersey districts that do not offer full-day-K, Kossack writes that the existing half-day program makes it “more challenging” for the district to meet core curriculum standards mandated by the state.
Moreover, she writes, “Full day programs provide time for activities that address the academic, physical, social, and emotional needs of the whole child.”
The vote is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at regular voting locations. The traditional school board election will not take place in April, but will be moved to the date of the general election, November 6, under a new law signed by Governor Chris Christie two weeks ago.
Here’s the full text of Kossack’s letter: Letter_to_parents_re._Full_Day_K_referendum