Coming out of COVID, it is more important than ever for our young students to experience a strong start to their academic careers. That is why, for the first time in Madison history, our kindergartners are attending all-day, every-day kindergarten.
The program is funded by American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, money provided to school districts to address learning loss through the pandemic. “We feel it’s imperative that our students entering school get the best start possible,” says Madison Schools Superintendent Angela Smith. “All-day kindergarten has been proven to increase achievement and improve students’ social-emotional skills. Without funding from the ARP, we would not have been able to afford to implement this program, so we are especially grateful to have this option.”
Data collected by the National Education Association (NEA) demonstrates students in full-day classes show greater reading and mathematics gains than those in half-day classes as students and teachers are given more quality time to engage in constructive learning activities. Additionally, students have more time to focus and reflect on activities due to more time to transition between activities, and they are able to take full advantage of the additional learning time (NEA Policy Brief).
At South Elementary, Principal Shannon Kriegmont says students are enjoying their time at school as they begin learning through fun activities and crafts. “At this age especially, students learn through play,” she explains. “We are leveraging their natural engagement in play-time through a ‘Minions’ theme – and they are having a blast!”
North Elementary Principal Doug Baker agrees, saying he is quite pleased with the success he’s seen in the first few weeks: “Students are enjoying the activities and socialization they are experiencing, and our staff members are thrilled to see how quickly they are learning!”
Madison Local Schools looks forward to seeing how this positively impacts these students as they travel the path to graduation in 2035.
Check out some photos of our Kindergartners as they learn a “minion” reasons to love school!