February 15, 2017
ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Pictured is a kindergarten student at Oaklandvale Elementary School.
By BRIDGET TURCOTTE
SAUGUS — The burden of funding free, all-day kindergarten throughout the district, could be shared by Town Meeting.
At the request of the School Committee, the Board of Selectmen added an article to the Annual Town Meeting warrant that, if approved, will result in the formation of a committee of five people, including at least two Town Meeting members, to “evaluate the benefits and costs” of all-day kindergarten.
The board voted 4 to 0 to move the article forward.
Should Town Meeting accept the article, the new group will review the findings of the All-Day Kindergarten Task Force, hold at least two public outreach sessions, identify public funding sources and make a recommendation at the 2018 Annual Town Meeting.
The task force formed in November at the request of school committee member Peter Manoogian. The group includes an elementary school principal, two kindergarten teachers, a Town Meeting member, a few parents, Manoogian and Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi.
Tuition for all-day kindergarten is $2,700. There is no tuition for half-day kindergarten. Each year, 10 full-day scholarships are awarded based on financial need. The task force’s mission is to provide a richer educational experience to all kindergarten students, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
The final day to submit a Town Meeting article to the Board will be April 12.
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte