Bethel Schools recognize the importance of giving children a solid foundation for learning beginning in Kindergarten.
In Feb. 2014, local voters passed a School Programs and Operations Levy, giving the district the financial support needed to offer free full-day kindergarten programs to all children in the Bethel School District. The program is available at all of our 17 elementary schools.
Why Full-Day Kindergarten?
According to WaKIDS, an opportunity gap exists among students entering kindergarten. Their skill levels and personal experiences vary greatly. A recent survey found disparities in the characteristics of students entering school. While 79% were physically suited for kindergarten, only 52% were ready for math. Other areas assessed included social, emotional and cognitive development, literacy and language.
The Benefits of Full-Day Kindergarten
Research shows the advantages of a full-day kindergarten model are numerous. The program approaches the whole child, from academic growth to social emotional well-being. Students enrolled in these programs:
A Rigorous Schedule
Inserting more time into the school day has its advantages. Staff are able to offer more time for instruction and activities that reinforce learning. The full-day kindergarten schedule includes time for large group instruction in the core areas of reading and math. To help reinforce concepts, teachers use tests like DIBELS, Core Phonics and ReadWell to assess student progress. Based on data, smaller groups are created to provide more targeted interventions. These groups are used to provide additional enrichment and practice opportunities, build basic literacy and mathematical skills, and keep students engaged. Every student gets the help they need to be successful.
Another benefit of the expanded day is time for writing, social studies and science. Specialists in music, art, library and physical education help round out the academic program.