Massena Central looking at converting junior kindergarten classes to kindergarten
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 2:44 pm

MASSENA -- The Board of Education is considering getting rid of the junior kindergarten program and turning those sections in kindergarten classes.

The program is for children at kindergarten age who are “deemed not academically or socially ready for the kindergarten program,” Superintendent Pat Brady said.

At Thursday’s school board meeting, he told the board he thinks they can get better results by converting their two junior kindergarten programs.

“There isn’t any clear research saying having that extra year at that level will have significant advantages to their academic outcomes,” Brady told the board. “We’re seeing a trend that follows along that research. We’re not seeing any long-term benefits.”

Brady said math and English language arts (ELA) help being offered now in kindergarten

“We don’t at the junior kindergarten level provide the intervention in kindergarten, so if they were in kindergarten they would get more intervention there,” Brady said. “We’re coming to the board to say we feel it would be better if we concluded the junior kindergarten program and the two classes there would not become kindergarten classes so we can continue to maintain a relatively low class size at the kindergarten level.”

Right now, there are 18 junior kindergarten students at Nightengale elementary and 14 at Jefferson elementary. In recent years, the district closed the junior kindergarten program at Madison and sent those students to other schools.