October 9, 2008

Town Hopes to Get Grant for Full-Day Kindergarten Classes


The Braintree School Department will seek a state grant that would allow two full-day kindergarten classes to start next fall.

In a 6-1 vote Monday, the school committee gave Superintendent Peter Kurzberg approval to apply for a $30,000 grant.

School officials still must find money in the next budget to pay for additional expenses to cover salaries and other costs.

Committee member David Cunningham, who opposed the measure, said the school department has other needs that should not be set aside to pay for the kindergarten classes.

Kurzberg said there is no guarantee that the school department would get state approval for the money.

"We are moving toward a full-day for kindergarten for everybody in the community," the superintendent said.

Kurzberg said he has received a handful of telephone calls from parents asking about the classes, which would be for a maximum of 20 students each.

The superintendent said a sliding fee based on a family's ability to pay up to $2,500 could be charged.

If too many apply, there would be a lottery to determine which students are accepted.

There was no decision on sites for the classes.

The deadline for submitting a grant application is Oct. 17.

In another matter, Assistant Superintendent Maureen Murray told the committee that Braintree students did fairly well on the state's MCAS tests this past spring.

Compared to others in the state, Braintree students had a higher percentage at the proficient/advanced levels in all grades and subjects tested and a smaller percentage at the warning/failing levels.

"These test scores show our students are performing with the best in Massachusetts," committee Chairman Sean Powers said.

Originally published by Patriot Ledger staff.

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