Enrollment has increased to 320 students for full-day kindergarten in the Shelton public schools for the upcoming school year.
“We had been anticipating between 275 and 300,” School Supt. Freeman Burr told the Board of Education at a meeting Wednesday night.
“We’re pleased kindergarten has expanded so much,” Burr said.
Still, Burr said he hopes full-day K enrollment doesn’t increase too much more due to space concerns.
Schools in Shelton will open on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
This will be the first school year that Shelton will have full-day kindergarten. It previously had offered a half-day kindergarten program at its five elementary schools, with morning and afternoon sessions.
During the 2013-14 school year, 226 students attended kindergarten classes in Shelton.
Also due to increasing enrollment, a first-grade class has been added at Booth Hill Elementary School.
‘It’s about time it came to Shelton’
Burr said the higher-than-anticipated full-day K enrollment is an indication the expanded program was needed. “It’s a testament that full-day kindergarten is here,” he said. “It’s about time it came to Shelton.”
Many more school districts in Connecticut have been offering full-day kindergarten, and Shelton was the last town in Fairfield County to do so.
Kindergarten furniture arriving
All the needed new furniture and equipment for full-day K classrooms has arrived with the exception of student tables, so some tables will be rented on a short-term basis.
The permanent tables should arrive by mid-September, Burr said.
The new chairs began arriving Wednesday. There had been a concern that chairs might have to be temporarily rented as well.
New furniture and equipment is needed because additional classrooms will be dedicated to kindergarten at the schools.
There was uncertainty about whether Shelton would have full-day K during the 2014-15 school year until late in the municipal budget season.