Kindergarten Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and Answers on the Kindergarten Programs in the Bozeman Public Schools
What are the kindergarten programs in the Bozeman Public Schools?
The Bozeman Public Schools offer full-time, half-time and multi-grade kindergarten schedules.
What types of kindergarten programs do you have?
Full-time kindergarten options are offered in all of our schools. Morningstar, Emily Dickinson, Whittier, Irving, Longfellow, and Hawthorne and Hyalite Elementary Schools, all have full-time kindergarten for all kindergarten classrooms. Depending on enrollment some schools will also have opportunities for full time kindergarten as part of their multi-grade programs. Placement in the K/1 programs will be by our placement priority system and then by lottery.
If you are assigned to a full-time kindergarten classroom at Morningstar, Emily Dickinson, Whittier, Irving, Longfellow, or Hawthorne or Hyalite Elementary Schools, please note that it will be possible to attend on a half-time basis. Please be aware that if you do choose half time kindergarten, not all core curriculum classes are offered in the half time kindergarten session. The half-time schedule is 8:30 - 11:45, Monday through Friday (schedule may very slightly between schools).
How is the extra time used in full-time kindergarten?
A longer school day allows teachers more time to deliver their learner goals in different curricular areas. When teachers have more time to teach, they can spend more time teaching outcomes that are challenging for students, delivering curriculum in a variety of ways, and re-teaching concepts for students needing additional support.
Is full-time kindergarten developmentally appropriate?
The District stresses the importance of a program that is geared to the developmental level of our young students. Kindergarten students will be taught kindergarten learner goals. The longer school day provides students more time to practice and learn these goals.
How will full-time kindergarten impact the curriculum of 1st and 2nd grades?
The full-time kindergarten program does not affect the curriculum in other grades. Students have a stronger mastery of the kindergarten outcomes when they leave the full-time kindergarten program.
How does a full-time kindergarten program deal with students who are not ready to be away from home for an entire day?
We understand that students come to school with a variety of comfort levels about being away from familiar caregivers. Children are changing, growing and adapting rapidly at this point in their lives. This change, while sometimes hard for parents, is a positive one in a student's development. We do not anticipate that the transition to a full-time program will be different than the transition to a half-time program. We will work with families to make sure that school, full-time or half-time, is a positive experience for children.
What if I really don't want my child to attend a full-time program?
The Bozeman Public Schools will offer a half-time program to those parents who believe that a full-time program is not appropriate to their situation.
When will half-time students attend?
Half-time students will attend 8:30 - 11:45, Monday through Friday (schedule may very slightly between schools). Lunch will not be included in the half-time program.
Can I choose when my child will attend half-time?
Unfortunately, no. Parents may choose either a full-time schedule, or a half-time schedule (tentatively planned to be 8:30 - 11:45, Monday - Friday).
If half-time, will the student get academically behind others who are going full-time?
Students enrolled in the full-time program experience learning in a greater variety of settings because they are at school for a longer period of time. This additional instructional time may indeed lead to increased understanding and increased academic performance than would be experienced with less instructional time.
Parents will have the opportunity to change from a half-time program to a full-time program according to District procedure. Please see your school principal for details.
What are the advantages of going full-time if a half-time program teaches the same information?
Simply put, a full-time program gives students additional learning time.
Benefits of Full-time Kindergarten:
- Additional time for children and teachers to explore topics in-depth, often in more creative and hands-on ways
- Greater continuity of day-to-day, child-centered, developmentally appropriate activities
- Many full-time kindergartners exhibit increased independent learning and classroom involvement
- Increased emphasis on language development and appropriate pre-reading experiences
- Research supports positive relationships between participation in full-time kindergarten and later school performance
- More time for children to increase social skills, including conflict resolution strategies
- Increased time for teachers to assess student progress through close teacher observation and systematic collection and examination of student work
- Increased opportunities for small group, large group, and individual activities