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10 May 16 - June 5, 2009
Community
www.SanTanSun.com
Kindercademy from Page 1
At the end of the school year, the teacher and acceptance into a regular kindergarten class. profi le CUSD change caused by budget cuts. Although
parents would decide whether each student would When such exceptions are made, a kindergarten the district anticipates state cuts between $9 and
move directly into fi rst grade or go to kindergarten. class can include 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds, and some $18 million, Locke says it still has no plans to lay off
Approximately 30 percent of students did not move on parents wonder how a class can function effectively teachers or other staff. In fact, the district plans to
to fi rst grade, according to Terry Locke, spokesperson given such a broad age range. hire approximately 75 more teachers due to increased
for CUSD. “The younger students will have been tested before enrollment for the upcoming school year.
“That’s a great educational model, don’t get me admission so that will help,” explains Locke. “But I “The increase is coming from 5-year-olds. It’s really
wrong,” says Locke, “but the state was paying for would say that teachers at every grade level have those that simple,” Locke states. “We have more 4- and
two years of kindergarten in those cases. The state kinds of challenges. Not only is it a maturity issue, but 5-year-olds in our community than we have 17- and
typically pays for 13 years of education and now was it’s also motivation. It’s a juggling act for teachers all 18-year-olds. To give you an idea, this current year
paying for 14.” the way through 12th grade.” we have 3,400 kindergarteners and we only have a
With current budget reductions, CUSD just couldn’t For those students not ready for a full day of little over 2,000 seniors that are graduating. As long
justify that expense, Locke explains. In place of kindergarten or its academic and social challenges, as the lower grade enrollment stays above the higher
Kindersteps, the district is now offering Kindercademy, CUSD’s goal with Kindercademy is to provide children grade enrollment, we’ll still be in a little bit of a growth
a parent-funded pre-K program for students turning 5 with a strong educational foundation with which to mode.”
after the Aug. 31 cutoff and before Jan.1 of the current enter kindergarten the following year. Kindercademy
school year. will be offered at Riggs Elementary, Haley Elementary
Natalie Morris is a freelance writer who lives in Cooper
Parents of children who fall into this age group and Hamilton High School, fi ve days per week,
Commons with her husband, two sons and their dog, Bella.
Contact her at Natalie@SanTanSun.com.
can also contact their local school to have the child mornings or afternoons, at a cost of $325 per month.
tested for “kindergarten readiness” and considered for So far, the demise of Kindersteps is the most high-
Chamber plans awards banquet
Chandler Chamber of Commerce 2009 award Technologies; Business of the Year – Thorobred Janitell, Western International University.
winners are honored at a dinner held Thu., June 4 Chevrolet; Industry of the Year – Chandler Regional Education scholarship awards will also be presented.
from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Medical Center; James R. Snedigar Public Service Seats and tables are still available for the event.
Golf Resort, 1 San Marcos Pl. in downtown Chandler. Award – Capt. Jason White, Chandler Fire Department; Individual seats cost $50 per person and corporate
This year’s recipients include: Educator of the Year Diversity Champion Award – Barness Family Jewish tables of 10 are $600 each.
– Tina Henegar from Ryan Elementary; Support Staff Community Center; Diversity in Action Award – APS; For more information or to register to attend, call
Employee of the Year – Mike Henderson; Administrator Chandler Cup – Orbital Sciences Corp.; Community 480-963-4571.
of the Year – Bogle Junior High Principal Susie Avey; Cup – Frank and Darlene Heavlin, Crowne Plaza
Small Business of the Year – Catalyst Computer San Marcos Golf Resort; and Chamber Cup – Karen
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