Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Letter From Mr. Pratt



8900 N. Horseshoe Bend Rd., Boise, ID 83714 (p) 208-939-5400 (f) 208-939-5401 email: contact@rhpcs.org www.rhpcs.org

Rolling Hills Public Charter School
8900 N. Horseshoe Bend Road, Boise, Idaho 83714 208-939-5400
"Where friends become family and learning becomes life."
___________________________________________________________________________

Rolling Hills Kindergarten Program to be Full-Day in 2015-2016
March 20, 2015

To all Prospective Rolling Hills Kindergarten Parents,

We are pleased to announce that beginning in Fall 2015 our Kindergarten Program will be Full Day!
Why full-day kindergarten? We are making the transition to full day kindergarten because we believe an extended day kindergarten program will slingshot your child to greater academic success. Research has shown that "full-day kindergarten provides an essential bridge between prekindergarten and the primary grades. It enables children to develop the academic, social and emotional skills they need to be successful. By laying a strong foundation, full-day kindergarten can boost student performance, access and attainment later in school." (National Education Association http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/mf_kadvoguide.pdf) Based on the strong evidence supporting greater learning and child development in a full-day kindergarten program, on March 11, 2015, the RHPCS School Board approved moving forward with the Full Day Kindergarten program at Rolling Hills. We strongly believe this to be a big step forward in following the mission of Rolling Hills, "to have high expectations for our students’ academic success."

FUNDING: Currently, the State of Idaho provides funding for only a half day of kindergarten. Like other public full-day kindergarten programs, the additional costs associated with providing an extended kindergarten at Rolling Hills will need to be met by program participants. Our Rolling Hills full-day kindergarten program will have a tuition of $275.00 per month September 2015 through May 2016. Those families accepting enrollment offered during our lottery process will be committing to the full-day program and the associated monthly tuition. Need-based financial assistance will be available, contact the school office to request an application..

(Note: If the minimum number of commitments for the full day kindergarten program is not met, then the Rolling Hills kindergarten will continue as a fully state funded half-day kindergarten program.)

Program Enrollment: As with all grades at Rolling Hills, placement in our kindergarten will still be allocated based on our enrollment lottery process. The application deadline to be included in our lottery process is 3 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2015. The Lottery Drawing will be held on April 15, 2015, with all families being notified of placement or waitlist status by April 22, 2015. Families offered Kindergarten enrollment will have 48 hours to accept or decline enrollment. Accepting a Kindergarten seat will require your commitment to the full year, fee based, full day Kindergarten program. To reserve your child’ placement, a non-refundable commitment deposit of $150.00 will be required to be paid by May 1, 2015 (for placement offered after April 22, the deposit will be due within 5 business days of enrollment acceptance). If the commitment deposit is not received timely, the kindergarten placement will be forfeited and enrollment will be offered to the next child on the wait list. Assuming your child attends the Rolling Hills kindergarten program throughout the 2015-2016 school year, the deposit will be applied to the students May 2016 monthly tuition fee. The full regular monthly tuition be due and payable the first of each month beginning September 2015. Missing fee payments will cause your child to lose their seat in the Rolling Hills kindergarten program. Payments will be accepted by exact cash or check payable to RHPCS at the school office, or by credit/debit card through our online payment portal. 8900 N. Horseshoe Bend Rd., Boise, ID 83714 (p) 208-939-5400 (f) 208-939-5401 email: contact@rhpcs.org www.rhpcs.org


Rolling Hills Full Day Kindergarten Program
Kindergarten program will run the same time and calendar days as the rest of the school. Class will be held 8:00 am to 2:30 pm each school day.

Extension activities to enhance Reading, Math, and Writing skills

Theme based units with more time for in-depth coverage.

Community play, positive behavioral and social interactions

Additional PE, Art, Computers, Music, Science and enrichment activities

Kindergarten lunch will be at 11:00-11:35 a.m. with recess time for free play.

Rolling Hills’ healthy before-school breakfast and school day lunch food services will be available to kindergarten students. If utilized, regular RHPCS food services costs apply. Our school is proud to partner with the Idaho Child Nutrition Program and the National School Lunch Program to provide healthy meals for our students, including eligibility for financial-need based free and reduced food services.

The RHPCS School Board, our elementary teachers and staff, and I as Administrator are excited to offer this full-day kindergarten program and we are committed to its success. If you have questions, concerns, or would like to discuss the program in more detail, please plan to visit the Kindergarten room during our upcoming Open House for Prospective Families on Thursday, April 2, 2015 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. You are also welcome to contact me by phone at (208) 939-5400 or by email at spratt@rhpcs.org.


If you have already submitted an enrollment lottery application but this notification has changed your decision to be included in that process, please contact the school office to have your kindergarten child’s application removed the lottery pool.

Sincerely,

Shane Pratt, Administrator Rolling Hills Charter School


The Benefits of Full-Day Kindergarten: Teachers’ Perspectives
 In a study evaluating teachers’ views on full-day kindergarten, teachers reported a number of benefits for themselves as well as for children and parents, including:

• Participating in full-day (kindergarten) eased the transition to first grade, helping children adapt to the demands of a six-hour school day.

• A longer school day offered more flexibility and more time to do activities during free-choice times.

• Having more time made kindergarten less stressful and frustrating for children because they had time to develop interests and activities more fully.

• Participating in the full-day schedule allowed more appropriate challenges for children at all developmental levels.

• Children with developmental delays or those "at-risk" of experiencing school problems had more time for completing projects and for needed socializing with peers and teachers.

• More advanced students had time to complete long-term projects.

• Having full-day kindergarten assisted parents with child care.

• Having more time made child assessment and classroom record keeping more manageable for teachers.

• Switching to full-day kindergarten gave teachers more time for curriculum planning, incorporating a greater number of thematic units in the school year, and offering more in-depth coverage of each unit.

—Source: Sherrill Martinez and Lue Ann Snider, Summary of Research: Full-Day Kindergarten, citing James Elicker and S. Mathur’s study, "What do they do all day?"
(This excerpt quoted from http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/mf_kadvoguide.pdf)

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