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Published March 25, 2010, 05:59 PM

Thief River Falls May Change To All Day Kindergarten Sessions

The Thief River Falls School district may be joining the dozens of other Minnesota schools who have transitioned to a full day kindergarten program.

The Thief River Falls School district may be joining the dozens of other Minnesota schools who have transitioned to a full day kindergarten program.

The district has been considering it for more than 5 years. The school board will likely vote on the switch during the April 12th board meeting and it would start next fall if it passes.

Right now their are two sessions, a morning one and an afternoon one. The switch would mean kids would go all day and have bigger class sizes. The district would hire 2-3 more teachers to keep class sizes down.

The superintendent says it will save on transportation costs because they wouldn't have the mid day buses running, but it would mean more money would have to be spent to expand the curriculum, a move the district says has a huge impact on student learning.

"What we're finding is we can make this happen with our existing staff, we can make it happen with our space and we can make it happen to meet some of the goals and objectives we have or the district. All day education is going to give them an opportunity to really practice the skills we have been teaching, and make them that much more solid so when they move onto first grade they'll be really proficient at what we taught then."

Olson says it will be a challenge keeping students attention all day initially but they know it's in the best interest of the students.

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