DASD moves to create full-day kindergarten

The Downingtown Area School District announced Wednesday it would move to full-day kindergarten.

After years of extensive research and planning, Downingtown Area School District (DASD) has taken the first step forward toward achieving district-wide full-day kindergarten. On May 8, the DASD School Board voted to adopt full-day kindergarten district-wide for the 2025-26 school year, marking a significant leap forward for the community.

More than 86% of districts across Pennsylvania provide district-wide full-day kindergarten. DASD currently offers half-day kindergarten to all students. A limited number of qualifying students may elect to participate in full-day kindergarten exclusively at Beaver Creek, Bradford Heights, East Ward and Lionville Elementary Schools.

Superintendent Dr. Robert O’Donnell explained the benefits of full-day kindergarten for the district’s youngest learners. “By adding full-day kindergarten at all elementary schools, all of our students will receive expanded learning opportunities, which include dedicated time to develop academic, physical, social and emotional skills.”

“As the district continues to grow and enrollment increases, the board and administration have strategically evaluated options to provide robust educational opportunities for all of our kindergarten students.”

The plan includes expansion and renovation at some of the district’s ten elementary schools, as well as the hiring of additional teachers and support staff members. While the previous iteration of the full-day kindergarten plan included the construction and staffing of a 5/6 Grade Center, the new plan focuses on making changes to existing buildings. The revised plan also minimizes additional staffing needs, saving nearly $6 million annually from the originally proposed 5/6 Grade Center staffing plan. The anticipated cost to renovate and staff the new full-day kindergarten areas is $2 million.

To learn more about the benefits of full-day kindergarten in DASD and read future updates on the initiative, please visit www.dasd.org/fdk.

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