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Buckeye switching to all-day kindergarten

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YORK TWP. — The Buckeye Board of Education approved all-day kindergarten Tuesday for the 2018-19 school year.

It will be offered at no additional cost to families.

The maximum cost to the district, Superintendent Kent Morgan said, could be $100,000. That would be if new teachers need to be added. He said class materials for all-day might cost around $20,000.

Morgan said the cost figures are a bit skewed because the district will get some funding from the state.

The superintendent said Buckeye has five kindergarten teachers. If enrollment numbers aren’t overwhelming, he said, the district might be able to handle adding all-day kindergarten with current staff. If that’s the case, the cost could come way down, he said.

“That’s a decision we’ll make when we see the enrollment numbers,” Morgan said.

“If it’s a larger enrollment number (than expected), then we might have to add staff,” he said.

That won’t be determined until officials get the enrollment figures for kindergarten students.

Morgan said in a typical year, about 130 children enroll in kindergarten. He said there could be as many as 150 in the fall.

Buckeye now offers free half-day kindergarten, five days a week.

“I appreciate the planning we have gone through,” board member Ken Barco said. “There is cost to the district. I don’t think it will be an extravagant cost. I’m very happy this is going through.”

Board President Barbara Gunkelman said they’ve been talking about adding all-day kindergarten since the beginning of the school year.

“This has been a long time in coming,” she said.

Children have to be at least 5 years old by Aug. 1 to start kindergarten in the fall.

Kindergarten registration dates are March 15, 20 and 22. Call (330) 722-8257, ext. 4143, to schedule an appointment.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.

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