Full Day kindergarten

BACKGROUND AND INFORMATION

The Westfield Public School District currently does not offer full day kindergarten. Our youngest learners are well served at Lincoln School by a half day kindergarten program, in which state educational standards are fulfilled, as well as the Early Childhood Learning Center integrated pre-kindergarten program. Lincoln School also houses the Kindergarten WRAP program, which offers an enrichment to the kindergarten day; this is a tuition-based, lottery program.

Westfield is among the 10% of public school districts in New Jersey without a full day program. Implementation of a full day program is an ongoing discussion in which the Board of Education and the community have engaged for a number of years. And while the dialogue has centered primarily on space and cost, there are other considerations that complicate and challenge the implementation of full day kindergarten in Westfield Public Schools. Those challenges and considerations include a possible bond referendum to build additional classrooms, followed by a separate proposal a year later to pay for further staffing and operating costs, along with outreach to local and state lawmakers seeking a legislative solution to combine the two measures.

The Long Range Planning Committee of the Westfield Board of Education continues to explore a few additional options to ensure that all reasonable alternatives are exhausted before committing to a referendum. Board members and the school district are committed to fully vetting the options and reporting back to the Westfield community.

We hope this web page will help to answer any questions. The information will be updated as we continue to explore responsible and reasonable options for full day kindergarten that address the needs and concerns of the Westfield community.