VIDEO: Our First Year of Full-Day Kindergarten

As the inaugural year of Full-Day Kindergarten at Pittsford Schools wraps up, teachers of the District’s first cohort of children in that program agree that the year has been a resounding success. In a survey asking teachers for feedback on their classroom experiences with the expanded curriculum, the consensus was that students are demonstrating stronger learning skills, solid peer to peer relationships and are better prepared for first-grade. “My students are learning at a pace I could not have imagined possible, and they are relaxed, happy and engaged while doing it,” explained one PCSD kindergarten teacher in the survey.

Research shows that children who attend Full-Day Kindergarten show greater social and emotional development. They are also better prepared for first-grade, demonstrate stronger learning skills and earn higher academic achievement in later grades. “Full day kindergarten is giving our youngest learners the opportunity for true mastery that goes beyond surface-level learning and allows us to dig deeper. We are able to provide time for more individualized instruction and also repetition for students who need it,” said another teacher in the survey.

Programmatically, the Full-Day Kindergarten program allows for more time exploring core content as well as reinforcing areas of learning, as is evidenced in this survey comment “It has been beneficial for the kids that we can spend time going back over topics or areas where they need extra attention. I love that we do not have to rush through the curriculum, and the kids love coming to school because of this.” The full-day curriculum includes time for lessons in reading, writing, math, free choice time, and recess as well as science and social studies exploration. In addition, art teachers now have the opportunity to teach art to kindergarteners for the first time, and there is more time for music and physical education.

To learn more and view highlights captured throughout the year from a Full-Day Kindergarten class at Mendon Center Elementary School, view this video: "Our First Year of Full-Day Kindergarten."