SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Board of Education passed a resolution to implement a new program of full-day, tuition-based Kindergarten, limited to two classes, beginning September, 2014. The vote in favor was 5-2, with board members James Freeman and Rick Hanley voting no.
Under this program, the board will use existing, available space in the Wilson and Jefferson Primary Centers for two classes of 20 full-day kindergarten students, with space for a third should it be deemed economically feasible. The 40 students enrolled in this program will be selected via a lottery system. The tuition for the full-day program will be $5,500 per child, with reduced tuition charged to those who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Costs associated with this program will be offset by the tuition revenue, with any balance covered by the district's yearly operating budget.
“We believe that a full-day kindergarten program will benefit all Summit students and community,” said Board President Gloria Ron-Fornes. “We would prefer to offer the program to all students, however this offering can be provided without additional construction costs. We strongly believe in the benefits of early childhood education and are pleased that we can offer this option to the community."
With 75% of New Jersey offering a full day program, this option was brought to the Board of Education as a more affordable alternative to a full day, universal, free kindergarten, which necessitated construction, and was rejected by the Board of School Estimate in May, 2013. Information on the lottery for Full Day Kindergarten in Summit is expected in the coming weeks. Details can be found at summitk12.nj.us.