PRE requested 15 minutes at the BOE meeting to give time to those who want to keep Extended Day and for the BOE to hear the "pro/con" comparison of Full Day vs Extended Day. Topics for discussion were Research, Costs, Benefits, and Impact to 1st and 2nd grade. The BOE denied the request.
PRE believes Extended Day is an excellent program. Students have an orderly transition from preschool into a few longer days. More importantly, it allows for small group instruction at a student teacher ratio of 5:1, which is ideal for students with minimal costs to taxpayers. Replicating small group instruction in the Full Day would be significantly more expensive.
The "opt-out" option does not address any of the academic or logistical concerns that PRE has raised—it creates new ones. And being released just over 24 hours before the vote does not allow for public discussion or comment. PRE maintains that the Extended Day model is optimal. Why not allow parents to choose between Extended Day or Full Day instead of creating a new "opt-out" program that was not requested?
The Extended Day program has been in existence for over 25 years and has proven results. Many issues and concerns have not been addressed with the Full Day proposal. Why not take the time to develop and evaluate a complete proposal, and then make a decision that puts the best interests of all the children first? Until then, Extended Day should remain in place.