Olmsted Falls City Schools is pleased to announce that the district will move to offering tuition free full-day, everyday kindergarten classes beginning with the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. Included below are some frequently asked questions related to this new initiative.
Q. What does this mean for students and families?
Olmsted Falls City Schools will provide kindergarten classes to students for an entire school day, rather than parents choosing between the tuition paid full-day program or the free half-day program. The full-day classes will be tuition free and provide a more extensive academic program to help our youngest students get a great start to their education.
Q. When does this new program start?
The full-day, everyday tuition free kindergarten classes will begin with the 2017-18 school year.
Q. How is it possible for the district to offer tuition free to every student?
Since every student in the district will be able to participate in this program, the funding levels from the state will change. Specifically kindergarten students will move from half time funding to the same per pupil funding the district receives for every other student in the district. With this shift to the full-day program for every student and the higher levels of state funding, the district will not need to charge parents tuition to cover the costs of the program.
Q. Will money from the November ballot issue be used on this program?
No. The November 2016 ballot issue was for bond and permanent improvement dollars. By law those dollars can not be used for operating expenses such as teachers for academic programs.
Q. How does full-day kindergarten benefit students?
The district was able to pilot a full-day, everyday kindergarten program for 125 students this school year. By simply extending the school day and giving students more time with highly trained and caring teachers, we are seeing dramatic improvements in their social as well as academic abilities. Students who are participating in this option are building important foundation skills in reading, math and science and are socializing better with other students. By extending this opportunity to every student, the district expects to see tremendous growth for all students.
Q. Can kids that young handle a full-day program?
Yes. While every child is different and Olmsted Falls City Schools is sensitive to meeting the unique needs of the individual student, the district believes that these students will be able to handle this type of educational structure. The teachers are aware that this is a change for many of these students and care about creating an environment that promotes learning for every child.
Q. How can I learn more about the kindergarten program?
The district is hosting its annual Kindergarten Information Night on Tuesday, January 31. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Olmsted Falls Early Childhood Center, 7105 Fitch Road. Parents of students who will be five years old on or before August 1, 2017 and will be entering kindergarten this fall are encouraged to attend the important meeting to learn more about Olmsted Falls School District’s full-day kindergarten program.
Q. When can parents begin the kindergarten registration process?
Kindergarten registration will officially begin on Wednesday, February 1. The first step to registering a new kindergarten student for the 2017-18 school year is to complete the online registration process accessible from the district’s website, www.ofcs.net. IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do NOT register your incoming kindergarten student prior to February 1, 2017. The online portal for the 2017-18 school year will not be available until then.