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Council Rock eyeing 2025-26 for full-day kindergarten


Council Rock School District is exploring implementation of full-day kindergarten as early as the 2025-26 school year, according to information provided at this month’s “Kindergarten Community Information Night” at Holland Middle School.

Council Rock staff members conducted site visits over the last month to surrounding districts to learn more about their programs. The districts included in these visits were Colonial School District, Souderton Area School District and West Chester Area School District.

Visiting teachers were able to walk around the classrooms and chat with students.

Lauren McCusker, a kindergarten teacher at Goodnoe Elementary School, visited classrooms in the West Chester Area School District. She noted that purposeful play and hands-on learning stood out as being the most substantial aspects of its program.

“It left me feeling energized and excited for the possibility of bringing this to our students in Council Rock,” McCusker said.

Members plan to visit additional schools in the Bucks County area to learn more about their full-day kindergarten programs.

The district also partnered with Hanover Research to conduct a kindergarten interest survey from May 20 until June 2. The data is currently being scrubbed and a final report was expected to be shared with the public at this week’s Education Committee Meeting.

Council Rock members were able to address other concerns and questions regarding scheduling. The district reportedly plans to build onto existing curriculum by expanding circle team, recess, ELA, math, and specials. Instead of only two specials, which half-day kindergartners currently have, they will have access to all six, including STEAM.

There will also be an implementation of purposeful play and lunch.

As for staffing needs, it is estimated that Council Rock will need to hire between 17 and 20 general education teachers, seven specialists, five instructional assistants, three support staff, and a school psychologist. During the recruitment process, they will continue to work with local colleges and universities, college prep programs and job fairs throughout the year.

One-time startup costs, including small furniture and cubbies, were estimated at about $1.14 million. It’d be drawn from the General Fund’s fund balance.

Within the current building plans, an additional 17 classrooms can be obtained.

Additionally, there will be ongoing costs for additional staffing that’d amount to about $2.6 million per year. Anthony Rapp, director of business administration, noted the board’s plan to split tax increases over the next two years, with a 0.56% tax increase earmarked for full-day kindergarten next year.

Moving forward, in order to avoid misinformation, Council Rock members urge any questions or concerns to be directed to the district.

“We have been very careful and judicious with the information that we’re sharing because we want the community to have nothing but accuracy,” Andrea Mangold, director of district communications, said.

For more information, there is a full-day kindergarten hub on the district website at A section containing FAQs is coming soon.

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