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“Historic moment”: Council Rock OKs full-day kindergarten


The Council Rock School District will implement full-day kindergarten for the 2025-26 school year.

At the Thursday, June 20 school board meeting, board members voted to approve implementation by a 6-3 margin.

In favor of the motion were Yota Palli, Tracey Osecki, Nicole Khan, Linda Stone, Ed Tate and Joseph Hidalgo. Palli, Osecki, Khan, Stone and Tate are the Democrats on the board. Hidalgo is a Republican.

Against the motion were the board’s other three Republicans — Mike Roosevelt, Bob Hickey, and Anne Horner.

“This is a historic moment for me and for the district,” Palli said. “When I came to the board, one of the first things I wanted to explore was the possibility of a full-day kindergarten.”

Board members and administrators spent the past six months researching the benefits of implementing full-day kindergarten.

They held a public forum, issued a community interest survey and visited nearby districts with full-day kindergarten programs. All of these efforts had overwhelmingly positive feedback, the supporting school board members maintained.

“Full-day kindergarten is something that has been discussed in Council Rock for decades,” Osecki said. “Parents in the community have wanted full-day kindergarten for so long, and for so long, the board has not been interested in having real discussions about the merits or the community need. For the last six months, this board has made it a priority. We have had time to ask questions of the administration and they have done an admirable job of providing answers to us and to the community.”

With the current half-day program, students have access to the classroom for a 2.5 hour day. A full-day kindergarten schedule will allow teachers to allocate more time for instruction, specifically dedicating more time for social studies and science concepts.

Additionally, roughly 33 teachers and staff members will be hired before implementation. The district plans to begin the hiring process early by partnering with local universities and colleges.

The cost of implementing full-day kindergarten will be spread over a two-year cycle, with .56% of next year’s tax increase earmarked for it and another increase planned for the following year.

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