Months of planning by Grand Haven and Spring Lake public schools will be put to the test when all-day kindergarten begins in September.
Last year, a change in state funding forced districts to switch from a half-day kindergarten schedule to an all-day program.
“We are very excited about offering the all-day kindergarten option this year,” Grand Haven Area Public Schools Superintendent Keith Konarska said.
Teachers in both local districts have undergone training to prepare them for the all-day curriculum.
For Grand Haven kindergarten and Young Fives teachers, some of that preparation included visiting and observing schools that already had an all-day program in place, in addition to training, said Mary Jane Evink, the district's curriculum specialist.
Both districts had to make room to accommodate the shift in students for the upcoming year by changing classrooms and adding staff.
By moving grades 5-6 to White Pines Middle School and grades 7-8 to Lakeshore Middle School, the Grand Haven district made room for the 411 enrolled kindergarteners and 159 students in the Young Fives program.
Spring Lake Public Schools had to make room for about 200 students enrolled in kindergarten, said Superintendent Dennis Furton. The district won't be offering a Young Five program this school year.
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.