Marshfield to expand 4K program this year
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The Marshfield School District’s four-year-old kindergarten program will expand this year. With one member absent, the Board of Education voted five-to-one April 10 in favor of adding up to two 4K sections at Madison Elementary this fall.
The vote came after the board committed a two-hour special meeting to the topic on April 8.
Even though she voted to move ahead with 4K expansion this fall, Dorothy Chaney said the district needs a clearer vision and strategic 4K plan moving forward.
Amber Kiggens-Leifheit said adding a 4K option at Madison is the only true way the district can expand its program for those parents who need wrap-around – or all-day care.
During the district’s special meeting, Superintendent Dr. Ryan Christianson shared up-to-date enrollment figures for this fall which are running at a more than two-to-one margin in favor of morning sessions versus the afternoon.
For many years, the district had a community-based four-year-old kindergarten program running out of local daycare sites. For the past two years, the district has operated a blended program, after adding a 4K option at Washington Elementary. Leifheit said that gave more parents more choices, which is exactly what the program needs again. But more than that, Leifheit said a bigger investment in four-year-old kindergarten will make the overall program better, and she said the district will see a return on that investment.
Along with voting to expand the 4K program to Madison Elementary this fall, the School Board vote to officially adopt a blended program between school and community sites, and voted in favor of adding a fulltime four-year-old kindergarten teacher.