Kinnelon Kindergarten Enrollment Decreases Again
Interim superintendent said second grade class is larger with inclusion of former junior kindergarteners.
With the beginning of the school year approaching, Kinnelon students can look forward to being reunited with classmates they have not seen all summer.
But if they're looking to meet fresh faces, they may be dissapointed. All three school districts in the tri-boro--Bloomingdale, Kinnelon and Butler--have reported that while grade sizes tend to fluctuate, there has been no significant increase in enrollment that would change grade sections this coming school year. In fact, the number of kindergarteners in the Kinnelon Public Schools district has been decreasing for the past few years.
According to Interim Superintendent Diane DiGiuseppe, there are 105 students currently enrolled in kindergarten in Kinnelon this fall, with six sections of kindergarten classes between the Kiel School and Stonybrook School. This is a decrease from last year's 114 kindergarteners and 142 (including junior kindergarteners) in 2010.
"This  number also included 24 students from the last year of our junior kindergarten, so the number of regular entrants of kindergarten age was 118," DiGiuseppe said. There have been no significant changes in other grade level enrollments.
"Junior kindergarten was a half-day program for students who met the kindergarten age, but were determined to have a deficiency in the developmental readiness for kindergarten," DiGiuseppe said. All children who reached the age of 5 on or before October 1 are eligible to enter kindergarten.
Since junior kindergarten no longer exists in Kinnelon, DiGiuseppe said the would-be junior kindergarteners are eligible for the traditional kindergarten program.
"If a parent wishes to keep their child from entering kindergarten due to developmental readiness concerns, they have the option to use a private facility for an additional pre-k year," DiGiuseppe said.
The 2010-11 kindergarten class of 142 students has created an artificial bubble in that group's size, DiGiuseppe said. For the 2012-13 school year, that group has moved on to second grade, with a total of 157 students in eight grade sections. One of the first grade teachers has moved to the second grade to accommodate the grade's size.
As of Aug. 6, there are 2,109 students enrolled in the district from kindergarten through Grade 12. There are 351 students enrolled in the Kiel School, 541 students enrolled at Stonybrook School, 537 students enrolled at Pearl R. Miller School, and 707 students enrolled at Kinnelon High School, according to DiGiuseppe.