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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 and . This is a decrease from last year's 114 kindergarteners and 142 (including junior kindergarteners) in 2010.

"This [2010] 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 , and 707 students enrolled at , according to DiGiuseppe. 

Cut taxes August 08, 2012 at 01:31 PM
So please explain why the BOE continues to spend over $100k for so few kindergarten kids. Why don't they cut extended day and go to half day and fire 1/2 the kindergarten teachers?
Jeremy Schablik August 08, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Good riddance to Jr Kindergarten from the perspective of parents simply using it as a social trend. The system never should have allowed free will of this exercise... This is not a blanket statement to the minority who truly benefited for the right reasons... Love our kids...
GLS August 09, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Why does Kinnelon continue to fund extended day kindergarten? We have over 2000 kids yet we over spend on a 100 kindergarten kid. It seems with declining enrollment the district could save $100,000 a year by switching to half day and reducing the kindergarten staff? No wonder our taxes are so high!

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