BALLSTON SPA – Just because school is out for the summer doesn’t mean work stops at the Ballston Spa Central School District. The school board met Monday night to tie up loose ends and reshuffle leadership for the upcoming school year.
New to the board, Tony Leva was sworn in after being elected back in May and replaces Frank Townley. The BOE elected Kevin Schaefer to serve as president and Daniel Cramer to serve as vice president.
The board voted to approve the district’s agreements with the Ballston Area Community Center, Saratoga County EOC Head Start, Newmeadow Saratoga School, and the YMCA Malta Childcare regarding the Universal Prekindergarten Program (UPK) for the next school year.
Board member, Jeanne Obermayer says UPK is an ideal route for children who need additional assistance in preparing for a full day of kindergarten.
“There’s a wide range of students — there are kids whose parents have worked with them in reading readiness and math readiness, or there are children who have been in daycare or another pre-k program to help them get ready,” said Obermayer. “Having a full day of kindergarten allows us to level the playing field for the kids who may not be coming in with some advance support.”
Starting elementary school is a big step for children, which means there’s also a lot to learn; even the basics can be challenging for the school’s youngest students.
“Particularly reading, it’s a big issue,” said Obermayer. “A lot of math now requires that they understand the reading context.”
At the moment, the district relies on state funds to support UPK; but the funding that’s available is targeted toward special needs students. Eventually, Obermayer says the district would like to see a state-funded UPK program for all students.
Also at the board’s meeting, 940 textbooks were declared obsolete and will be disposed of accordingly, through a book buy-back program.
Do you find pre-k programs beneficial? Sign in and comment below. Have a question about this Ballston Journal news item? Contact Stephanie at [email protected] and be sure to follow us on Twitter – @BallstonJournal and “like” us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BallstonJournalOnline.