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Study Finds Overwhelming Benefits of Full Days in Kindergarten

Study Finds Overwhelming Benefits of Full-Days in Kindergarten

A new study from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas's School of Community Health Sciences has found that Nevada students in full-day kindergarten performed better and also were overall healthier than students who had a half-day school day.

"The research is based on data from 2010 to 2014 gathered by UNLV researchers, who began work in October 2014. Sources included the U.S. Department of Education and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The team also surveyed parents and community members through organizations such as the PTA, with responses showing strong support for full-day kindergarten," according to the ReviewJournal.com.

Because full-day children have more hours to develop their skills, the study found that these children ultimately become better all-around learners; the researchers behind the study think mandatory full-days will help increase the state's graduation rate.

"Danielle Miller, assistant superintendent of [Clark County School District's] instructional design and professional learning division, believes the full-day classes help students retain what they learn. 'What we see in the full-day is that the children have three more hours to (build their social skills) and to learn about things and actually apply their skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking,' Miller said," according to the article.

Interestingly enough, not only are full-days not mandatory in Nevada, neither is attending kindergarten as a whole.

"Children can skip it as long as they pass a developmental screening test prior to enrolling in first grade. According to the Nevada Department of Education, 2,124 children in the state are not enrolled in kindergarten," the article said.

However, the state is taking on several measures to expand full-day kindergarten availability and has allocated millions of dollars in funding to do so.

"Free, full-day classes will be expanded to every public school in the state by the end of 2017 through Gov. Brian Sandoval’s recently approved education reform measures," made possible by $36.5 million in funding, the article said.

The researchers behind the study hope that educators and policy makers will use the findings to focus on the benefits of early education and the importance of a proper education beginning in kindergarten.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/06/2015

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