Yesterday evening, October 17, Dr. Tom Kissinger reported on school officials’ proposal for a Junior Kindergarten program to the Burbank Unified School Board at the regular School Board meeting held at City Hall. While BUSD’s new Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program serves those children turning five between October 2 and December 2, nothing is in place for children turning five between December 2 – 31. Based on the success last year’s inaugural class of TK students are having in regular Kindergarten programs this current school year, Dr. Kissinger underlined the benefits a Junior Kindergarten class would provide.
A Junior Kindergarten program would run for one-half of a year, basically January – May, 2014. Dr. Kissinger provided some numbers showing while the district wouldn’t make money on the program, neither would it lose money. The program would mainly be paid for from State of California Average Daily Attendance funds. For a 62 day period (January 6 – April 4, 2014), a class of 31 children would earn the district approximately $75,000.
Furniture and basic items would cost about $12,000 to start up a Junior Kindergarten classroom, a teacher about $50,000 and an aide about $3000 for one-half of a school year or 90 days. At least 28 students’ families have signed up as interested in a Junior Kindergarten program.
The students would be more prepared for regular Kindergarten and the curriculum would cover the first half of the TK curriculum and be appropriate for their age, explained Dr. Kissinger. Edison Elementary is the targeted school for this program, as it has the required space available. Dr. Kissinger concluded his presentation to the School Board, asking them to consider the information and he will return at a later date for approval.