LONDONDERRY — A recent survey of parents with preschool and kindergarten-aged children showed a lot of support for a possible full-day program coming to town.
No decisions have been made on bringing a full-day program to Londonderry, but school officials hope to keep communication lines open and involve as many residents as possible in the discussion.
At a school board meeting Oct. 22, Superintendent Scott Laliberte and Assistant Superinendent Dan Black offered information and results on a recent survey, polling parents about their views and feelings on a full-day kindergarten program.
Right now, Londonderry does not offer a full-day program, but does have both morning and afternoon sessions at Moose Hill School.
Moose Hill has been on school officials’ minds, as enrollment numbers grow in those younger grades and facilities study work focuses on the district’s buildings and what might work best if new space is needed to accommodate those certain age groups.
Some communities approved full-day kindergarten plans at the polls this past March, including Windham and Chester.
The recent anonymous survey was given in June 2019 and also in October 2019, polling parents with children attending Moose Hill School.
In June, there were 244 responses and in October 256 filled out the survey.
Six questions made up the survey, asking parents to respond to whether they would support a full-day program, would they support the community costs if additional classrooms needed to be built along with other yearly costs to support the program and whether they would support a tuition-based full-day option where families would pay tuition to send children to Moose Hill beyond the half-day program offered currently.
The cost to bring the full-day program to Londonderry could cost $9 million, with additional costs for added staff.
Parents supported the full-day, but less said they would support a tuition-based option. Parents also showed a majority of support for bringing a full-day kindergarten into the three neighborhood elementary schools.
And there is also a possibility of getting a non-binding referendum question placed on the school district ballot next year to gauge how the community feels about full-day kindergarten coming to town.
Black said the facilities study group would continue on with more polling on full-day kindergarten in the community, revising the survey so parents of students in grades one to 12 can be surveyed in November during parent/teacher conferences.
“We will look at the survey, figure out what updates we want to make to it to engage those grades one to 12 parents,” Black said.
The recent survey data is available at londonderry.org.