Board approves full day kindergarten with 8-1 vote


Sameera Rachakonda

NPSB: Teachers, parents, and community members watch as the Board approves full day kindergarten.

LANSDALE- “This is a momentous moment for North Penn. This is a landmark moment,” expressed Board Director Christian Fusco as the North Penn School Board approved the implementation of full day kindergarten at Thursday’s meeting.

The Board began the meeting by recognizing the five high school students who spent their junior year of high school studying abroad through partner schools organized by the International Friendship Committee. The Board recognized the students and their unique experiences.

In the first Audience of Citizens of the night, the Board heard from several community members. First, a junior at the high school raised an issue he faced when he was asked to remove a shirt he wore to school due to a dress code violation. In addition, a fourth grader at Walton Farm brought up his concern about providing free water for school lunches. Several members stood up to discuss their views on full day kindergarten which the Board voted on toward the end of the meeting.

After hearing all the committee reports, the Board proceeded to hear and approve items on the Superintendent’s Report. All items, including the implementation of full day kindergarten for the 2019-2020 school year, were approved.

The Board discussed the benefits and issues with implementing full day kindergarten. All members agreed it was educationally beneficial for the children, but acknowledged the financial concerns and the need to be fiscally responsible. Board Director Ms.Theresa Prykowski commented on her reasoning for voting no to full day kindergarten.

“I think the seniors in the community will be hurt by [full day kindergarten] and it’s coming down too fast on a lot of the local kindergarten providers. And we need renovations for Knapp and the high school,” stated Prykowski.

Other members noted the benefits of full day kindergarten.

“Every child in North Penn is going to have an opportunity to strengthen their academic, social, and emotional skills. This is good for the community. North Penn is catching up with nearby districts. It’s an investment in our most precious resource – our children,” said Board Director Christian Fusco.

The directors acknowledged the need to be financially sound as well.

“I feel that this is going to set our district up for success, but I also want to encourage this Board and this administration to work together to really consider these financial ramifications and what we can do to try and prevent some of the scenarios Mr. Skrocki has presented to us,” noted Board Director Jenna Ott.

A roll call vote resulted in a 8-1 vote and the approval of full day kindergarten was met with applause from many audience members. The Board thanked the administration for working meticulously to prepare this long awaited decision.

Following the Superintendent’s Report, the Board heard the finance report and approved the nominations for the PSBA Election of Officers and the PSBA Delegate Assembly.

A second round of Audience of Citizens commenced and the Board heard from a couple community members about their concerns regarding the financial ramifications of full day kindergarten as well as a concern about rushing the process. The Board encourages community members to come out to ECP meetings to learn more about full day kindergarten.

The North Penn School District Board of School Directors will meet again for a work session meeting on October 9th at 7:30 PM in the Educational Services Center.