Cheney Free Press -


Staff Reporter 

All-day kindergarten benefits students and teachers


Al Stover

The Medical Lake High School Clarinet Quartet performed at the April 22 Medical Lake School Board meeting.

All-day kindergarten classes seem to be working for the Medical Lake School District.

Michael Anderson Elementary School principal Darlene Starr and Hallett Elementary School principal Cindy McSmith gave reports on the progress of all-day kindergarten classes in their schools at the April 22 school board meeting.

McSmith explained that doubling the time and changing the curriculum allows teachers to go deeper into lessons and devote more time to students.

"We have the teachers going in and working with the whole class," McSmith said. "The strategies she (the teacher) is sharing with the class gets spread across the whole grade level. All the kids are getting the same skills and concepts."

Students who need intervention are given a block of time with a "prescriptive curriculum model" for success, in addition to the instruction time they receive in class. McSmith added that many students also have greater access to physical education and music.

"The more time they are at school, the less time they are sitting in front of the TV," McSmith said.

During her presentation, Starr said Michael Anderson has been implementing their "Core and More" program, which allows students to receive their core instruction with their teacher. Students also get more time with teachers based on their individual needs, whether they are below or exceeding standards.

"They can get very specific, very strategic instruction," Starr said.

Starr said her school is working on a first-grade transition program, as there are some kindergartners ahead of first graders.

Superintendent Dr. Pam Veltri asked both principals if they could give statistics, comparing figures and progress from this year's kindergarten classes to last year's classes.

Director of Teaching and Learning Kim Headrick said the card access system for the 500/900 wing at the high school. should be installed in the next couple of weeks. Headrick added that this year's district's book festival was successful.

The board approved policies for required holiday observances, use of tobacco and nicotine substances on school property, and medication at school.

The board held first readings for policies on highly capable programs for students and employee termination.

The board approved a resolution for the renewal of the contract for the Martin Hall Juvenile Detention Education Program.

The JROTC Color Guard, ML High School Clarinet Quartet, the Robotics Class and students in the foreign exchange program made presentations to the board at the beginning of the meeting.

Al Stover can be reached at


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