Lindbergh to offer tuition-free full-day kindergarten starting in January


Crestwood Elementary School teacher Ann Haberberger welcomes new Lindbergh kindergarten students to class on the first day of school, Aug. 16.

Lindbergh Schools will offer district funded full-day tuition-free kindergarten for all students beginning Jan. 7.

Lindbergh is the last district in the state to not offer tuition-free full-day kindergarten.

The Board of Education and administration discussed this transition and decided to move forward with the plan immediately during a special workshop Tuesday, citing research that shows full-day kindergarten provides academic benefits for all students, and following a committee’s in-depth study of district classroom space and finances.

Monthly tuition payments will cease immediately for parents of students currently enrolled in full-day kindergarten. Families that paid in full upfront will be refunded $1,875 ($375 x five payments).

Parents of students who are currently enrolled in half-day kindergarten will have the option to enroll their students in district funded full-day kindergarten for the remainder of the school year.

Currently, two-thirds of Lindbergh kindergarten students attend a full-day program, and one-third attend half-day kindergarten. Principals and administrators will spend the next several weeks ensuring that additional supports are met to provide a smooth transition for all students in January.

Implementing district funded full-day kindergarten for all Lindbergh families has been a priority conversation for several years, the district said in a news release.

During a workshop in June, the board authorized district administrators to partner with Hanover Research to conduct an independent formal study of full-day kindergarten benefits for students, and the specific impact district funded full-day kindergarten would have on Lindbergh Schools.

In addition, district administrators have spent the past several months closely examining financial and space requirements.

“Offering district funded full-day kindergarten for all Lindbergh students will provide immediate and long-term educational benefits for some of our youngest learners,” said Superintendent Tony Lake. “It is the right thing to do, not only for kids, but also for families.”

This week’s decision comes following several months of study and is based on three essential factors: doing what is best academically for students, and meeting space and financial needs.

  • Academics: Full-day kindergarten provides academic benefits and a consistent learning experience for all students.
  • Classrooms and staffing: Dressel Elementary School opened in fall 2017, adding much needed classroom space. In addition, a study of each school conducted earlier this year shows that the district will be able to accommodate all staffing and space needs resulting from implementation of district funded full-day kindergarten for all students.
  • Funding: Over the past two years, Lindbergh’s status on the Missouri education funding formula has changed. Consistent enrollment growth has caused the district to move away from being “hold harmless” to being fully funded on the formula, since a school district’s state funding per student is based on overall student attendance hours. As a result, moving all kindergarten students to full-day status will increase state funding for every student in grades K-12 and will cover the revenue lost from family-paid full-day kindergarten tuition.

2019-20 Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for the 2019-20 school year opens on Feb. 19, and families are encouraged to register as early as possible this year to help the district plan for any additional teachers who may be needed.

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