Idaho Falls rescinds all-day kindergarten pilot

IDAHO FALLS — Due to lower-than-expected enrollment, the Idaho Falls School District will no longer offer all-day kindergarten next school year.

“After the district’s initial interest survey, it appeared there was enough interest to pilot the fee-based all-day kindergarten program at Sunnyside and Longfellow elementary schools,” Idaho Falls director of elementary education Kelly Coughenour said in an email to parents Thursday. “We needed 25 students to enroll at each school, but we didn’t get those numbers.”

Since Idaho neither funds nor reimburses for all-day kindergarten costs, Coughenour said schools had to meet the enrollment threshold in order for the program to sustain itself financially.

District spokeswoman Margaret Wimborne said 18 students had signed up at Sunnyside and eight signed up at Longfellow. Combining these students into one program would have resulted in an added expenditure for the district, Wimborne said.

The district had approved plans for an all-day kindergarten pilot program next school year at an estimated monthly fee of $275 per kid.

“While we cannot offer all-day kindergarten at this time, the district may revisit the issue again in the future,” Coughenour told parents.

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