Funding STMA full-day kindergarten would cost $1 million

The St. Michael-Albertville School Board heard that funding full-day kindergarten would cost the district $1 million per year.

The board also heard a report about the Knights Academy alternative learning center, and heard a staffing update.



Albertville Primary School Principal Ann-Marie Foucault was present with an update about full-day kindergarten costs.

The board at its prior meeting asked staff to put together a budget for full-day costs.

Foucault said it would cost $990,000 to fund the full-day program. The state currently only funds for a half student.

“So we wouldn’t be able to do it until the state funds kindergarten full time,” Supt. Jim Behle later said.

The district presently has a full-day option, but parents pay for the other half -day.

In related matters, Foucault said the primary school has space for 450 students, so if more kindergarteners were added, Early Childhood Family Education would have to move out of the building.



In further matters, Knights Academy alternative learning center coordinator Lisa Bjork was present with a report.

She said the first two goals of having dedicated teachers and hands-on active learning are in place. She said the school would work to achieve a third goal, building a sense of community and culture.

Also, the school changed its schedule from three trimesters to six terms, for grading purposes, and added time for silent sustained reading.

The school also added a language arts teacher. Enrollment last year was between 30 and 32 students. Enrollment this year is anticipated for up to 40 students.



In other news, Supt. Behle provided a staffing report.

He said enrollment increased in first grade at Big Woods Elementary School, and that an additional first grade teacher was hired.

There were 18 parents on a waiting list for all-day kindergarten but there were only slots for 200, so another full-day section was added.

Also, an additional planning room paraprofessional was hired to help with suspended student supervision that will take place at the school office rather than sending the student home.

Lastly, there were more increases in fifth grade at Middle School East than were anticipated. Instead of hiring a teacher, some changes were made in teacher assignments to cover the increases.

In other action, the board:

HEARD from insurance agent Arlen Middleton that the current carrier, Indiana Insurance, quoted a rate increase of 42 percent. Middleton was directed to obtain quotes from three other companies and discuss it at the Sept. 4 board meeting.

-Compiled by Aaron Brom