Howbert PTA wants to start all-day kindergarten; no class without enough sign-ups

       The Howbert Elementary PTA is leading a drive for an all-day kindergarten class at the school.
        At least 18 students need to be enrolled for the class to begin this fall. The catch is that because School District 11 will not pick up the cost, there is a per-student tuition charge of $265 a month during the eightmonth school year.
        The tuition covers “essentially the cost of the teacher,” said Allison Wroe, Howbert PTA president.
        Registration will begin April 9 and continue through May 14. Some need scholarships are available through the school district, she said.
       According to PTA information, “full-time kindergartners have more time to develop all-important academic and social skills.”
       Class size would be between 18 and 25 students. The times would be 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students outside the Howbert attendance area in Pleasant Valley can permit in.
        In advocating the program, the PTA notes the school's high reading and writing scores, comparing them with neighboring District 11 elementaries.
       The PTA has tried to establish an all-day kindergarten previously at Howbert, but came up “just a few students shy,” Wroe said. She herself has a child in third grade at Howbert and a younger one who is two years from kindergarten.
       Kindergarten is not required by the state. The district pays for half-day classes at all its schools, but no more.
       For registration information, call 328-4253.

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