Meridian School District Now Wants to Retain Half-Day Kindergarten

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Bowing to parental push-back to a proposal to dramatically shift its kindergarten schedule, Meridian school officials now say they will keep the district's half-day, five-day-a-week schedule.

In its plan to cut $22 million in spending from its 2011-2012 budget, Meridian was looking at teacher layoffs, reductions in the school calendar and a kindergarten schedule that would keep the little ones in class all day, every other day. At a public hearing last week, parents argued that the schedule change would be too distracting for students and too disruptive for family schedules.

The retreat to the status quo for kindergarten schedules does include another major change: The district is eliminating midday busing. Simply put, morning kindergartners will have to be picked up by parents at midday and afternoon students will have to be dropped off at the noon hour. The district will still provide bus service in the morning and the end of the school day. The move is expected to save the district $1.3 million.

The Meridian School District Board of Trustees is expected to sign off on the schedule at its meeting, set for Tuesday.