(Everything You Want to Know About Full-Day K)
We are delighted to announce that full-day kindergarten will begin districtwide during the 2021-2022 school year!
The following is intended to be a reference guide for parents on full-day kindergarten. Please read on for information on the benefits of this initiative, the schedule, and much more.
Benefits of Full-Day K
Full-day kindergarten, quite simply, will give students a stronger start in school. A full day of learning will help build a strong foundation of reading, writing, and math skills that will lead to more school success in the future. A full-day schedule also provides more opportunity for socialization and developmental activities.
Benefits of full-day kindergarten recently listed by the National Association of School Psychologists include the following:
- Higher long-term achievement
- Higher test scores
- Higher reading scores in early grades
- More time spent in individualized instruction
- Greater creativity
- Higher self-esteem and independence
- Greater progress in social skills
- A more relaxed, less hurried school day with more varied experiences
- More reinforcement of positive social behaviors
- Fewer grade retentions
What You Can Expect from an Orcutt Kindergarten Class
Our kindergarten classrooms are safe, nurturing environments for students. Students will experience the following:
- Highly qualified, caring, dedicated classroom teachers
- A school principal who is visible, accessible, and responsive
- A rigorous, challenging academic program coupled with time for developmental exploration and play
- Physical education, music, and art classes throughout the week
- Socialization and facilitation of social/emotional growth for students
- Classrooms that include spaces for hands-on learning, developmental play, and centers
- Strong parent-school partnerships and the opportunity for parents to be involved
- Early intervention for struggling students
The district has made an investment in facilities and instructional materials in support of full-day kindergarten. The district also has made a commitment to assign to each kindergarten class an instructional assistant who can support student learning. We feel we have in place all the components for a successful full-day kindergarten program.
The Full-Day K Schedule
The kindergarten school day will be the same length as other grade levels at our elementary and K – 8 schools. Here is the schedule by school:
8:00 am – 2:15 pm – Joe Nightingale, Patterson Road, Pine Grove, and Olga Reed schools
- On Wednesdays, these schools have an “early out” schedule running from 8:00 – 1:00
8:35 am – 2:50 pm – Alice Shaw and Ralph Dunlap schools
- On Wednesdays, these schools have an “early out” schedule running from 8:35 -1:35
8:40 am – 3:00 pm – Orcutt Academy K – 8 campus
- On Wednesdays, OAK – 8 has an “early out” schedule running from 8:40 – 2:00
Like other elementary school students, kindergartners are able to ride the bus to and from school utilizing bus stops designated by the district Transportation Department. Click here for the Transportation Department’s bus stops schedule for the current school year. Parents/guardians of kindergartners should plan for supervision of their child at the morning bus stop and also should make sure they or a designee is present to receive their child when the bus arrives in the afternoon.
Like other elementary school students, kindergartners may partake in breakfast and lunch on campus. All school meals are free, and will be served in “ready to eat” fashion. The district Child Nutrition Program will send out menus and meal information via the district’s Parent Square platform for school-home communication.
COVID-19 Health Guidelines
Schools in the Orcutt Union School District will return to full-time in-person format for the 2021-2022 school year. As of now, state and county public health officials are requiring all students to wear masks when they are indoors at school (masks do not need to be worn outside). Meantime, these officials have removed requirements for distancing, cohorting, and health screenings. We look forward to resuming full in-person instruction and a more regular school routine.
Communication with the Teacher and School
Our school district takes pride in ongoing communication with parents. Early in the school year, parents are invited to attend a Back to School Night at which the teacher outlines plans and expectations for the school year. Additionally, teachers will be scheduling parent-teacher conferences the week of September 27-October 1. During the conference, teachers share about the student’s progress and converse with parents on goals for the year. This conference is an important opportunity for teachers and parents to establish a partnership.
Schools communicate frequently with parents via the ParentSquare platform for communication. Schools regularly post messages via email and occasionally send out text alerts. ParentSquare also provides Spanish translation for parents.
As mentioned earlier, Orcutt schools are safe, comfortable places for students, and student safety is the district’s top priority. Teachers work to forge a bond with each of their students and also to foster a sense of community in their classroom. Classroom and school rules and expectations are reviewed with students at the beginning of the year. Students are closely and actively supervised at recesses and mealtimes. Teachers and principals focus on rewarding positive behavior and preventing problems, but they also are ready to set limits and apply appropriate consequences when issues occur. Safety also entails emergency preparedness, and schools regularly hold drills to be ready for a range of emergency situations.
The district’s transitional kindergarten program continues for students who turn five between September 2nd and February 2nd. In Orcutt, TK classes are located at Joe Nightingale School. Students are assigned to either an early session (8:00-11:15 a.m.) or a later session (11:20 a.m.-2:35 p.m.). Olga Reed School and Orcutt Academy’s K-8 campus also offer TK classes. Parents of incoming TK students are invited and encouraged to enroll their children now!
How to Enroll
Click on the button for directions for online or in-person registration of students.
If you have additional questions regarding our full-day kindergarten program, please feel free to contact your school principal. You also may contact the OUSD Educational Services Department at (805) 938-8930.
We have looked forward to launching full-day kindergarten for quite some time. We encourage all families of eligible children to enroll in this exciting program now. See you on campus in the coming school year!
Sincerely and respectfully,
Holly Edds, Ed.D.