New Kensington-Arnold hopeful of kindergarten help from state
New Kensington-Arnold officials will apply for state grant money in hopes of bolstering the kindergarten program this school year.
Superintendent John Pallone said the state has announced about $1.2 million in additional Keystones to Opportunity (KTO) grant money will be available to schools that alrparticipate in the literacy program.
The district's KTO grant coordinators, Dana Fularz and Nicole Bitar, suggested applying for additional money to pay for a teaching liaison to visit area child-care programs and work with district kindergartners.
Budget and space constraints led to the board reducing kindergarten to a half-day program this fall, a cut that several parents have protested.
Pallone said the district could apply for the nearly $200,000 it would need to bring back full-day kindergarten, but officials won't know whether they'll receive the money until September.
That means they would have to implement it now and risk having to come up with the money if the grant doesn't pan out.
Since less than $700,000 in grant money is available for programming geared to elementary programs, Pallone said it's unlikely the district would get enough to fund a full-day program.
“I think it's unreasonable to think we're going to get 20 percent (of the available grant money),” Pallone said.
Fularz and Bitar said the district will be in a good position to get some money.
Only 55 districts — those that receive KTO grant money — are eligible. And since the district has applied for elementary funding and been denied, officials believe that will give their application more points.
“I think we have a really good shot,” Fularz said.
Pallone said the application will be for a teacher who will travel to child-care programs and work with students who kindergarten teachers have identified as needing additional help or enrichment. And the traveling teacher can suggest day-care activities to supplement the district's curriculum.
Pallone said the Valley Points Family YMCA tentatively has proposed offering a day-care program within the district's three primary schools, easing the difficulties some parents face in finding child care for half-day kindergartners.
Those plans have not been finalized, and officials said the teaching position could work with the day cares whether or not they are in the school buildings.
Other grant proposals
Additionally, the district plans to apply for some grant funding for a liaison to work with area pre-schools to better prepare children for kindergarten.
And they want to apply for some middle school money to fund a reading specialist to assist sixth-graders.
Any positions funded through grants will last only as long as the grant funding is available, Pallone said.
The new positions likely would be filled by existing teachers who would go on special assignment, with long-term substitutes filling the vacancies in the regular classrooms. Once the positions are gone, the original teachers would return to their classrooms.
Board members at an informational meeting on Wednesday indicated support for the applications, which must be completed by the end of the month.
“I love the idea,” Director Liney Glenn said.
Director Pat Petit noted that since there is a small window to apply for the grants, that could mean not all eligible districts will have the time to apply — working even more in New Ken-Arnold's favor.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Harrison fire victim helps others while on road to recovery
- Harmar-based company’s expansion into Tarentum adds jobs
- Bed and breakfast proposed at former Liperote Mansion in South Buffalo Township
- Butler County initiative aims to find employment for struggling job-seekers
- Generous Leechburg boy receives Christmas surprise from secret Santa
- 3 charged in East Deer home invasion
- Authorities investigating grocery store robberies Plum, Monroeville
- Kiski Area gets $25,000 from safe driver contest
- Monroeville man charged with bad-check racket
- Return of Verona’s Doughboy statue delayed
- Hays ‘eagle cams’ reinstalled for 2015 nesting season