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SAU 6 to weigh starting full-day kindergarten

CLAREMONT — A public forum is planned tonight to discuss the feasibility of establishing full-time kindergarten and expanding early childhood education programs.

Community members are also being invited to join feasibility studies for both initiatives.

The public forum is planned to take place at the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center Community Room at 6:30 tonight.

Middleton McGoodwin, SAU 6 superintendent, said Monday that he has initiated forming the feasibility committees because in his experience early childhood education opportunities and full-day kindergarten lay a solid foundation for a student’s success from elementary school through high school and beyond.

“The research is very clear on the benefits from it,” he said.

The committees would work through the winter and spring to determine if it would be financially feasible to expand either program for the 2015/2016 school year. During the process, public support would also be gauged, he said. The community would have to weigh increasing the budget against the benefits of expanding education for young children in the community, McGoodwin said.

SAU 6 currently offers a half-day kindergarten program. About 100 children in Claremont, Unity and Cornish are enrolled in kindergarten in SAU 6, McGoodwin said.

About 20 children from infants to pre-kindergarten receive early childhood education at the Sugar River Valley Regional Technical Center Early Childhood Education Program, which is run by licensed early childhood education professionals and also doubles as an educational experience for Steven’s High School students studying early childhood education.

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