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Thread: Full-day Kindergarten in Wayland - When & How?

  1. #16
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    Paul, what's NGCC? I can imagine a religious organization, as an example, not charging full rates for schooling, and I can imagine that some schools might not fully load their costs to charge for fixed costs, such as facilities. Private schools also need not adhere to the same teaching certification requirements (and I suspect would not be unionized) so perhaps their teachers are less expensive.

    I'll leave your question regarding facilities to those who know how the costs are calculated. It seems to me that since theoretically these facilities could be rented out to another organization (think of BASE as that other organization), then it is appropriate to include those costs in the program's fees.

    Addendum: oh, I see... it's Next Generation Children's Center. Looks like they have certified teachers, and obviously are a private endeavor. Their rates sure are cheap! I saw the rates I looked up and the ones Elizabeth posted. I hope your child has been enjoying it so far and learning a lot.
    Last edited by Kim Reichelt; 09-27-2008 at 11:30 AM. Reason: to add final paragraph

  2. #17
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    NGCC stands for Next Generation Children's Center. It is a privately operated non-sectarian child care facility for infants through Kindergarten. The teachers are required to have Early Education Certification but are not required to have a college degree let alone a teaching certificate. The Assistant Teachers have to be at least 16 years old. Additionally, the staff is not unionized and while benefits are offered they are relatively modest compared to what public schools offer. As best I can tell from the information available a teacher is required to be paid a minimum of between $32 and $37 for full day kindergarten. I realize this appears to be below minimum wage but it was the only chart I found.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTDowns View Post
    The teachers are required to have Early Education Certification but are not required to have a college degree let alone a teaching certificate. The Assistant Teachers have to be at least 16 years old. Additionally, the staff is not unionized and while benefits are offered they are relatively modest compared to what public schools offer. As best I can tell from the information available a teacher is required to be paid a minimum of between $32 and $37 for full day kindergarten. I realize this appears to be below minimum wage but it was the only chart I found.
    Bolded for emphasis. I didn't post this as an endorsement of NGCC but I find the insinuation here questionable. Our son's two teachers this year (and the four K teachers employed last year, as well as the K teachers they have employed for as long as we have been at that center have all been state-certified. It is a main selling point for attracting parents to enroll their children in the kindergarten program. In fact, one of our son's teachers moved from the public schools (as a 2nd grade teacher) into NGCC this year citing budgetary constraints as a source of frustration and reason for leaving her previous role. Our discussions with other parents -- mainly from Sudbury -- who have had their children go from the K program at NGCC and into first grade in the Sudbury schools have all commented on how well-prepared their children were.

    I have no idea about what the teachers get paid at NGCC, or what their benefits are, nor would I care to speculate about it. My wife and I investigated how the educational aspects of the Wayland kindergarten experience compared to NGCC's program and we chose NGCC. It's a full-day program so the curriculum is not compressed into 3 hours. We've seen the time and effort it takes to get twenty 5 and 6-year-olds settled in the morning and remarked to ourselves how much time would be lost in a 1/2 day program. Further, if some children had difficulty with the day's curriculum concepts they are offered a chance to review them later that same day in the same environment and with the same teachers. As far as we could tell, BASE does not offer such a review as the kindergarten and BASE programs are completely different areas of focus and overseen by different personnel.

    The simple fact (for us) is this: private full-day kindergarten offered a superior educational product and, when after-school activities are included, at a cheaper price than the Wayland public schools. It's not something we're especially happy about, by the way. When our daughter is ready for kindergarten in two years, we'd love to choose the Wayland schools if they offered a compelling full day program.

  4. #19
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    I did not realize the facts would be so disturbing to you. Kim posted a question about What NGCC was and wondered why it was so inexpensive. I merely posted the facts I got off of their website and the web. Sorry that it offended you. The basis for the cost difference is probably found in the differences in compensation which in an industry like education tracks extremely closely to education and qualifications (and of course the benefit of the Unionization).

  5. #20
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    Default Certified Staff for K in Wayland

    I am not sure what the BASE staff is paid or if they are unionized but I can tell you most are not certified teachers. They do a great job with the kids but it is basically daycare services for 12:20-2:45.

    Also Wayland does provide one certified teacher per K class of 20 students for the hours of 9-12. I don't believe that is a requirement for assistant teachers to be certified.

    Many private schools also don't require their staff to be certified by the state either.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTDowns View Post
    I did not realize the facts would be so disturbing to you. Kim posted a question about What NGCC was and wondered why it was so inexpensive. I merely posted the facts I got off of their website and the web. Sorry that it offended you. The basis for the cost difference is probably found in the differences in compensation which in an industry like education tracks extremely closely to education and qualifications (and of course the benefit of the Unionization).
    Facts don't disturb me. Brian's teachers both have comparable education backgrounds to those in the public sphere. Unionization may be the reason for lower costs, but there could be other factors. The cost is an interesting characteristic of this, but the most important aspect to us is that we believe a full-day kindergarten program is a better educational experience than half-day. We chose private kindergarten at NGCC based on that, and only later (late August) did we realize that the BASE cost was actually higher.

    My belief is that Wayland should implement a full-day kindergarten program in the very near future, and others on the board seem to agree with that. Is cost the only reason this hasn't happened yet?

  7. #22
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    There seem to be compelling arguments on both sides of the issue regarding whether Wayland should have full day kindergarten.

    My greatest concern would have to do with cost prioritization. Specifically, if not funded privately, what else are we sacrificing to have all day K? I think many people, if asked in a vacuum, whether they think Wayland should have all day K, would answer, yes. Alternatively, if they were asked to prioritize other intiatives, as they compare to all day K, the response may differ. For example, would you prefer all day K vs. foreign language in ES, increased technology integration into curriculum, or wider spectrum of leveling in ES/MS to accomodate gifted/talented? There are many others, but the point is to keep focus on what is best for our kids, K-12, and not narrowing the view to K.
    To simply say we should have it b/c our neighbors do, is not reason enough. There are many other points of comparison which would need to be considered. If cost were not prohibitive, I'd imagine full day K might be a no brainer, but during these tight budget restraints I would encourage everyone to be sure that is where we would get the biggest bang for the buck.

    The discussion should not only include the merits of all day K, but a larger look at whether all day K is a better investment in our kids future as compared with other intiatives K-12.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTDowns View Post
    I did not realize the facts would be so disturbing to you. Kim posted a question about What NGCC was and wondered why it was so inexpensive. I merely posted the facts I got off of their website and the web. Sorry that it offended you. The basis for the cost difference is probably found in the differences in compensation which in an industry like education tracks extremely closely to education and qualifications (and of course the benefit of the Unionization).
    I read this and saw the insinuation as well -- at least the way I read it, Ben was implying that NGCC is sub-par and the difference in cost between BASE/K combo and NGCC is based on a better experience in the schools due to teacher experience/pay levels. That may not be how it was meant, but it certainly looked that way. I cannot comment on which is better, as I have no personal experience with NGCC, but my experience with Paul and his family is that their decisions are very well-researched, so I tend to believe in his analysis.

    Ben's line of thinking, that is his implication, is certainly made without any context. Lack of unionization is a good thing in many, many cases -- not a deficiency as implied. Why are JetBlue and Southwest the preferred airlines of a majority of the flying public? No unions = more money to spend on consumer experience. American and Delta's staff get paid a lot more yet the experience stinks in comparison. True, they both get you where you ned to go, but with vastly different level of user satisfaction. I see a clear parallel here.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TracyScheidemantel View Post
    The discussion should not only include the merits of all day K, but a larger look at whether all day K is a better investment in our kids future as compared with other intiatives K-12.
    Hold the presses -- agreement exists. This line of thinking is what many have been pleading for when it came to elementary school reconfiguartion. Was it one way to cut the money from the override? Yes. Was it the best thing we could do to save the money/generate revenues? No, in my opinion, but a full analysis was not available in such a short window.

    Is all-day K a good thing? Yes. Is it the best use of available dollars? Undetermined. A proper SWOT analysis of our schools will allow us to answer this question. I am 100% in agreement with this approach to understanding full-day K as it relates to our priorities. Mark the date, Tracy

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    I read this and saw the insinuation as well -- at least the way I read it, Ben was implying that NGCC is sub-par and the difference in cost between BASE/K combo and NGCC is based on a better experience in the schools due to teacher experience/pay levels. That may not be how it was meant, but it certainly looked that way. I cannot comment on which is better, as I have no personal experience with NGCC, but my experience with Paul and his family is that their decisions are very well-researched, so I tend to believe in his analysis.

    Ben's line of thinking, that is his implication, is certainly made without any context. Lack of unionization is a good thing in many, many cases -- not a deficiency as implied. Why are JetBlue and Southwest the preferred airlines of a majority of the flying public? No unions = more money to spend on consumer experience. American and Delta's staff get paid a lot more yet the experience stinks in comparison. True, they both get you where you ned to go, but with vastly different level of user satisfaction. I see a clear parallel here.
    I hope that you did not mean to insinuate anything by comparing the "stinky experience" of flying unionized airlines with the educational experience of unionized teachers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I hope that you did not mean to insinuate anything by comparing the "stinky experience" of flying unionized airlines with the educational experience of unionized teachers.
    Nope, simply making the point as I said in the beginning that unionization does not necessarily a good thing make. I am on record many times as saying I've had nothing but great experiences with teachers in Wayland. I will say, however, that I am not convinced in any way it is because these folks are in a union. I think it is because they offer unique individual talents. I am a personal product of a grade 7-12 private school where unions did not exist. I think I had great teachers there as well -- great teachers who made less money than their union counterparts but were great because of their unique individual talents as well. That brings it full circle back to the answered post that NGCC teachers and the quality of education is a product of the people, not their union status.

  12. #27
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    The fact is, Wayland will have to move to full day K sooner than later as all MA towns will be mandated to have full day K. I'm not sure when, but it's coming.
    Here's the deal, it's not the point of doing it because everyone else is. Although I don't see comparing ourselves to our peer towns if they have the edge in early childhood education over us.
    We pay as much in taxes as these towns and they can afford full day K. Why can't we afford it? Because our peer towns manage their money better. The amount for full day K is roughly $400,000. That's with 9 full time teachers and assistants. We can work to bring that number down. Let's say the number is $300,000. That's a drop in the bucket compared to a 32 million dollar budget. The money can be found somewhere. Like I said earlier, if your kid is gifted and talented, than team up with a neighboring town to share the cost of a GT after school program.
    It seems people are not even looking into why full day K is the way to go.
    The educational aspects of full day K are tremendous! The benefits will stay with the students throughout elementary school. I wrote about some reasons why in an above post. What are people so afraid of? The money is there, it's just making the choice to use it. Why is money going to a program that only helps a chosen few (gifted and talented) students instead of a program the benefits all students like full day K? We need to make better decisions like our peer towns do.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TracyScheidemantel View Post
    if not funded privately, what else are we sacrificing to have all day K?

    Why don't you ask this question about Ultimate Frisbee?
    Or $9000 in ski lift tickets every year up till now for our ski team?
    Or Gary Burton's town provided car?

    Why doesn't the SC ask these questions?

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  14. #29
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    Another thing..you can't have a privately funded K. That's not a full day K program. That's BASE. Full day K has to be implemented into the elementary curriculum. Yes, there are many different models to look at. I'm thrilled that the SC is investigating cost effective ways to bring full day K into Wayland.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey Adelman View Post
    The fact is, Wayland will have to move to full day K sooner than later as all MA towns will be mandated to have full day K. I'm not sure when, but it's coming.
    Here's the deal, it's not the point of doing it because everyone else is. Although I don't see comparing ourselves to our peer towns if they have the edge in early childhood education over us.
    We pay as much in taxes as these towns and they can afford full day K. Why can't we afford it? Because our peer towns manage their money better.
    I'd be interested in the evidence to support this "manage their money better" statement. For FY07, Wayland ranked 8th out of 11 peer districts (15 towns) in per pupil expenditure.

    Also, if anyone has the information handy, I'd be interested to know which of our peer towns have full day K: Acton, Belmont, Boxborough, Brookline, Carlisle, Concord, Dover, Lexington, Lincoln, Needham, Sherborn, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey Adelman View Post
    The amount for full day K is roughly $400,000. That's with 9 full time teachers and assistants. We can work to bring that number down. Let's say the number is $300,000.
    This is the incremental amount, correct? I'm interested in your thoughts on how it might be reduced by 25%.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey Adelman View Post
    That's a drop in the bucket compared to a 32 million dollar budget. The money can be found somewhere.
    Please make a proposal. For instance, eliminate (or fee-base) K-6 transportation within 2 miles and all 7-12 transportation. Or cut athletics by half. Or something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey Adelman View Post
    Like I said earlier, if your kid is gifted and talented, than team up with a neighboring town to share the cost of a GT after school program.
    It seems people are not even looking into why full day K is the way to go.
    Which people? The School Committee? If so, that's a mischaracterization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey Adelman View Post
    The educational aspects of full day K are tremendous! The benefits will stay with the students throughout elementary school. I wrote about some reasons why in an above post. What are people so afraid of? The money is there, it's just making the choice to use it. Why is money going to a program that only helps a chosen few (gifted and talented) students instead of a program the benefits all students like full day K? We need to make better decisions like our peer towns do.
    I'm not sure which "gifted and talented money" to which you're referring. We don't have an explicit gifted and talented program, choosing instead to provide differentiated instruction at the lower grades and tracking in some subjects at the higher grades.

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