This year, a record number of schools in New Hampshire are offering full-day kindergarten. At least six districts spent the summer hiring additional staff and amending facilities to boost their half-day kindergarten programs to full-day programs.
That puts the number of districts in the state offering full-day kindergarten to over 90%.
Terri Forsten is the Superintendent for the Concord School District, which is getting full-day kindergarten for the first time. She says the extra three and a half hours of instruction per day will make a big difference.
"Our students and our parents and our teachers are very excited," she said. "There will be more time for enrichment for students: science and technology, engineering, art and music."
The expansion will cost Concord about $900,000 to buy supplies and double the staff. It expects to get an additional $300,000 from the state through the so-called "keno-garten law," which partially funds kindergarten with revenue from the keno gambling game.
Forsten says the price tag is lower than for other districts because the expansion didn't require new construction. Other schools, like Main Street School in Exeter, spent over 5 million dollars to build facilities for kindergarten expansion this year. Most district officials said their expansions are the culmination of years of local discussion and planning.