Free, Full-Day Kindergarten District-Wide

Boise School District to Offer Free, Full-Day Kindergarten District-Wide Beginning in 2022 - 2023 School Year
Posted on 01/10/2022
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Citing multiple benefits to students, teachers and parents, Boise School District Trustees unanimously approved free, full-day kindergarten for all Boise School District elementary schools beginning in the 2022 - 2023 school year. The approval came during the Board’s monthly meeting held on January 10, 2022. Currently, Boise Schools offer tuition-based full-day kindergarten at only 20 of the District’s 32 elementary schools. 


“This is one of the most rewarding votes I’ve cast since joining the Board,” said Dave Wagers, Board President. “The evidence is clear that full-day kindergarten is much more effective academically than half-day kindergarten. This investment in early childhood education will ensure an equitable and accessible kindergarten program for families across our district.”


While kindergarten remains optional in Idaho and the state only provides school districts with funding for a half-day program, Boise Schools joins the increasing number of districts that have steadily grown the availability of full day kindergarten over the past four years. Both Trustees and administrators mentioned that, given the effectiveness of full-day kindergarten and its growing popularity across the state, the Legislature and Governor will hopefully move forward soon with funding.


“We know that students’ literacy, math and social skills are much improved with a full-day of kindergarten,” said Coby Dennis, Boise Schools Superintendent. “Full-day kindergarten supports the schedule of working parents and teachers love the fact that they have more time for both instruction and intervention.” 


District administrators estimate the move to district-wide, full-day kindergarten will cost $2.7 million to implement. Funding will come from local and state funding sources, including a one-time donation from the Micki and Dan Chapin Education Fund in the Idaho Community Foundation to set up 14 classrooms.