Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District began offering
full-day kindergarten in all three elementary schools
in the fall of 2013, providing the early start which is so
critical for long-term academic excellence. The district-wide
full day program replaced half day sessions previously offered
at the elementary schools.
For the past few years, the
New York State Board of Regents has supported a statewide
movement to full-day kindergarten for New York State school
districts. The Regents believe that requiring children to start
school sooner and spend more time in school will help to improve
overall student achievement. The strategy is to intervene early
and give all students a solid head start toward early literacy.
Educational research shows that early intervention such as
preschool and full-day kindergarten can make a significant
difference in how well children perform later on in school.
“Kindergarten has greatly evolved over the years,” said
Charlton Heights Principal Tim Sinnenberg. “ While there's still
a focus on social interactions and helping developing social
skills, we also integrate academics such as reading, writing,
mathematics, language development, communication, and
technological literacy into each day.”
What are the educational advantages?
Research shows there are numerous educational advantages to
offering full day kindergarten. A few include:
- Helping children with limited or no preschool
experience. For some children, kindergarten is
their first school experience. These students quickly gain
academic skills in literacy rich classrooms and progress
socially as they interact with their peers.
- Expanding on the preschool experience.
Many children who enter Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
kindergarten have already attended a preschool program for
one or two years. These students will remain challenged and
will grow academically with differentiated instruction
designed for their specific needs.
- Limiting the number of students being referred
to long-term remediation. District leaders strive
to have students “on grade level” early and feeling
successful about school. This formula is a “win-win” for the
students, parents and the community.
- Increased instructional time. We all know that
instructional time is very important. This full day program
will allow our teachers to use additional strategies and
implement a comprehensive curriculum.
Kindergarten instruction is generally focused on teaching
children strong pre-reading skills, introducing basic math
concepts, and fostering an active interest in the world. Below
are just a few of the many things your child will be taught
throughout the school year.
- Recognize and write the alphabet in upper and lowercase
- Write his first and last name.
- Use the sounds of letters and patterns to read words
(for example, f + an = fan).
- Identify several sight words, such as names of colors.
- Recognize and use rhyming words.
- Retell a story including details, and put events of the
story in chronological order.
- Write simple sentences using sight words and phonics
- Develop a love of literature and stories.
Listening and comprehension
- Listen attentively.
- Raise her hand or wait her turn to speak.
- Carry out simple instructions and repeat simple spoken
- Engage in question-and-answer conversations with
classmates and teacher.
- Work as a cooperative team member or partner on projects
- Sort and classify objects.
- Recognize and write numbers 1-30.
- Count orally by ones, fives, and tens.
- Add and subtract using manipulatives (i.e., Cheerios,
- Recognize patterns and shapes.
- Recite the days of the week and months of the year
- Art and music: Experiment with different materials to
make music and art.
- Social studies: Identify major holidays and symbols of
our nation; understand different roles in the community.
- Science: Use all senses to observe and learn about
plants, animals, weather, and temperature.
- Health and physical education: Start learning essentials
about nutrition and functions of the body (i.e., use lungs
Pupils entering kindergarten must be age 5 on or before December
1 of the school year in which they enroll in kindergarten.
Students entering first grade must be age 6 during the school
year in which enrollment takes place except by transfer and
recommendation of the school formerly attended.
The district traditionally holds new registration and screenings
in March. For more information, contact the District
Office at 399-9141, ext. 85002 or check the district calendar for