Editor, Manteca Unified
If you are the parent of a Kindergarten age child, you are probably excited and perhaps even worried for your child’s school beginning. That’s natural. But this year, your worries may be more than justified.
Kindergarten is now a lot bigger deal than ever before. Starting in 2016, our district – Manteca Unified — adopted reading materials including about 400% more books, more difficult reading levels and 220% more sight words.
Anticipating this concern and knowing that Manteca’s schools lagged far behind other districts in the county in adult to child ratios, our teachers joined with more than 600 parents and community members to petition the school board to provide aides and/or lower class sizes. Thankfully, our insightful board saw the need and provided both aides and somewhat smaller classes, though still larger than neighboring districts.
In early 2017, they promised to extend aides in Kindergarten classes for the next three years’ funding. The school board is now considering reneging on that promise. Tell them now or on Tuesday’s meeting if you are concerned.
The district can’t let all those aides go right now, so what would likely happen is that Kindergarten classes currently without an aide would not get one, and when aides are required in other classes, they would reassign a Kindergarten aide, leaving a class without help. This would be incredibly unfair and disastrous for your child. Kindergarten is now children’s most critical year of education. Don’t let your child be harmed.
Andrew T. Andersen
Manteca kindergarten teacher