Parents upset over half-day kindergarten in East Ramapo School District

SPRING VALLEY, Rockland County (WABC) -- Some parents in Rockland County are upset over the kindergarten set up in one school district.

Hundreds of kids are forced to only attend half-day classes and parents say they are getting short changed.

It's happening in the East Ramapo School District in Spring Valley.

The first day of school saw the restoration of some full day kindergarten classes but some parents were hoping it could have been for all students.

Simar Gaiti was so glad he went to kindergarten at the Kakiat School even if was for only part of the day.

"I ate. I had blocks on the table and went home," Gaiti said.

His mother though, Emmanuella Prophete, like other parents, was hoping a $3 million state grant would provide full time kindergarten for all 600 students in the East Ramapo district.

"Because all kids deserve full time because there is nothing you can learn in two hours," Prophete said.

The troubled Rockland County district is overseen by a state monitor.

In two previous years, only two kindergarten classes were offered for an average of 50 students chosen by lottery.

Superintendent Deborah Wortham, who came on last year, says she is working to restore programs that parents want.

"The goal was to restore all-day kindergarten. And we were able to increase the number of all-day kindergarten classes this year.

From two to six for 156 students and part-time kindergarten for the remaining 444 students, Michael Ware is glad his twins could get classes.

"They have half a day in the PM. (You would want them full day?) Full day, yes, but I'm just happy they got in school," Ware said.

Virginia Vasquez's grandchildren have part time classes.

"I think they should all get full time. Definitely, what are they going to learn in two hours?" said Virginia Vasquez, a grandparent.

School officials, overseen by the monitor, are now deciding how to allocate the $3 million grant.

"We must work collaboratively with the monitor. That is his role to make sure the finances and the academics lead to a solid future of success for our students," Wortham said. null
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