By Shawn Raymundo, Dana Point Times

Beginning next school year, kindergarten classes across all elementary schools will go from half-day sessions to full days, the Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) announced on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

“Both CUSD and the Capistrano Unified Education Association recognize the benefits in partnering to enhance student academic and social achievement,” CUSD Superintendent Kirsten Vital said in a press release.

The decision to extend the schools’ kindergarten programs was based on several studies that found full-day kindergartens benefit the students as well as teachers and parents.

A 2005 policy brief published by the educational research organization, WestEd, reported that full-day kindergarten programs help prepare students for primary-grade learning and could enhance “social, emotional and behavioral development.”

The kindergarten classes will be about six hours, lining up with the start times of each elementary school, CUSD spokesperson Ryan Burris noted. Parent informational meetings, or “Kindergarten Roundups,” will be held at each elementary school from the end of January through February. The first meetings are scheduled for Jan. 22 at Palisades Elementary School at 12:30 p.m. and at Concordia Elementary School at 1:30 p.m. A full list of the scheduled Roundups can be found via Google Doc on the CUSD’s news page.

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