Armand Pires, Superintendent
45 Holliston St.
Medway, MA 02053
For immediate release
Monday, Jan. 14, 2019
Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
New Tuition-Free Full-Day Kindergarten Program a Success at Medway Schools
MEDWAY — Superintendent Armand Pires is pleased to announce that the Medway Public School District’s newly implemented tuition-free full-day kindergarten program has been a success so far this school year.
Prior to offering full-day kindergarten tuition-free – which began in the fall – parents who wanted their children to attend classes for the full-day had to pay a tuition of $2,500. Half-day kindergarten was offered at no cost under the old system.
All students now attend the full-day program and the half-day program has been dissolved. There are currently 147 students enrolled in kindergarten this school year.
“We wanted to remove that barrier to make sure that all students receive the same education and class time as their peers,” Superintendent Pires said. “Historically, we’ve had about 85 percent of the students enrolled in the full-day K program. Meaning that all but a small amount of parents were electing to pay to have their child in kindergarten for the whole day. We believe that all students should have the ability to attend the full-day program while taking away the financial burden from parents.”
In March last year, the Medway Board of Selectmen approved allocating an additional $500,000 into the school district’s budget to pay for the cost of offering tuition-free kindergarten. The funds were made available by an increase in the Exelon power plant’s payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreement with the town.
Superintendent Pires said that the new program is here to stay and the cost will be built into the district’s operating budget in future years.
“We’ve gotten tremendous feedback from parents and teachers who are happy about the change in the program,” Superintendent Pires said. “For the district, this was about more than just dollars and cents. This was about building equity in our education system. We as educators truly want all of our students to be on even footing with their classmates from the get go. Now, all of our kindergartners are starting in the same place and learning at the same pace.”
A portion of the $500,000 added to the district budget went toward ensuring that staffing and material levels were adequate to meet the needs of all kindergarten students throughout the day.