POMONA, Calif. – The Pomona Unified School District has launched a full-day kindergarten program at 15 of its elementary school sites, with plans to expand the service to several more schools next year.

After seeing the success the all-day kindergarten program had at both Cortez Math and Science Magnet School and La Verne Science and Technology Charter School – which launched the pilot program three years ago – the Pomona Unified School District Board of Education recently voted to expand the program to an additional 13 elementary school sites.

“Reaching our children at an early age is key to ensuring their success as they advance in their education, and gain the math and reading skills they need to thrive,” said Board of Education President Frank Guzman. “Classes will have more individualized student support, with one teacher for every 24 students, which will make all the difference in the world for these young learners’ academic, developmental and social growth.”

The kindergarten program is offered at the following elementary school sites: Armstrong, Arroyo, Barfield, Cortez, Decker, Golden Springs, Harrison, La Verne Charter, Lexington, Lopez, Madison, Montvue, Pantera, Vejar and Westmont.

The all-day kindergarten program will roll out in three phases to help students adjust to the routine, teachers and classroom expectations. Under Phase 1, running from Aug. 13 through Sept. 5, students will be dismissed at 11:45 a.m. Under Phase 2, running from Sept. 8-26, students will be dismissed at 1:25 p.m.

Under Phase 3, which begins Sept. 29, students will be dismissed at 2:25 p.m. The schedule for kindergarten students will be Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8:10 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. Wednesday’s schedule will be from 8:10 a.m. to 1:25 p.m. On Fridays, school days run from 9:05 a.m. to 2:25 p.m.

Kindergarteners will have the opportunity to engage in a developmentally appropriate educational program that includes interactive activities that are both fun and challenging. These young learners will also be exposed to music, science, social studies and art.

Plans are also in the works to expand the program to the District’s remaining elementary sites during the next two academic years.

“We are very excited about continuing to expand opportunities for children to engage in a 21st century education that includes collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking – tenets of the new Common Core State Standards that will ultimately help our students succeed once they graduate high school,” said PUSD Superintendent Richard Martinez. “Implementing this early childhood learning program is critical to giving our kids the jump start they need to achieve their goals.”

For more information on the full-day kindergarten program, call 909-397-4648, ext. 28200, or visit www.pusd.org.