Though the Ramsey School District only offers a half-day Kindergarten program, about a third of the borough’s students attend a full-day program.
Parents with kids entering the Ramsey school system next year have the option to keep their kids in school for a full day, thanks to the ‘Wrap Around’ Kindergarten program, which is now in its fifth year.
“I always wanted to have a program like this,” Jeanne Macko, the director of the Ramsey Adult School who helped create and oversees the Wrap program, said. “The problem was, we did not have the facility.”
However, declining enrollment in Ramsey schools has allowed the Wrap program to take over two classrooms at Tisdale and one at Hubbard on a full-time basis. Now, both elementary schools have five-day Wrap sessions in the mornings and afternoons. So, Kindergarteners who attend class in the morning go to lunch, and then to their Wrap class for the afternoon, and kids who attend class in the afternoon attend Wrap sessions in the morning.
The Wrap program, “is enrichment-based,” Macko said. “So, it’s not just repeating what they learn in their regular classes, but it’s definitely not just a drop-off babysitting service.”
The Wrap curriculum is developed and taught by certified teachers, and is meant to compliment, reinforce and build on what is taught in the Kindergarten classrooms, she said.
According to Kathy Booth, who teaches Wrap classes at Tisdale, her students are responding to the program.
“It’s a fun way to learn,” she said. For example, her students do activities that reinforce the fine motor skills, writing, and math concepts they are learning in class, but also spend time on subjects and topics they don’t have time for during the normal half school day, like art, science labs, and a ‘state of the week’ lesson in which student learn about a new state each week.
“We get such great feedback from parents and kids all the time,” Booth said. “I am very thankful to be teaching [in the Wrap] program.”
And, Macko said it's popular amongst Ramsey parents. Though classes are capped at 16-18 students, about one-third of the students at Tisdale and one-fourth of the students at Hubbard are enrolled in Wrap. At Tisdale, a three-day program was added, “because we really had the demand for it,” she said.
The Wrap program is fee-based, so parents pay $450 a month for their kids to be a part of it. For the whole year, the five-day program is $4,500, and the three-day is $2700.
Registration for the Wrap Program beginning in September of 2013 is Thursday, Feb. 14, from 6-8 p.m. in Room 118 at Ramsey High School. Registration is on a first-come, first serve basis, and anyone who registers Thursday night is guaranteed a spot. After Thursday, registrations can be made via mail or in person at the Ramsey Adult School office. Get more information here.