LAS CRUCES- More than 60 kindergarten students are participating in a new pilot program which extends the school year program by 25 days.
Three LCPS elementary schools are particpating in the extended year; César E. Chávez Elementary School, Hermosa Heights Elementary, and Central Elementary.
The program, called Start Smart K-3 Start Smart: New Mexico K-3 Plus Extended School Year-Validation Study, began July 5 and continues through August 8, 2011.
Students were randomly selected for participation in the program and were assessed before it started to determine baseline academic levels. The children begin their day at 7:55 a.m. with breakfast in the classroom and have lunch at 11:00 a.m. Dismissal is at 2:30 p.m., with transportation provided to and from home.
“Instruction is focused on literacy, math, oral language development and social skills,” said principal Carmen Gallegos-Marrujo.
Smart Start was set up to determine the cost-effectiveness of the state’s K-3 Plus program in reducing the achievement gap for students. It will continue for four additional years. “Parents form an integral part of the program, and receive monetary compensation for their children’s participation in the study,” said Gallegos-Marrujo.
Parents with children who will attend an LCPS kindergarten during the 2011-12 school year and who would like to participate in the program, which will continue for four additional years, can contact participating schools:
César E. Chávez Elementary, Principal Carmen Gallegos-Marrujo: 575.527.6022;
Central Elementary School, Principal Eloisa Solis: 527.9496;
Hermosa Heights Elementary: Principal Joe Mestres: 527.9530.