Officials give mixed reviews to kindergarten article

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Members of the School Committee had mixed reactions Thursday night when they began a preliminary review of a town meeting article seeking full-day kindergarten. The article was submitted by resident Anthony Braconi.

Most of the committee members who spoke Thursday night agreed with the benefits of full-day kindergarten, yet questioned the timing of the proposal. The committee has submitted a budget that is already $1 million over the recommendation of town officials. Voters at the May town meeting will also be asked to approve a $4.1-million debt-exclusion override for eight additional classrooms at the Hansen School. (The override has been removed from the April 7 ballot.)

Braconi, who spoke at the meeting, is proposing a full-day kindergarten program at no expense or an expense not to exceed $500 per child. Braconi hopes that the Canton Public Schools will be able to implement the program at the start of the 2015-2016 school year or no later than 2016-2017.

Braconi said he wants to alleviate the stress of the existing lottery system as well as the $3,500 fee for parents. He added that more than 60 percent of school districts in Massachusetts already offer tuition-free, full-day kindergarten.

School Superintendent Jeff Granatino said that while the concept is great, it is not one of the department’s budget priorities for next year.

Canton school supt. finalist for Marshfield job

The School Committee is making plans to begin a search for a new superintendent if School Superintendent Jeff Granatino is chosen as the new superintendent in Marshfield.

Granatino informed the School Committee last week that he is one of three final candidates for the position out of an initial pool of 20. The Marshfield School Committee plans to make its decision by March 10.

School Committee Chairman Cindy Thomas said Granatino’s departure would be “a huge loss for us.” She directed School Business Manager Barry Nectow to prepare an RFP and seek out a search firm to help with finding an appropriate candidate if Granatino is chosen for the Marshfield job.

Granatino, who lives in Scituate and has school-age children, commutes daily to Canton, a 45-minute to one-hour trip. The Marshfield job, which is a larger school district with a brand new high school, would be a ten-minute commute.

If chosen, Granatino would remain as superintendent until June 30. The new Canton superintendent would be asked to assume the position on July 1.

If he is not selected, Granatino said he would be more than thrilled to stay in Canton.

See this week’s Canton Citizen for more highlights from the February 26 School Committee meeting. Click here to order your subscription today.

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