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Kindergarten students to be selected by lottery

East Auroris seeking name nominations for its new kindergarten center located 250 E. Indian Trail. Submitted photo.

East Aurora is seeking name nominations for its new kindergarten center, located at 250 E. Indian Trail. Submitted photo.

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Updated: March 6, 2014 6:55AM

AURORA — The 500 East Aurora kindergarten students who will attend a full day of school at the district’s new kindergarten center next year will be chosen by a lottery, the district said Monday.

The lottery will be proportional to each building’s current kindergarten enrollment, according to David Negron, the district’s director of elementary education who is overseeing much of the kindergarten center’s development.

That means that if a building currently houses 10 percent of the district’s kindergarten population, it will receive 10 percent of the slots at the kindergarten center.

“That’s the most equitable way of doing it,” Negron said.

By early June, parents will be notified if their child was selected to attend the full-day kindergarten center, located at 250 East Indian Trail.

The center will have 20 classrooms designed specifically for kindergarten students, Negron said. District officials have been meeting with architects and touring other kindergarten facilities to get specific measurements and layout ideas.

“I actually paid a visit to a kindergarten center in Oswego and we even measured the size of the toilets, how high they would be for kindergarten students,” Negron said. “We really want to make sure this is a kindergarten center.”

The district unveiled renderings of the building at Monday’s School Board meeting. The as-of-yet-unnamed building will be brick red with many openings for natural light. There also will be an outdoor play area for students.

Negron said the committee formed to plan for the kindergarten center is working on the exact start and end times for full-day kindergarten students. The center will begin school before the other district schools to prevent traffic and to allow parents to do multiple drop-offs.

The district still has yet to make a decision about offering transportation to the kindergarten center, Negron said, though it is exploring the option and how much it would cost. The district does not yet know if it would need to charge parents a fee if transportation were offered, he said.

All full-day students would be eligible for busing if it were offered, Negron said, but parents would still have the option to drive their children.

In Illinois, districts that offer full-day kindergarten also must offer a half-day program.

Until registration begins in March, the district won’t know how many families would prefer a full-day program, but Negron said there is “a lot of interest” so far.

In a survey recently issued to parents, Negron said, 784 of 868 expressed an interest in full-day services.

The district’s goal is to offer half-day kindergarten at all schools that currently have a program, but it’s possible some classrooms will be combined or that students will attend a half-day program at a neighboring school, based on enrollment.

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