The Edina School Board has signed off on offering free, all-day kindergarten for the 2014-2015 school year.
In doing so, the West metro school district joins the growing ranks of Minnesota schools offering all-day kindergarten after legislators last spring decided to fund full-day programming.
Many schools already offer free, all-day kindergarten. But many others, like Edina, currently charge for all-day kindergarten and also offer free, half-day programs.
About 75 percent of Edina's current kindergarten families opt for the district's fee-based full-day program and, in recent years, there's been a wait list for families wanting to enroll in all-day kindergarten.
A survey of prospective 2014-2015 kindergarten families in Edina indicated 91 percent wanted all-day instruction.
School leaders in other metro schools that have conducted similar survey work report that most kindergarten families prefer an all-day format.
State law gives schools flexibility in deciding what kind of kindergarten classes to offer. It does stipulate, however, that schools cannot declare a child truant if their parent wants them to attend a half-day when a district only offers all-day kindergarten.
Edina schools officials estimate that they will need to find additional classroom space in some of the elementarys - Concord and Cornelia for instance - to accommodate all-day kindergarten.