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“There are many districts that aren’t providing any alternatives,” Holmberg added.
Some districts, such as Mounds View, are offering parents the same “opt-out” option as Prior Lake-Savage, but most are no longer considering formal half-day classes because of low interest.
A few smaller districts, such as Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose and New Prague, are considering other arrangements. New Prague will have one class of all-day, every-other-day kindergarten, and Buffalo is still deciding whether to offer a half-day class.
Nearby Aspen Academy, a Savage charter school, is offering one half-day section.
Holmberg said that every district principal is willing to work with families that want their child to attend the full-day program for a half day. “I believe a very comparable experience can be offered,” he said.
While some content will inevitably be missed if a child leaves midday, kindergartners are often pulled out for various things, so it wouldn’t be too disruptive, he said.
Lehrer said she has considered an all-day, Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule for her son, and also thought about home schooling for a year. But she’s not giving up yet.
The group is “going to press really hard” for the half-day option to happen, she said. “And if it doesn’t, I’ll have to decide what to do.”
Erin Adler • 952-746-3283