ERIC Number: ED506960
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 66
The Efficacy of an All-Day, Every-Day Kindergarten Program: A Seven Year Cumulative Report for the St. James-Assiniboia School Division
Zakaluk, Beverley L.; Straw, Stanley B.; Smith, Karen E.
Background: This is the fourth formal report describing the efficacy of the full-day, every day kindergarten program in the St. James School Division which was initiated in one school located in an economically-disadvantaged neighborhood in the 1997-1998 school year. The success of this undertaking led to the extension of the program in 1998-1999, from one class at Brooklands School to two classes at Stevenson-Britannia, plus two, three-quarter day classes at Crestview. In the three-quarter day pattern, one kindergarten class began the school year attending full-days and alternated to half-days in February, while the other class did the reverse. This group of children began the school year attending kindergarten half-days and then switched to full-days halfway through the school year. The three-quarter-day arrangement resulted in cost saving benefits because instead of two, full time staff, only one full-time and one half-time teacher were required. In 2000-2001, the three-quarter day option was also introduced at Buchanan and Heritage Schools, resulting in six, three-quarter day kindergarten classes across the division. The Zakaluk and Straw evaluation in 2002, however, showed that there was no compelling evidence to continue the three-quarter day option, even though students who attended full-day, every day from February until June had higher achievement levels than those who attended kindergarten full time at the beginning of the year. As a consequence, the three-quarter day kindergarten option was discontinued. From 2001-2002 to the present, a total of nine, full-day, every day kindergarten classes have been offered in five schools located in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods across the division. Purpose: The purpose of the current report was to determine whether the findings from Year VII of the implementation of the full-day kindergarten project (2003-2004) confirmed the positive findings from the previous years by comparing the performance of the full-day students with that of half-day kindergarten students: (1) in a control school in a relatively similar socio-economic area; (2) across the division in schools in which students from more middle class and affluent neighborhoods were enrolled in half-day programs; and (3) in the same schools before the institution of the full-day, every day program--a half-day cohort group. A second major focus was to determine the long-term effects of the full-day, every day program. The Setting was the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Study Sample: All kindergarten students in the school division over seven years. Students were followed up to Grade 3. Intervention: An all-day, every-day kindergarten program compared to a half-day program. The Research Design was quasi-experimental. Control or Comparison Condition: Students who did not attend the expanded kindergarten program. Data Collection and Analysis: The first major question considered the pre- and post-test reading performance of students in the full-day, every-day kindergarten classes in comparison to students in a control group school located in a slightly higher socio-economic level who received a half-day program. A second major question examined the reading performance of students in the full-day, every-day kindergarten program compared to the other students in the division who attended the half-day program and were from more advantaged neighborhoods than those who attended the full-day program at the end of kindergarten. This question compared the end-of-year reading performance of the full-day, every-day kindergarten students with the performance of students in the same target schools before the program was implemented. The final major question explored how the reading achievement of students in the full-day, every-day kindergarten program compared to the reading achievement of students who attended kindergarten half-day after the completion of Grades 1, 2, and 3. Analysis of variance with repeated measures was employed to address the questions, and effect sizes are reported. Findings: Findings indicated that students from less affluent neighbourhood who attended a full-day, every-day kindergarten program consistently outperformed students from a similar neighbourhood who attended a half-day program. Those students also out-performed a cohort group made up of students from previous years who had attended a half-day program. It was found that these students also were equal to or surpassed the performance of students in the half-day program from more affluent neighbourhoods, both at the end of kindergarten and at the end of grade 3. Conclusion: The overall conclusion from the statistical comparisons using control group, division-wide, and cohort group data was that, cumulatively, the performance of the full-day kindergarten students was equal to or surpassed the performance of students in the half-day kindergarten groups as assessed by all early reading achievement measures. Results evaluating the long-term effects of the full-day kindergarten program on reading achievement levels reinforced this conclusion. By the end of grade three, the full-day students from less advantaged neighbourhoods were reading at the grade four level, which is above grade placement, and matching approximately the performance levels of their peers from more affluent neighbourhoods. Citation: Zakaluk, B. L., Straw, S. B., & Smith, K. E. (2005/2009). The efficacy of an all-day, every-day kindergarten program: A seven-year cumulative report for the St. James-Assiniboia School Division. Unpublished paper, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.
Descriptors: Control Groups, Neighborhoods, Middle Class, Placement, Reading Achievement, Economically Disadvantaged, Program Effectiveness, Emergent Literacy, Low Income Groups, Disadvantaged Youth, Young Children, Kindergarten, Effect Size, Measures (Individuals), Extended School Day, Foreign Countries, School Schedules, Program Evaluation, Faculty, Achievement Gains, Cohort Analysis, Intervention, Quasiexperimental Design, Pretests Posttests, Comparative Analysis, Longitudinal Studies, Low Achievement
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada