PRESS RELEASE - May 16, 2003
SDE Approves 78 New Full-Day Kindergarten Literacy Readiness Programs for 2003-2004
(Santa Fe, NM)— The New Mexico State Department of Education
(SDE) announced today that 80 percent of kindergarten students in New
Mexico’s public schools will be provided with full-day kindergarten
next year. “This is the fourth year of the full-day kindergarten
phase-in, and the results for children have been outstanding,”
said Michael J. Davis, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
“Once again, despite limited resources, the Legislature and the Governor stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park for the children of New Mexico. They have maintained their commitment to excellence,” said Superintendent Davis.
The listing of new funded full-day kindergarten programs for 2003-2004 is available on the SDE’s web site at www.ped.state.nm.us/press.2003/may.03/03.04.fdk.list.pdf.
Funded schools must include a comprehensive research-based early literacy program that continues in the first and second grades following kindergarten. The program must include professional development and assessments, with schools administering a literacy-based pretest to kindergarten students by September 30 and posttest by April 30 of each year to assess student performance.
“Literacy readiness allows us to start children off on the right foot, to apply what we know to be the very best in literacy research to improve outcomes for our youngest students. It is an extremely important part of the full-day kindergarten initiative. Our goal is to ensure that all children are reading by the time they complete the third grade,” said Toni Nolan-Trujillo, former assistant superintendent for Learning Services and Indian Education.
A total of 104 schools applied for full-day kindergarten funding for
2003-2004. Preference was given to schools that serve the highest proportion
of at-risk students based on data from 2002-2003, schools with available
classroom space and grade-level schools (containing all of the children
at a certain grade level in a district).