First day of school for Vail School District

Aaron Glaser carries 3-year-old Callie as they walk Callie’s brother, Anthony, 5, to his kindergarten class during the first day of school for children at Senita Valley Elementary School, part of the Vail Unified School District.

Free full-day kindergarten might be an option for families in the Vail School District for the 2019-20 school year. 

The Vail Governing Board will vote on the proposal on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the regular 7 p.m. meeting. 

Some Vail schools have been providing full day options to children who were behind or to children of parents who paid an additional fee since the state only provides operational funding for a half-day program, said superintendent, Calvin Baker, in a letter the district shared on its Facebook page.  

Under the proposed full-day program, the plan is to have certified teachers lead half of the day, focusing on academics, while the other half will be led by a staff member who may not be certified. That half of the day will be used to focus on social skills. 

"This type of program has been used on a limited basis very successfully in many schools across the district," Baker said in that same letter. "It is the same kind of program most of my own children benefited from many years ago in Vail."

Part of the funds will be made up by removing the mid-day kindergarten bus routes that are currently being offered. 

If the proposal is approved, the Vail School District will join TUSD, Flowing Wells, Sahuarita, Sunnyside and Marana in making full-day kindergarten free for its families. 

Tanque Verde and Catalina Foothills currently offer free half-day and tuition-based full day programs. 

Families are welcome to attend the board meeting at the Vail Education Center, 13801 E. Benson Highway.

If you are in Vail and have kids starting kindergarten next year, the district's kindergarten roundups start Feb. 26. Go here for a schedule. 

Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson