Governor Mark Dayton and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius visited Garden City Elementary on September 2 to welcome students back to class and to celebrate key state investments in education that are taking effect this year, including free all-day kindergarten and free breakfast for all kindergartners.
Osseo Area Schools Superintendent Kate Maguire, School Board Chair Teresa Lunt, Garden City Principal David Branch, Garden City kindergarten teachers Tina Thompson and Kris Williams, and other district leaders met with Dayton and Cassellius to share their perspectives about the benefits of all-day kindergarten and other state education investments.
Thompson noted that the extra time available for learning in a full-day program has significant benefit for students. “Some of our students come here with [very few] skills and by the end of the year they are reading and writing,” she said. “That happens with an investment of time.”
Principal Branch said research points to evidence that all-day kindergarten can help close the achievement gap.
Governor Dayton and Commissioner Cassellius greeted students and families with smiles and high fives as they entered Garden City, a 2013 Minnesota Department of Education Celebration School, and wished them a great year.
Osseo Area Schools welcomes back approximately 20,000 students today in grades K through 12.
-Published Sept. 2, 2014