It is our passion and joy to teach kindergarten. Kindergarteners require unique and extensive resources and support. CUSD’s Kindergarten Instructional Assistants expertly provide that support and insure the safety of our students at entry-level pay.
Throughout 2017/18, Superintendent Rigby proposed an unprecedented change to the kindergarten school day: a 1.5-hour increase (even though total kinder-instruction was well above state mandates).
Rigby stated that kindergartners do better at school, versus in after-school programs or at home. Both K-teachers and union leadership wanted to support the extended kindergarten day but shared the need for increased support and supervision. Rigby agreed that full-day K-instructional assistants would be critical. In many forums, Rigby promised to: (A) reduce class size and (B) full-day K-instructional assistants. An agreement was reached, based on the superintendent’s promises. But then, only half-day instructional assistants have been provided since the K-day was extended.
While the superintendent tells the community that no further cuts are proposed for TK/K instructional assistants, site-administration has confirmed that K-instructional assistants will cover shortages resulting from other newly proposed cuts. This means we expect even less kindergarten coverage than currently exists.
CUSD teachers, instructional assistants and the families we serve have been misled. The kindergarten day was extended, but critical resources were never provided. In fact, they were reduced. And now the superintendent wants to cut them again. With the safety and well-being of our kindergartners in mind, K-teachers can no longer support extended kindergarten without increased instructional assistant support.