KEEP 39 Expansion Press Release

District 39 Announces Expansion of Kindergarten Enrichment Program
Posted on 03/04/2021

WILMETTE, ILL. — March 4, 2021 — Wilmette Public Schools Board of Education approved plans to expand an optional, fee-base kindergarten enrichment program to McKenzie and Romona Elementary Schools beginning in the 2021-2022 school year. This expansion will allow all families of kindergarten-aged students the option to participate in the program.

District 39 provides high-quality, half-day kindergarten to all district families. The expansion of the optional enrichment program, KEEP39 (Kindergarten Enrichment & Enhancement Program), takes place during the other half of the day – affording students an opportunity to enrich and enhance the instruction provided to them through the district’s half-day kindergarten program.

The program launched this fall at Central and Harper Elementary Schools. More than 50 students have participated in the program this school year. With expanded access and programming to all District 39 schools, the district expects greater than 75% participation from kindergarten students in the 2021-2022 school year.

“We are so pleased that the Board of Education supports expanding KEEP39 and we look forward to being able to offer this option to all our kindergarten families in the upcoming school year,” said Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli. “This year has been challenging on many levels. This program provides our youngest learners additional support and opportunities at school and is connected to District 39’s robust academic kindergarten program.”

Parents involved in KEEP39 this year have had positive experiences and would recommend the program to others. One Wilmette parent shared that her son has made great friendships. It provides him with a sense of independence. For example, he enjoys ordering lunch like the older students. Children are excited and proud of the things they have learned during the program and speak enthusiastically about their teachers.

KEEP39 is led by certified D39 kindergarten teachers. The program includes experiences designed to enhance critical and creative thinking development while allowing additional enrichment opportunities for exploration, socialization and play among students. KEEP39 enhances District 39’s high-quality, half-day academic kindergarten through enrichment centers, theme-based exploration, additional STEAM activities, nature-based experiences, art and purposeful play.

Families of eligible students are invited to join KEEP39 as part of the student’s enrollment. The enrollment window opens on March 8, 2021, and closes on March 19, 2021. For more information, visit the KEEP39 webpage.

Wilmette Public Schools serve approximately 3,500 students in PreK-8th grade throughout Wilmette and in parts of Glenview. District 39’s mission is to nurture, guide and challenge students to become creative thinkers, collaborators and socially responsible, compassionate and productive citizens of a global society. District 39 is committed to providing a safe and equitable learning environment that fosters a mindset of empathy, respect and belonging for all students and staff. The four District 39 elementary schools – Central, Harper, McKenzie and Romona – as well as Highcrest Middle School and Wilmette Junior High School are among some of the finest and most distinguished schools in the state. Several D39 schools have been designated as Blue Ribbon schools by the US Department of Education and others have attained exemplary status from the Illinois State Board of Education.

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