District Announces New Kindergarten Enrichment Program
Posted on 10/30/2019
Wilmette Public Schools

Wilmette Public Schools administrators announced plans on Monday to launch an optional, fee-based kindergarten enrichment program set to begin during the 2020-2021 school year. 

District 39 provides high-quality half-day kindergarten to all district families. The new optional enrichment program, named KEEP39 (Kindergarten Enrichment & Enhancement Program), will take 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. 

“We are very excited to have found a feasible solution to the community’s desire for additional opportunities for our kindergarten students within our schools,” Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli said. “While we remain confident that we will continue to meet the comprehensive needs of our students through our half-day kindergarten program, we believe that KEEP39 will provide families an option for high-quality supplemental programming that will offer tremendous enrichment opportunities for our youngest learners.”

District 39 plans to launch KEEP39 in two phases. In Phase 1, KEEP39 will be rolled out at Central and Harper Elementary Schools in Fall 2020. District administrators will evaluate the success of the program next year and, pending that evaluation, hope to expand it to McKenzie and Romona Elementary Schools for Phase 2 during the 2021-2022 school year.

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

Construction projects at each of the District’s four elementary schools are necessary to accommodate KEEP39 programming options. Construction at Harper Elementary School began in Spring 2019 and construction at Central Elementary School is scheduled for this summer. Both projects are planned to conclude in time for launch of KEEP39 in the 2020-21 school year.  The Wilmette Board of Education has begun preliminary planning for construction at McKenzie and Romona Elementary Schools to accommodate KEEP39 programming district-wide as early as the 2021-22 school year, pending program evaluation and expansion.

Fees for the optional KEEP39 have been set at $6,460 for the 2020-2021 school year. Additional information on program enrollment dates and procedures will be released in the coming months.