Elwood school officials say they canceled an end-of-year kindergarten show, a long-standing tradition at Harley Avenue Primary School, in order to help students prepare for college and careers.
Letters sent home to parents in the Suffolk County district dated April 25 said the district is “responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers,” the Washington Post reported. A school district spokesman confirmed that the letter was authentic, according to the Post.
“Please understand that Harley Elementary is one of a handful of schools in Suffolk and Nassau County which does not offer full day kindergarten,” Solis wrote in a letter on the Change.org petition.
“Our children attend school each day for a total of two and a half hours. If the district’s goal is to begin to develop ’college and career ready’ 5 year olds, they should have had full day kindergarten classes,” she added.
Meanwhile, the district is urging parents to support Assemb. Andrew Raia, R-Huntington, in his work on a bill to have funding restored for full day kindergarten in Elwood.
Still many in the community want the show reinstated.“The children perform in front of an audience,” Solis pointed out. “This helps them build confidence in themselves. The show also helps develop public speaking skills while allowing the children celebrate a big accomplishment.”