Citing concerns over space, cost and curriculum, the Westerville City Schools staff asked the board of education Monday to seek a waiver of the state's requirement for all-day, everyday kindergarten in the 2010-2011 school year.

Citing concerns over space, cost and curriculum, the Westerville City Schools staff asked the board of education Monday to seek a waiver of the state's requirement for all-day, everyday kindergarten in the 2010-2011 school year.

The state allows districts to apply for a waiver to delay implementing all-day everyday kindergarten for one year.

Karen McLellan, director of elementary for the district's Department of Academic Affairs, said kindergarten parents were surveyed this fall to see which would choose the all-day option.

Of about 1,100 parents who responded, McLellan said three-quarters said they would opt for all-day kindergarten. She said parents whose students currently attend half-day kindergarten at private schools also have indicated they would switch to Westerville City Schools for the all-day option.

To accommodate that, McLellan said the district would need to hire 21 additional teachers and make room for 18 classrooms. That would require $2-million in district funds. Much of that money would be recurring annual expenses.

In addition to finding funding and space for students, McLellan said the district needs time to determine a curriculum.

"It's not full-day kindergarten; it's what happens in full-day kindergarten that counts," she said.

McLellan told the school board that a one-year waiver would give the district time to plan the all-day, every-day kindergarten program.

The district then would phase in the all-day approach, beginning with Pointview and Hawthorne elementary schools in the 2011-2012 school year.

"Other schools will add full-day kindergarten as space and financial resources are available," McLellan said.

The school board will hear another reading of the staff's request prior to voting.