Upper Arlington City School District administrators shared with school board members Monday two options for complying with the state's all-day kindergarten mandate.

Upper Arlington City School District administrators shared with school board members Monday two options for complying with the state's all-day kindergarten mandate.

The two options currently on the table are to offer the all-day kindergarten option at each of the district's five elementary schools or to consolidate all-day kindergarten at Burbank Early Childhood School and continue to offer half-day kindergarten at the five elementaries.

The district plans to apply for a waiver to push back the mandate to the 2012-13 school year.

Superintendent Jeff Weaver said the presentation at the special board of education meeting was designed to update the board, and staff was not asking the board to make a decision.

"This is a continuation of the discussion that was really started last spring," Weaver said. "We wanted to provide you with some information and some options for the board's consideration."

He said it would not make sense to decide until after the November election due to "much uncertainty in the state right now and relative to finances and also what changes or may or may not come about as the result of the upcoming election for governor and the various house seats and what it might mean to issues in education such as all-day kindergarten."

Weaver said it's possible that the mandate could be withdrawn under new state leadership.

Though the board did not make an official decision Monday, all the board members expressed preference for offering all-day kindergarten at each school.

Gloria Heydlauff said the home-school question is at the heart of the debate.

"I think people who are in the schools, and particularly if they already have children at one of these schools, are going to want to have their kids go there for kindergarten," she said. "I think you would like to stay in your home school."

According to Chris Potts, executive director of business services, the district currently has about 400 half-day kindergartners

Regardless of the option chosen, the district would have to hire additional teachers, aides and other support staff to accommodate the students and the services they would require, Potts said

The cost to implement option 1 having kindergarten at each elementary school would total $1.2-million and would result in hiring 14 full-time teachers and four aides. Potts said the individual schools would have to be creative with space, but could accommodate all projected students. The district would not have to change busing.

The cost to implement option 2 at Burbank would be $1.3-million and would result in hiring 9 additional teachers, one additional aide, an administrator, a secretary, a nurse, a counselor, a media specialist, a custodian and a cashier.

To make room for the additional kindergartners at Burbank, some of the programs there now, such as the Educational Technology program and Power School, could be moved to other buildings.

Potts said busing would have to change to take transport all-day kindergartners to Burbank.

Board president Bob Arkin said he thought that having the all-day kindergarten option exclusively at Burbank could discourage some families from choosing the option which is a required option under the current state all-day kindergarten mandate.

"It builds in some clear disincentives for families to opt for all-day kindergarten," he said.

In addition to the two options to comply with the mandate, staff also presented the board with two options that would implement all-day kindergarten but would be used only if the mandate were pulled off the state's table.

Option 3 would be to implement all-day kindergarten at each of the schools and require all students to participate. Under the current mandate, districts still are required to provide the half-day option.

The fourth option would be to implement the Literacy Intervention and Focused Teaching (LIFT) program at each of the schools to provide intervention for more district students. Currently, only about 20 kindergartners throughout the district are involved in the LIFT program, which is housed at Windermere Elementary.

Ultimately, the board spoke in favor of the all-day kindergarten option at each of the five elementary schools, which they said would make it easier for the district to fully implement and require all-day kindergarten in future years.

All five of the elementary principals attended the special board meeting and said they were in favor of implementing the options at their schools, even if they would have to be creative with classroom space.

"What you are hearing from the five of them is they are committed to making it work if that is the direction we want to go," Potts said.