Kindergartners extend academic day |

Kindergartners extend academic day

Megan Yeiter , The Park Record

The Park City School District Kinder Connection program provides kindergarten students with extended learning opportunities, according to Park City School District Director of Community Education Judy Tukuafu. She explained that students enrolled in the program stay at school the same hours as students in first through fifth grade, and are given the opportunity to expand their academic skills in subjects such as science, social studies and art.

Parents can register their students in the program through March 2, Tukuafu said, adding that each elementary school has a cap on how many students it can accommodate. She said registration is going well so far.

"We need a certain number of students to run the program. The maximum is one teacher to 15 students. If we get more than that, we get a teacher’s aide," she said. "The deadline is March because we have to build the budget for next year."

The maximum number that Jeremy Ranch and Trailside Elementary School can accommodate is 22. Parley’s Park and McPolin Elementary School can only accommodate 15 students each due to limited classroom size.

The program’s curriculum goes beyond what the students learn during a regular day in kindergarten, according to Tukuafu. She said right now students are studying the world map.

"They learn about places from Japan to Antarctica. Earlier this year they learned a song about all the continents," she said. "Sometimes we will bring in a guest yoga teacher or someone from the zoo, so it expands learning and makes it really fun."

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Jeremy Ranch Kinder Connections teacher Amanda West said the curriculum is theme-based and gives students a foundation for moving on to first grade. West has 17 students and a teacher’s aide this year.

"It gives them an extended period to practice those things that they are learning earlier in the day," West said. "We start off the second half of the year doing maps and continents. We study one to two countries in each continent and we do land-forms, cultures, animals and weather."

Tuition for the program is $3,900 per year. The cost for students on reduced-price lunch is $1,950, and it costs $780 per year for students who qualify for free lunch.

"This program with Community Education is self-funded. The money we receive we turn around and pay staff and buy supplies so we don’t use taxpayer money," Tukuafu said.

For more information or to register for the program before March 2, contact Judy Tukuafu at (435) 615-0216 or by email at or Kathryn Miller, Community Education secretary at (435) 615-0209 or by email at