St. Clair restores school programs, brings back full-day kindergarten

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ST. CLAIR, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — While many schools in our area are being forced to cut programs, one school is actually restoring them.

While funding could be better, Jason Bendle says St. Clair school district is in the best place it’s been in years.

Three years ago the district made huge cuts; furloughing 25-percent of teachers, and cutting art, library and family consumer science programs. The district also made the change from full-day to half-day kindergarten.
But now it’s making a comeback, by popular demand.
 
“We’re now at a point where we’re trying to rebuild the programs that we have here in this district. And one of the programs is the full-day kindergarten,” said Jason Bendle, St. Clair Superintendent.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing that they’ve brought that back to St. Clair. I think it’s imperative for students and kids their age to learn as much as they can. I think full-day kindergarten is a necessity in 2016,” said Dr. Amy Stankavage, parent.

The district is still not able to bring back previously curtailed programs, but they are finding ways to implement art in the classroom. The district is also hiring back some of the furloughed teachers.

“Every school district across the state is dealing with the same problems,” said Bendle.

St. Clair taxpayers can expect to see an increase. The mill levy has gone up to three dollars and 56-cents.
Bendle tells me the main reason for that is because of the hike in the Pennsylvania State Employee Retirement System.

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