Filling the kindergarten gap

Posted on August 11, 2011 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Award-winning teacher Kimberly Hennig will be a big part of Moldovan's new kindergarten program.
California’s changing kindergarten admissions laws begin to take affect this school year with the cut-off date for five year olds moving from December 15 to November 1. The cut-off migrates forward by one month each subsequent year until by 2013, the date by which a student must be five to enter kindergarten will be September 1.

To meet the need of Valley students caught in the bureaucratic crosshairs, Moldovan Academy will open a junior kindergarten class beginning this fall semester. The impetus is two fold: first, meet the needs of parents looking to delay kindergarten for one year to allow their child to grow both physically, emotionally and socially; and second, to meet the new state standard.

“”There are currently no programs in Sonoma that address the needs of these displaced students,” said Kathleen Moldovan, the school’s owner and director. “Giving them another preparatory year to develop the cognitive and emotional skills just makes sense.”

Moldovan is a year-round, hands-on, project-based pre-school that uses a rigorous High/Scope curriculum designed to promote all areas of development advocated by the National Education Goals Panel. In addition to the curriculum students learn Spanish, yoga, woodworking, music, gardening and more.

For the addition for the junior kindergarten, the High/Scope curriculum will be expanded and divided into the following eight content areas: approaches to learning, social and emotional development, physical development and health, language, literacy and communication, mathematics, creative arts, science and technology and social studies. Junior kindergarten students are required to attend five days per week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the school year starting August 17 and ending in May.

One thing of which Kathleen Moldovan is especially conscious – over-preparing students for their actual first year in kindergarten. “In a junior kindergarten, program content standards are introduced and mastery is encouraged versus a traditional kindergarten where mastery of content is expected. We feel we’re preparing students for what lies ahead. And we’re doing it in a way that meets each individual students’ needs.”

For more information about Moldovan Academy’s junior kindergarten program, contact the school at 996.3755 or visit

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