Clark County School District is now offering all-day kindergarten classes for free thanks to state funding.
Administrators say they made the change because 3-hour classes were not enough to prepare the children for first grade. Instructional time will now go from those 3 hours, to 6 hours.
The school district has offered full-day kindergarten in some classrooms in the past, but in most cases, parents had to pay for it.
School officials say the extra time will help students become better prepared for first grade.
"With a half day kindergarten program, only 3 hours, it makes it very difficult to not only teach the skills they need to be successful in school, but also to teach the reading, the writing, and the math," says Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky.
Teachers are having to double up on instructional time, and one of the challenges is to make sure the children can concentrate for that amount of time. Administrators say on average, kindergartners can only concentrate for about 15 minutes at a time. Teachers are adjusting their instructional styles to keep these kids focused for the full six hours.
"We teach them in shorter chunks, and to do skills quickly with a lot of positive reinforcement," says Skorkowsky. "We want to make sure they understand those school experiences and school rules."