As August draws to a close signalling to many students the approach of yet another school year, a new crop of kindergarten students are preparing for, what is for them, a whole new adventure into the world of formal education in the K–12 system.
Greg Luterbach, School District 20 Superintendent, is expecting a slight increase in the number of new kids entering the SD 20 system this autumn.
“As of the end of June we had 289 students registered for kindergarten for the fall,” said Luterbach by email. “We are projecting around 300 so we should achieve that once September comes. By the end of September 2012 (last year) we had 275 kindergarten students so we should be up (as projected) for this year.”
Although full-day kindergarten was brought into effect in 2011, the Ministry of Education allows gradual entry to kindergarten, understanding that not all five year-olds are prepared to go into a day-long schedule immediately.
Each individual school will be issuing a letter to parents providing specific details of the plan for that school and a general schedule has been developed by SD 20 to help new students (and their parents) prepare.
It is important to note that there will be no bussing available for kindergarten students during the gradual entry process.
Starting Sept. 3, kindergarten students will begin with a one-hour class to introduce them to their new environment and parents will have the opportunity to sign up for a parent-teacher conference.
September 4 and 5 students will attend for two hours but will have Sept. 6 free while their parents have to go to school to begin conferences with their teachers.
The following week on Sept. 9 and 10 the new students will be expected to attend the entire morning but will not stay for lunch break and their parents will have to opportunity to continue meeting with teachers in the afternoon.
September 11 and 12, students will again attend a half day, until noon and go home for lunch.
September 13 is another school free day for kindergarteners but the following week, starting Sept 16, students begin full days of instruction and a regular school bus schedule for them will begin at that point.