Waterloo Region District School Board to End Graduate Kindergarten Entry


WATERLOO REGION The Waterloo Region District School Board will no longer use the stepped entrance to bridge the gap between home and classroom for its younger students.

As part of a staggered entry, kindergarten children start school in small groups just a few days a week, before the whole class attends together.

But some parents complained that it was difficult to determine which days their children were in school, and some said it was difficult to find daycare, council communications manager Lynsey Slupeiks said. in an email.

Starting in September, all Kindergarten students at Waterloo Public Council will have “the right” to go to school on the first day and participate in the start of the year celebrations with their peers, Slupeiks noted.

The Waterloo Region Catholic District School Board is continuing its phased entry this year, but may consider changes in the future. According to its director of education, Loretta Notten, the board learned of the change from WRDSB, but schools had already communicated the current practice to parents.

Schools across Ontario have used stepped entry for kindergarten students to give them time to adjust and give teachers the opportunity to get to know them.

Over the years, the public council’s staggered admissions process has shifted from the first three weeks of September to the first three days of the school year, with all students full-time at the end of the first week.

The Toronto District School Board decided to end phased entry in 2015, saying kindergarten children no longer needed a smooth introduction because many had attended preschool or daycare .

While many educators support the decision to end staggered entry, others say some children who find it difficult to change are better off starting in smaller groups.

Greg Weiler, president of the Waterloo region local of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, said members have supported and appreciated the phased entry, but its implementation has been more difficult since the introduction of full-time kindergarten.

Slupeiks said there was no report from the board on the matter, but said past practices have created confusion, with students on extended day programs ending up in other spaces while their room classroom was used for visits with other families.

Kindergarten staff are ready to welcome the youngest learners on day one and are prepared for a smooth and safe transition for everyone, Slupeiks said. Staff from the education center will also visit schools on the first day to provide support.

Families can always organize an alternative entrance to school that suits their child’s needs. They can contact their child’s school directly if no arrangements have been made during the registration process.

“Starting kindergarten is an exciting time, but we know it can also make families anxious. To prepare for kindergarten, we recommend that families arrive early on the first day and walk around the school and playground to help their child feel comfortable in this new space, ”suggests Slupeiks. .

The board suggests that children who take the bus visit their new school a few days in advance and parents remind their children of the exciting new things they are about to learn.

If necessary, children are allowed to take a comforting item from home, such as a stuffed toy for their first few days.

With files from the Toronto Star


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