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Superintendent's Notebook - January 2018

Early education is a big step in the lives of our children. It’s one of the first steps towards independence and for some families, it will be the first time they’re entrusting their children to someone else. It’s an exciting and emotional time for children and parents alike, and it can help set a child’s expectations for years to come. Our District wants to make sure kids have the best start in life. That’s where our Early Years programming – Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten – comes in.

Pre-Kindergarten supports children who have a first language other than English, identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit, or have a mild, moderate or severe delay in their development. Young children learn best through play, so Pre-Kindergarten helps these children build their strengths and skills in a language-rich, play-based environment. These programs are vital because they help children who need extra support in the early years gain a hand up, so they’re on a more equal footing with their peers by the time they enter Grade 1.

Over 1,500 children attend Pre-Kindergarten programs, which expanded this year to include more locations in areas of the city that had previously been underserved. Learn more about Pre-Kindergarten programming and whether it is appropriate for your child.

For many other students, their first interaction with Edmonton Public Schools is through our Kindergarten programming. Starting February 1, you’ll be able to register your Kindergarten-aged child. If you have a child who will be four years old on or before March 1, they can start Kindergarten in the 2018-19 school year.

Giving kids the support they need in the earliest years of their life is so important to Edmonton Public Schools that it has been part of our District Strategic Plan for the past four years. We are committed to giving all children an excellent start to learning, with the aim of having met a number of emotional, social, intellectual and physical developmental milestones by the time they start Grade 1.

OPEN HOUSE SEASON

Whether your child is new to the District or just getting ready to move to a new school, this time of year also represents the opportunity to visit schools and learn more about them. Between February and April, many of our schools host open houses so potential students and their families can learn what it’s like to be a student there. With so many schools and so many choices in our District, attending an open house is a great way to decide if a school or program will be a good fit for your child. Find out what schools are holding open houses.

Regardless of which of school you choose, I can assure you that your child will receive an excellent education. Whether they walk to a neighbourhood school or travel to another area of the city to attend an alternative program, they’ll find a safe, welcoming place to grow and learn in all of our 213 schools.