Thu, 22 Sep, 2016
We have a plan to continue growing our programming for pre-Kindergarten children who need extra help.
“This initiative is meant to help our most vulnerable children get what they need to be successful and confident when they start school,” said Board Chair Michael Janz. “At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about–being here for our students and families by giving them the support they need and providing a high-quality education at the same time.”
The number of spaces for pre-Kindergarten programming has roughly doubled in the last decade to 1,270 spots this year, to meet higher demand and help children meet learning milestones by Grade 1. This fall, pre-Kindergarten programming expanded to another five schools in the District, including Grovenor, Bisset, Callingwood, Steinhauer and Lansdowne, bringing the total to 24 schools. The program will continue to grow over the next three years, with the goal of providing more specialized programs closer to home for children who need it. Some schools will be hubs, meaning that teams from these sites that will regularly travel to nearby satellite schools to provide specialized help. This programming is available for some children as young as two years eight months old.
Almost 25 per cent of District Kindergarten students needed extra assistance last year because they had mild to severe developmental delays. The District initiated some very successful pilot projects, with results showing students’ vocabulary improved by almost 50 per cent and almost all of their key math scores increased too.
“Early intervention is key and our results prove that, which is very exciting, especially for our students,” said Board Chair Janz.
At the September 20 board meeting. trustees unanimously approved a motion to ask the province to attach flexible community spaces to new schools and replacement schools, so the extra space could be used for services like daycare.