Calling All Three-year-olds
Beginning school is a big step for children and parents and the Halton District School Board wants to make that transition as smooth as possible. This fall, three-year-old future students and their parents are invited to attend one of the five Kindergarten Open Houses to learn more about starting school.
Drop by any one of the following Open Houses between 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Georgetown: Thursday Nov 5 – Ethel Gardiner Public School (14365 Danby Road)
Milton: Thursday Nov 12 – Tiger Jeet Singh Public School (650 Yates Dr)
Oakville: Thursday Nov 19 – West Oak Public School (2071 Fourth Line)
Acton: Tuesday Nov 24 – McKenzie-Smith Bennett Public School (69 Acton Blvd)
Burlington: Thursday Dec 3 – Mohawk Gardens Public School (5280 Spruce Ave)
At the Open House, students and parents will:
• Explore a Kindergarten classroom
• Learn about play-based learning
• Pick up information and resource material in a free backpack
• Access information about community agencies and resources in Halton
• Get information about before and after school care
• Ask questions about special education
Parents may register children turning four before December 31 in the first year of the two-year Kindergarten program. Application forms are available at schools or on the Halton District School Board website. Completed applications and appropriate documentation are submitted to the home school usually in January of the year in which the child will be starting. For your home school, please refer to the Schools page and enter your address in the Find a School search box.
Kindergarten classrooms full of sensory and audio delights
The purpose of the program is to establish a strong foundation for learning in the early years, and to do so in a safe and caring play-based environment that promotes the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of all children. (Full-Day Early Learning Kindergarten Program, Ministry of Education, 2010, p.1)
Since September 2014, all schools follow the Full Day Every Day model where children attend school full-day, five days a week.
During the past five years, the Board has rolled out the Ministry of Education's full-day every day Kindergarten program in all schools. Families should check with their home school regarding whether an extended care program (before and after school care) will be available.
Parents look forward to the following as they anticipate their children’s entry into Kindergarten in September:
• Completing registration at the family’s home school
• Checking the Halton Distict School Board’s website for further information
• Attending Ready, Set, Go! parenting sessions in January and February.
• Completing a Nipissing screening form for the child (found in the calendar)
• Applying to the four week summer program if the child has not had any previous pre-school experience
• Attending a Kindergarten Even Start evening at the school in May or June
• Receiving notification about the first school visit and entry in September
• Arranging a spring visit to the school for a child who is particularly anxious about starting school
Being ready for school means more than having certain academic skills (e.g., counting, ABCs, letter printing…) when starting Kindergarten. It refers to:
- Being in good health; developing independence in daily living skills (e.g., washroom independence)
- Being curious about the world and trying new experiences; interacting cooperatively with other children and responding appropriately to adults
- Coping with small challenges (e.g., spending time away from mom or dad for short periods of time)
- Communicating own needs; speaking clearly about experiences
- Enjoying favourite books, songs, riddles, games.
- Participating in early learning experences (e.g., public library, play dates, etc.)
In Kindergarten, the intent is to join families in continuing the process of readying children for learning by supporting their physical, social, emotional development and their communication, language and thinking skills. Appropriate development in these areas has been shown to be important to future achievement in school. (Halton’s Vision for Children, Phase 2 Report, January 2004).
Click here for a question and answer guide for parents provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Information from Halton Region about getting ready for Kindergarten is available here.
Parents/guardians registering children in the Board’s Kindergartens receive notification from their schools of spring orientation evenings. These school-based evenings are intended for meeting other families and staff, for providing information about school and Kindergarten classroom routines and for describing a “typical” day in that classroom. A winter meeting is held for Halton parents of Kindergarten-aged children with special needs. The date, time and location are noted on the Board website.
Entry to Kindergarten in September is a gradual process. Schools provide information about the gradual entry process.
Children and teachers go outside in all kinds of weather – dressing for the weather is important. Unless there is a medical reason, for the safety of children and educators, independence in toileting is encouraged before starting Kindergarten. This means the child is free of diapers and pull ups, determines his/her own needs and completes toileting independently. Check the Halton Region website regarding common parenting challenges including toileting.