MEDICINE HAT, AB -- The Medicine Hat Public School Division is introducing full-day kindergarten in all of its elementary schools.
Mark Davidson, superintendent of the Medicine Hat Public School Division, says this is needed to further support students.
“We see in our data that there are a growing number of students in our community who are coming to school needing extra supports in order to be prepared for learning,” says Davidson. “So full day kindergarten gives us an opportunity to give them that.”
The school board actually had full day kindergarten years ago, but the program was cancelled because it wasn't sustainable.
“It would have been about a decade ago, the board was fully funding full time teaching and the government of Alberta only funds half-time teacher time for kindergarten,” says Davidson. “So the shortfall was just so much that it wasn’t sustainable.”
A new method is being implemented, offsetting costs and providing a good environment for students.
“Now we have a partnership model where kindergarten teachers are responsible for leading the planning and implementation of the kindergarten program but were hiring early childhood educators to support that teacher on the off days,” says Davidson. “Providing time for the teacher and the early childhood educator to collaborate in order to build a coherent program that’s full time for students.”
Parents will also be required to pay a $250 fee every month, meant to make the program revenue-neutral.
“The fees associated with are intended to have it be revenue neutral,” says Davidson. “The board is prepared to address a little bit of a short fall because the goal is not to earn money or to make money on the program, it’s just to provide the program fully to any who want it at a fee that’s reasonable.”
Full-day kindergarten will be offered in all of their schools, to apply visit the school division’s website, or any local school to pick up a registration form.
The deadline to apply is June 26.
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