Olga Canlas

Adjusting to full-day K

Educators happy with switch, parents have mixed feelings

With full-day kindergarten now the only option at B.C. public schools, educators, parents and pupils are making adjustments – not only to their schedules, but their mindsets.

This is the first school year that all-day kindergarten is offered at all elementaries in B.C. The full-day program was phased in beginning last year, offered in 82 Surrey schools.

Parents have mixed feelings on the longer school day, says Surrey District Parent Advisory Council co-chair Bob Holmes, .

“Some parents love it, others not so much,” Holmes said earlier this month.

He reasons children entering kindergarten are at varying developmental stages because while many might be five years old, some are still only four for the first few months.

“A full-day/half-day option would have been nice.”

Holmes questions the B.C. Education Ministry’s timing of the move to full-day kindergarten.

“This is not a change that parents were clamouring for, so it might have been better to get through the current period where (school) districts are making cuts every year and use the funds for other school needs, then introduce full-day kindergarten when the economy had turned around.”

At Prince Charles Elementary in Whalley, teacher Olga Canlas was busy rearranging furniture and preparing her brightly coloured kindergarten classroom the day before the arrival of her little learners.

Full-day kindergarten is not new to her. For several years now, Canlas has taught ESL, special-needs and aboriginal students who have had access to the all-day program.

“They love coming to school,” she explains. “One or two might say I don’t like school – if work is involved.”

She has gauged the effects of full-day kindergarten on her students.

“They have better reading comprehension at the end of the year – and their printing has improved,” says Canlas.

Calling it the “gift of time in kindergarten,” Canlas says the 2½-hour, half-day model only scratches the surface of the curriculum.

“By the time you factor in recess and rest time, it doesn’t give them much time to play and learn in the classroom.”

The full-day, six-hour kindergarten program gives students more time to explore and get used to being at school, she says.

Paula Gelmon, co-ordinator of early learning and early literacy with the Delta School District, echoes Canlas’ sentiments.

“We have learned that it’s a positive experience for kids,” she says. “Teachers have so much more time to go over the curriculum and expand on ideas.”

As of last month, 4,650 kindergarten students were registered in the Surrey School District. Overall, enrolment this year in Surrey is about 70,000 students, an increase of approximately 900 from last year.

 

Just Posted

Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

Mander Sohal, fired from Delta’s Acorn Mill, alleges discrimination based on religion and disability

Developer offers free Tesla 3 with purchase of South Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

Police looking for missing teen last seen at Surrey Central bus loop

Surrey RCMP say Daniel Froehlich has been missing since 10 p.m. on Sept. 10

Hot start to BCHL season ‘a huge positive’ for Surrey Eagles

Team stymied by hot Coquitlam Express goalie in home opener

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

UVic students killed in Bamfield bus crash were from Winnipeg, Iowa City

Authorities said the two victims were a man and a woman, both aged 18

Safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash on Vancouver Island

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

National weather forecasters predict average fall, cold winter

The Weather Network says precipitation will about average in most parts of Canada

Most Read

l -->