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    Full Day Kindergarten Comes to Oakville

    Construction at the new Palermo Public School in Bronte Creek and James W. Hill School in Clearview are steadily underway. These are just two of the schools in Oakville to participate in Phase 1 of the Ontario governments plan to phase in full day learning for four and five year olds. The program, entitled the Early Learning Program or “ELP”, is a new initiative of the provincial government to “create a stronger school system and a well-educated work force”.

    The belief behind the program is that through social based learning and instruction, children will gain the social and academic foundation necessary to thrive in later years. The current Halton kindergarten program includes a full day of kindergarten for 4 and 5 year olds every other day and alternating Fridays. Parents are then responsible for finding alternate schooling/child care programs when not in school.

    The new program will include the integration of teachers with early childhood educators who will work alongside each other in a full-day, every day kindergarten program. Another component of the program is an integrated before and after school option for parents who desire before and/or after school care. This program will be run by early childhood educators with fees determined by local school boards.

    Starting this September, the new program will be available in nearly 600 schools across Ontario, with a total participation rate of approximately 15% in the first year. In Halton, this equates to 36 classes, impacting 936 students. This is the first step of implementation with the goal to have the program rolled out to all kindergarten students by the 2015 academic year. Schools receiving the earliest programming changes were based on the criteria of available space (the board looked at schools that had enough space to accommodate the new changes without requiring renovations), impact on existing local child care and local need.

    In Oakville, the following schools have been chosen to participate in the program starting this September:

    • James W. Hill (Clearview) Elementary School (new school) – 2 classes projected
    • Palermo Elementary School (new school) - 4 classes projected
    • W.H. Morden Public School - 1 class projected
    • Abbey Lane Public School - 3 classes projected
    • Oakwood Public School - 2 classes projected

    If you have questions about this or other issues affecting Oakville, please contact me at 905.338.9000 or email me at Regards, Lindsay

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