Kindergarten: a very special year!
Kindergarten is intended to meet all the developmental needs of young children – academic, social, creative, cultural, physical and emotional. This is a very special year, and all families will see tremendous growth in their kindergarten student! With their growing independence, children will experience social interactions in a new way, develop communication and decisions making skills, and gain the confidence to discover and explore. This is also the year where so many “light bulb” moments happen. Children develop and build on academic foundations in literacy, mathematics, science, and their view of themselves and the world around them. Kindergarten is the first step in a child’s formal education and we believe a positive year lays a healthy foundation for future learning.
The Dalhousie Community Kindergarten has been in operation for over 50 years. We started way before kindergarten was a government funded option, and previously provided kindergarten to all children in Dalhousie. Today, we are a publicaly funded, independent kindergarten. We have been happy to teach second generations in families, and love that we often see our students as they grow up in our community.
Kindergarten is our speciality! Providing an amazing kindergarten experience for our students and their families is our entire focus. We are a play based program. Academics and skills are built into play experiences in our classroom and children can choose activities that are enjoyable and fun. Regardless of the play activities they choose, they are provided with rich learning opportunities.
Within our program, we incorporate a strong academic component that ensures that our students are well prepared for Grade 1. We incorporate an emphasis on early literacy and language learning, with an introduction to letters, letter sounds, sight words, numbers and math concepts. Various themes throughout the year provide a focus for learning activities and experiences. (To view a sample of the themes and related special events for the current school year, click here)
Special things we do:
Part of what sets our program apart from others is the variety of enrichment activities and outings we do throughout the school year. These include:
- daily outdoor play and physical activity: We try to get outside every day! We believe time outdoors is so important for children, (see our post here) and we give our learners lots of chances during class to move and use their bodies.
- skating and swimming lessons are part of each year and are taught by certified, trained instructors.
- field trips to local venues that may include Safety City, Butterfield Acres, a grocery store, the library, and a fire station.
- in-class visitors vary from year to year but tyically include storytellers, community helpers, reptile collections, dinosaur presentations, etc.
- unique hands-on learning experiences, such as bread-making, baking, gardening, music & art classes, and hatching duck eggs and butterfly larvae.
Dalhousie Community Kindergarten is monitored, evaluated and fully funded by Alberta Education, and must adhere to the same guidelines and meet the same requirements as kindergartens in the public school system. A parent-run Parent Council is responsible for administration and program planning.
In addition to our Kindergarten program, we also offer a limited number of Junior Kindergarten for children who are 4 years of age by September. The Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten is run as a split class 5 mornings per week with tuition fees of $380 per month per child. Hours for the class are 8:45 – 11:45 am. Junior Kindergarten benefits children who are ready for an enriched program, but are not yet ready for a full Kindergarten program. Junior Kindergarten students follow the themes and curriculum of a Kindergarten program, but meet expectations that are adapted to their younger age and maturity levels, and receive extra help with many projects. They benefit from our same talented kindergarten teacher, small class sizes and exceptional classroom and extra-curricular experiences.
Out Of School Care:
The Dalhousie Community Association operates an on site Out of School Care Program for kindergarten-aged children. The program is licensed and accredited and is eligible for both the Affordability Grant and Subsidy. Please contact them directly for information. Click here to connect to their website.
General Schedule Information:
- Our current morning hours are 8:45 – 11:45 am Monday through Friday.
- An afternoon class will be added if we have sufficient interest. The afternoon class will operate Monday to Thursday.
- All school supplies are provided by the school. Parents are asked to pack a small snack each day for their child.
- You will be offered a one-on-one, home (or playground) visit with our teacher before the start of the school year. These optional visits are a chance for your child to meet their teacher in a comfortable setting to help ease the transition into school. They typically take place the week before classes start.
- The school year begins the week after Labour Day, starting with two days of staggered entry (half the class attending each day). In late August or early September, you will be notified with your child’s start date.
- We follow the public school board’s schedule for both winter and spring break.
- Classes finish by the second last week of June.
LOOKING FOR A PRESCHOOL OPTION?
The Dalhousie Community Preschool offers 2 and 3 day a week options for children aged 3 or 4. This program is offered under the umbrella of the Dalhousie Community Association. Information is available at www.dcpreschool.ca