Turner Valley School: Ask the Principal ~ Full Day Kindergarten

Why is TVS moving to full day (every other day) Kindergarten next year?

At TVS our program for Kindergarten has been every day, half day all year long. Next year Kindergarten will be full days, every other day.

This means either a Tuesday/Thursday or a Monday/Wednesday class with a few Fridays for each class. Our philosophy at TVS is we try to do what is best for kids. Over the years we have had numerous parents asking for full day kindergarten as child care is harder to attain with half day kindergarten, but to make this change we felt we needed triangulation of data. This means we needed to have three sources of data, parents being one source of data, kids and staff being the other two. The research in this area is split both ways, you can find many articles that validate both programs, and there are positives and negatives with either program. In the end both programs provide the Alberta curriculum and the program’s success is dependent on the planning and ability of the teacher. We also know that all kids can be successful in full day kindergarten; this just might mean that the teacher plans their day a little different.

Now, if you ever have been a volunteer in Kindergarten here at TVS you will know that the half day class goes so quick, and kids have to move from one activity to the next like clockwork. This year on multiple occasions I have witnessed kids wanting to spend more time on certain activities but are rushed to transition to another task. I have had both kindergarten teachers come to me wishing they had more blocks of time to do things instead of always being rushed. Also, in conversations with kindergarten students I have had many of them wish they received recess and lunch here at the school. Full day kindergarten at TVS will also receive daily PE and continue with our music classes, and make field trips more manageable. I also know that the full day kindergarten next year will work better for the teachers who teach kindergarten. So, putting all these pieces together, we decided to make the change. Obviously we will monitor and assess how it is going and teachers will adjust plans so all kids are successful. We will continue to make sure our new kindergarten students to TVS are taken care of and receive the best we have to offer. After we made this decision we looked around Foothills School Division and found that every school but a couple have moved in this direction and feel this would not be the norm if full day/every other day kindergarten was not successful.

We again want to thank parents for their continued support here at TVS and know that your care and concern is always important to us. While most of the feedback I have received has been positive, I know there may be some out there that have reservations about change. We are excited about the possibilities for next year on how this will turn out and we look forward to helping kids continue to learn and achieve success in their schooling.