Full-day learning for four- and five-year olds will be available at seven district schools beginning in September 2010. The sites selected are the following:
- College Street Public School, Trenton, 2 classes
- Deseronto Public School, Deseronto, 2 classes
- Earl Prentice Public School, Marmora, 2 classes
- Madoc Township Public School, Madoc, 1 class
- North Trenton Public School, Trenton, 1 class
- Queen Elizabeth Public School, Trenton, 1 class
- Queen Victoria School, Belleville, 2 classes
This represents Phase 1 of Ontario’s new full-day learning program, which is part of the province’s plan to build a stronger school system and a well-educated workforce. The goal is to make early learning available to all Junior/Senior Kindergarten students within five years. The 11 classes represent 286 pupil spaces. Class size guidelines require an average of 26 students per class.
“We know that families and children in Hastings and Prince Edward need and want full-day learning. I’m excited that we’re taking the important first step towards giving four- and five-year olds a firmer foundation for learning and for life!” remarked Carl Pitman, Chair of the Board.
In full-day learning classrooms, teachers and registered early childhood educators will work together to help children learn and develop emotional, social and academic skills that are crucial for healthy development. Schools will also offer before- and after-school programs led by early childhood educators. Parents can enroll their child in these integrated programs for a reasonable fee, giving children even more opportunities to learn, play and grow.
In late November 2009, school boards submitted the names of schools to be considered for Phase 1 implementation to the Ministry of Education. Criteria for selecting schools included the following:
- All Junior Kindergarten/Senior Kindergarten students at the school must be provided with all-day learning.
- Availability of space without requiring new capital construction or renovations.
- The school must remain open over the next five years.
- A portion of ELP spaces should serve low-income neighbourhoods.
- Minimal impact on existing child care and early years programs.
- Consideration of schools where students would benefit significantly from the increased learning opportunities offered by the ELP.
“Right now there are more questions than answers. We are thrilled that the provincial government approved the seven schools that were submitted following our consultation with community partners. We are already in the process of planning for September implementation,” stated Kathy Soule, Director of Education.
Now that the sites have been announced, planning for staffing, fee structures and program integration will begin. Registration information will be available by the end of this month.
Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board serves approximately 16,400 students each day at 46 elementary and eight secondary schools. Supporting student achievement is the goal of approximately 1,800 teaching and support staff who, in addition to the contributions of caring volunteers and community partners, share their passion for teaching and learning. The district covers a wide geographical area of 7,221 square kilometres bordered by Maynooth to the north, Deseronto to the east, Prince Edward County to the south and Quinte West to the west.
For more information, contact:
Kerry Donnell, Communications Officer, 613-966-1170 or 1 800 267-4350, extension 2354