All-day K a working success

Christine Wood, Sunshine Coast

School District No. 46 (SD46) board trustees heard a success story at their Feb. 8 meeting — all-day kindergarten on the Coast is working.

Cathy McCubbin, chair of the kindergarten implementation committee, presented a glowing report to the school board Tuesday night, saying students are learning more, teachers are enjoying more time with their students, and parents are seeing the benefit of all-day kindergarten.

“We are very, very pleasantly surprised at the results we are getting. It’s very, very exciting,” McCubbin said.

When all-day kindergarten was introduced in SD46 at the beginning of this year, McCubbin said there were a multitude of concerns coming from parents and teachers.

Some were concerned the all-day curriculum would be too much for the new kindergarten students and the split-classes created to accommodate all-day kindergarten had some parents worried their children’s needs would not be met. Neither of those worries appear to be reality.

“Many teachers stated the kids are now where they would be in June, and we’ve still got five more months, so that’s a very, very encouraging sign,” she said.

“Many of [the teachers] talked about the fact that many of the kindergarten students have surpassed the Grade 1s who are in the classroom. The other big thing is the parents have been really, really excited about the program and the reports that teachers are getting back from parents are about how proud of the kids they are when they come home and just how much the kids love school.

“The issues that we had about the length of the day and things like that have not ended up being the issues that we perhaps thought they might be at the beginning.”

In order to support kindergarten teachers through the change from half-day to all-day kindergarten this year, a committee was established for teachers to connect and share ideas about teaching. That committee also conducted a survey of available resources and McCubbin soon realized more resources were needed to support teachers.

“Over the summer we ordered $30,000 worth of resources we felt were necessary to implement the all-day kindergarten program, and when September came it was like Christmas,” said McCubbin….