September 2010

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September 14, 2010

Welcome to the beginning of yet another school year, and the very first year of the implementation of full-day kindergarten, one of the most transformative initiatives of the Ministry of Education!

We appreciate the many challenges faced by Boards of Education at the beginning of the school year and recognize there may be new questions related to full-day kindergarten.

A common question from parents, guardians and school boards relates to requests for part-time attendance. Where parents and guardians make such a request, we would appreciate your support in ensuring school staff provide the following information:

  • Full-day kindergarten is a full day program; boards may only register children as full-time students
  • However, since kindergarten is optional, attendance remains a matter of parental choice
  • As a result, parents may opt for half or reduced-day attendance, but not part-time registration
  • All families should be welcomed and no student should be redirected to an alternate school due to reduced-day attendance (assuming the family lives in district, in accordance with board-designated boundaries and board attendance policies)

Our expectation is that such requests will be in the minority and, when they do occur, that the children involved will transition to a full-day kindergarten program over time. The experience of boards where full-day programs have been offered for some years indicates that many students begin attending on a full-day basis within the first term.

We will continue to work closely with Education Officers to identify and respond to implementation issues as they emerge.

As always, thank you for your continued support on behalf of our youngest learners.

Thank you

Jim

Jim Grieve
Assistant Deputy Minister
Early Learning Division
Ontario Ministry of Education
24th Floor – Mowat Block
900 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1L2
416-314-9393