All Day Kindergarten Hours Flexible?

I haven’t spoken to Mags on this yet, but CKNW is reporting that Education Minister MacDiarmid has stated that there will be options for parents who feel that their children are not ready for a full day of school.
“Margaret MacDiarmid says when it comes to full day kindergarten there will be a lot of flexibility especially for parents who think a nine to three day is too long for their child.”

I don’t know how that would work, but the article states that “principals,  teachers and parents will have the ability to make adjustments on students’ schedules.”

How are parents on the Sunshine Coast feeling about all day K, now that it’s starting up?

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4 Comments

Filed under Education, Sunshine Coast Board of Education

4 responses to “All Day Kindergarten Hours Flexible?

  1. Susan

    we’ve only had half days so far but I think it will be great.

  2. Bob Cotter

    Flexible hours is one thing, but a more important issue I believe will need to be followed is equity of learning opportunities. I found it interesting to read in the local paper that the district believes students in the half day program will learn the same objectives and have the opportunity to achieve just as much as those in the full day program. If that is so, why have the full day program?

    How much research did the Ministry of Education do and communicate to districts to validate this point? The two year phase in of full day K was, in my mind, more about dollar costs and available space.

    • Jason Scott

      Thanks Bob, first off, I would agree that the two year phase in was about funds from the ministry’s point of view, but they did still agree to it, when they didn’t have to. Some of us surely have opinions about where that money could (or should) be spent, but this government is bringing in full day K during tight financial times, which I do believe is a good thing.

      Only funding half the spaces is odd and has been problematic but I don’t think half-dayers are going to suffer this year. As for the students all learning the same objectives within differing time frames, I think we need to hear from the educators on that. I know I tend to have an opinion on everything, but you’ve got more expertise than me on that one!

      Okay, well maybe a few things, but this is just my opinion as a parent and local busy body, not The Board:

      I think kindergarten is mostly about socialization, and “easing into” the structured school life. Sure, they learn a lot about many important concepts, but they’re not exactly splitting the atom, which is how it should be. From that stand point they can achieve those goals in the slightly shorter program.

      Part of this year is definitely about figuring out spaces and some new educational arrangements, such as full day K and grade 1 split classes. Incidentally my son just started in K and is in a K-1 split and I think it’s great.

      • David Buckna

        Check out my essay “When did education become a race?” at:

        http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/schoolview/2010/08/30/when-did-education-become-race

        In the essay I quote parenting author Steve Biddulph (www.stevebiddulph.com) who was
        a keynote speaker at the Gender and Student Achievement Conference in Kamloops, B.C.
        (Oct. 18-20, 2007)

        According to Biddulph, full-day Kindergarten for 5-year-olds is too long, and any younger is a big mistake developmentally. In support of Biddulph’s claim, a major review of British primary schools by Cambridge University stated the practice of allowing children to start school at age four was found to be stressful. Yet its authors found that in some countries where students start school up to two years
        later, many outperform their English peers.

        Biddulph says the calendar is a poor guide for when a child should start school as most boys (and some girls) are slower to develop fine-motor and language skills.

        But if we followed the Finland model, children would have access to free, full-day daycare (up to age five), full-day Kindergarten (age six), and wouldn’t begin Grade 1 until age seven.

        Carl Honoré (www.carlhonore.com) writes in “Under Pressure: Putting the Child Back in Childhood” (2009): “Their [Finnish children] early childhood is spent at home or in nursery programs where play is king. When they
        finally do reach school, they enjoy short days, long vacations and plenty of music, art and sports.” (p. 122)

        “Apart from final exams at the end of high school, Finnish kids face no standardized tests. Teachers use quizzes, and individual schools use tests to track their pupils’ progress, but the idea of cramming for SATs is as alien to Finland as a heat wave in winter. This presents a delicious irony: the nation that puts the least stress on competition and testing, that shows the least appetite for cram schools and private tutoring, routinely tops the world in PISA’s competitive exams.” (p. 123)

        See also:

        To close the gender gap, we must do more for boys
        http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=8241ff9b-866e-4aa7-a8bf-725fba99d4f7

        Finland’s secrets to educational success
        September 14, 2010

        http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/education/article/861076–finland-s-secrets-to-educational-success

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