Full Day Kindergarten Welcome Video

By | August 31, 2019

It’s my pleasure on behalf of the
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board to welcome young students and
their parents and families into our full-day kindergarten program. For over 150 years, parents just like you, have brought their children to Catholic
schools here in Hamilton, and a 14 or 15 year journey begins. For some of you it’s
the first time you brought your children to us, and for others you already have
children in our system. Regardless the moment never changes. The hopes, the fears, the dreams, they’re all caught in that moment when your child first starts
school. Kindergarten is a wonderful place for
our young students to begin their journey in education. It’s not just a
journey about academics, it’s a journey about friendship, about
following their curiosities, about learning how to work in a larger
community, about learning about the community, in particular our Catholic
community. Play-based learning is a wonderful
opportunity for our young learners to learn about themselves and to initiate
their curiosities. The program is delivered by an Educator Team of teacher and designated Early Childhood Educator. The two educators in the classroom bring
two different skill sets. The teacher is very grounded in the curriculum and
assessment and evaluation, and the designated Early Childhood Educator has
a different background in terms of expertise in child development. Assessment in kindergarten is critical.
Assessment is simply the gathering of information that has to do with the
child’s learning and development. That assessment in kindergarten is daily so
that teachers and educators are in the process of continually collecting
information to support the growth and development of every learner in the
classroom. That assessment is what informs every single instructional
moment that occurs in a kindergarten program. Called the “Communication of Learning,” the
kindergarten assessment and evaluation reporting process provides parents of
children in kindergarten with a comprehensive overview of key learning,
growth and learning, and next steps and learning, for their children. Educator
teams anchor their anecdotal statements in the four frames: Belonging and
Contributing, Self-Regulation and Well-Being, Demonstrating Literacy and
Mathematics Behaviors, and Problem-Solving and Innovating. These
Communications of Learning are shared with parents three times in a school
year coinciding with reporting timelines for students in grades one through eight. The Board over the last number of years
has invested a great deal of resources in terms of the facilities and learning
materials for our youngest students. We have done so with tremendous work by our Plant Department, the principals, teachers, and our central administration
and I thank all of them for their tremendous work. But more important than the great facilities that your children will learn in are the teachers, Early
Childhood Educators, Educational Assistants, and other staff, who really
make the truly Catholic Christian communities which your children will
learn in. We’re very fortunate in the Catholic
school system for parents who require the care of their children before and
after school. In many of our Catholic schools we have what is considered an
extended day so at these particular sites, parents can drop their children
off as early as 7:00 a.m. and pick them up from that same location as late as
6:00 p.m. The board offers family support programs which are free to
families with young children. These programs offer the opportunity for
parents and their children to become involved in their school prior to
entering school and become very familiar and comfortable with that setting. Parents have the opportunity to meet other parents in their neighborhood, help
with parent knowledge, and participate with your child in fun activities that
are based in numeracy and literacy and can be transferred to home as well. Our Board also offers an Annual Parent Conference. This is a great opportunity
to network with other parents who are in our school system, who have an
opportunity to have mass with the Bishop, a keynote speaker, various workshop
topics that pertain to helping our children achieve success in our
education system. I commit myself, and all staff of the
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, to realize our mission and vision
and that is to enable your child and all children to realize the fullness of
their humanity of which our Lord Jesus Christ is the model. Now that’s an awesome responsibility, but have no doubt that that important task working with
you will be lived out by the staff of this Board. We share your excitement, we
share your joy, we share your hopes, and we share your dreams. I have no doubt that the kindergarten class of today are our future lawyers, our future nurses, our
future builders, our future priests, and really they are our future. I look forward to the next 14 years as we journey through history with your child. Welcome to the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board.

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