Welcome to Kindergarten!
Eligibility Criteria for Kindergarten
Across Alberta, children must turn five years old on or before December 31, 2023 to be registered in Kindergarten. Students born between January 1 and December 31, 2018, are eligible to register for Kindergarten for the 2023-24 school year.
Registration for prospective Kindergarten students is now open. Please contact the school to begin the registration process.
Programming Options and Information
Kindergarten programming in St. Paul Education provides literacy-rich, play-based programming and is staffed by dedicated early childhood teachers and qualified educational assistants.
St. Paul Education offers a variety of school-based kindergarten programs throughout the division. Parents are encouraged to contact their school of choice to get specific information regarding programming schedules and options.
The following schools offer Kindergarten programming:
- Ashmont School
- École Mallaig School
- Elk Point Elementary School
- Glen Avon School
- Heinsburg Community School
- New Myrnam School
- École St. Paul Elementary Community School
- Two Hills School
- Two Hills Mennonite School
Kindergarten Start Dates
Kindergarten will start either Thursday, September 7, 2023 or Friday, September 8, 2023. Schools will inform parents of their child's start date.
Transportation and Busing
To arrange busing for your child within the Town of St. Paul, County of St. Paul or County of Two Hills, contact the St. Paul Education transportation department at (780) 645-3323. For all forms and information related to busing, please visit the St. Paul Education transportation page.
To arrange busing for students residing on the Nations of Saddle Lake, Whitefish Lake and Frog Lake, please contact the Nation directly.
Philosophy of Learning in Kindergarten
The Kindergarten year is an exciting and important time in children’s development. By working together, teachers and families provide challenging and engaging learning experiences that will build children’s confidence, develop positive views of learning and provide a strong foundation for their intellectual, social and physical development.
In the St. Paul School Division, we believe:
- Each child is unique and has individual needs. Children develop through similar stages but at different rates and in different ways.
- Young children come to Kindergarten from diverse backgrounds and with varied experiences
- Young children are naturally curious and eager to learn. Their learning is enhanced by interactions with others, including children and adults, as well as the environment.
- Young children learn through play. Through play in Kindergarten, children explore and experiment with their environment to add to their knowledge, learn new skills and practise familiar ones.
- Current brain research confirms that opportunities for children to learn through play helps the development of the brain.
- Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. Parents and teachers work as partners to support learning both at home and at school.
What will you see in a Kindergarten Classroom?
A Kindergarten classroom can usually be recognized by the way it looks and sounds: bright, happy, and many busy voices at play! Since play is the work of children, most classrooms have a variety of learning centers to facilitate play and learning.
Here are some of the areas that may make up a Kindergarten classroom:
- Dramatic play - an area that may be used for imaginative play with props, puppets and dress-up clothes
- Building- blocks of various shapes and sizes and manipulative toys for children to design, create and build
- Art - painting, drawing and creating with a variety of materials for children to explore and express their feelings.
- Games - puzzles and games for children to share, think and problem solve
- Sand and Water - cups, spoons, funnels and other tools for children to measure, create and solve problems
- Discovery- materials such as seeds, plants and objects from nature for children to observe and investigate
- Library and Listening - a wide variety of books for reading and CD’s for listening
- Music - materials for children to express their feelings and simply enjoy listening to music
- Writing - paper, pencils, markers, crayons for children to express their thoughts and ideas
How Do Young People Learn?
From birth, children learn and develop by:
Children need to explore, experiment and manipulate with real objects. Play is an important and valuable way that children learn. It provides the opportunity for active learning where children are interested and engaged. There is a lot going on beyond what you may notice at a glance. At play, children are:
- clarifying ideas
- experimenting with their environment
- learning new things
- practicing familiar skills
- learning how to handle their feelings
- learning how to get along with others
- learning the skills of self-regulation (ie. how to wait their turn, follow directions)
- problem solving
- developing their imagination and creativity
There is much research to back up the link between play and learning, especially in the areas of problem solving, language learning, literacy, numeracy and social skills. Play is a vehicle for learning and has a legitimate and integral role in Kindergarten.
Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting
Kindergarten teachers seek to help children reach their full potential in all areas of development: social, emotional, intellectual, physical and creative. These areas of development are interrelated and make up the ‘whole’ child. Children move through stages of development at their own rate.
Areas to be assessed in Kindergarten are:
- Citizenship and Identity
- Creative Expression
- Environment and Community Awareness
- Early Literacy
- Early Numeracy
- Personal and Social Responsibility
- Physical Skills and Well Being
- Physical Education
Other areas may include, depending on program options:
- Early Literacy: French
Assessment is a natural, ongoing and important part of daily learning. In order to help children grow and develop, teachers must know each child’s level of skill and understanding. Kindergarten teachers spend much time talking to children, asking questions, listening to the language they use and observing their behaviour in a variety of settings.
Teachers will collect learning evidence through observations, conversations and student-created products in order to build a complete picture of your child’s learning progress. They will gather learning evidence by using a combination of descriptive notes, check- lists and observation. In Kindergarten, your child will also begin to develop an understanding of self-assessments in relation to their participation in learning and/or the creation of their personal work products. Items such as artwork, writing samples, work samples, photographs or videos may be compiled over the course of the year in a portfolio.
It is important to note that children are not compared to one another. All of the above information is used to build your child’s learning profile, identifying where they are at in their development. The learning profile will provide the teacher with the information needed to plan for the most appropriate learning experiences to meet the needs of each child.
The Kindergarten report card will be issued at regular reporting times. Parents are invited to talk with their child’s teacher at any time about their child’s progress and achievements, in order to celebrate and support their learning at home.
The Home - School Partnership
The Kindergarten year is where the partnership between home and school begins. We welcome you to be involved in your child’s education!
Parents have an important role in supporting their child’s development. Here are some ways you can help your child make the most of their Kindergarten year.
- Talk to the teacher and ask how you can support your child at home every day. For example, by reading to your child every day, playing with your child and providing opportunities for them to make decisions and solve problems.
- Show an interest in your child’s learning by asking what your child learned at the activity centers.
- Celebrate and encourage early attempts at writing and reading.
- Attend information meetings and other events organized for parents and families.
- Speak to your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s school experience.
Resources to Help Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten
- Remember to book an eye assessment/exam before your child starts kindergarten to diagnose any vision or eye-health problems:
- Activity Calendars - activities, recipes, rhymes and parenting tips to encourage developmental skills in children from birth to 5 years of age (Alberta Health Services)
- Growth and Development Milestones
- Learn Alberta Kindergarten Overview
- Separation Anxiety During the First Day’s of Kindergarten