Barrie schools get early-ed jump

Minister of Education Leona Dombrowsky dropped by Codrington Public School yesterday for a visit to a full-day kindergarten program, and a chat with students, parents and staff.
She was the second minister to drop by in as many days; today (Wednesday), transportation minister Kathleen Wynne was in town, at the GO station, to announce the arrival of the PRESTO multi-transit-system card.

Minister of Education Leona Dombrowsky speaks with Kindergarten students at Codrington Public School, as SCDSB education director Kathryn Wallace looks on.

Full-day kindergarten will be available at six Barrie schools next semester, in both the public and Catholic school boards. The program is scheduled to be in place at all schools across the province by 2015.
“Children will benefit from classes with both an early childhood educator and a teacher, who work together throughout the day to help children learn, play and grow,” according to a ministry release.
The program is part of the Open Ontario Plan. Proponents say it will facilitate a transition into Grade 1 for both students and teachers, and that students who receive focused education early in life perform well in later grades and post-secondary education.
“It has been five months since we first opened the doors for full-day kindergarten, and children and families are excited about their experiences with the program – and even more will be participating next year. We all benefit from this investment in our future. Working together, we can give our children the best possible start – in school, and life,”
 said Dombrowsky.
Pam Pasmore-Tye, principal at Codrington Public School, echoed her comments.
“Full-day kindergarten has been a great success at Codrington so far this year. There is already so much enthusiasm for next year and staff and families are all looking forward to September.”
The program is in almost 600 Ontario schools, with another 200 being added to the mix for the 2011-12 school year. Registration for September classes is open now. Catholic schools offering the program in September are St. Mary’s and St. Monica’s. Public schools offering the program are Codrington, Assikinack Public School, Oakley Park Public School, and Portage View Public School.

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