au courant

March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and...

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Thanks for a fun superhero day!

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March 18 PD Day Update...

*We are meeting in the gym.*

8:45 - 11:45

ILS Presentation with Lorna, Karen, and Evie (All teachers and EAs were asked to be sure to attend this session.)

1:00 - 3:30

Support Staff: Support staff members have a variety of options for the afternoon (including taking it off). For a reminder of the options, please see the last au courant. Also, please note Sophie has the Neufeld DVD in the main office for those who want to view it tomorrow. :)

Teachers: Staff Meeting

  1. Literacy Beliefs: These will be completed.
  2. School Resource Officer: Bryan Zens will present what he can offer in your classrooms.
  3. Calendar: We need to pick which of the following dates we will choose: Nov 9 (creating a 5 day weekend), May 19 (creating a 4 day weekend), or June 30 (giving us no year end staff day). If you want to see the division's calendar before or during the meeting, you will find it here:
  4. Block Parent Program - Christine
  5. School Start - Barb
  6. Red Cross Swim Program - Marlene
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Last night the school council asked why we are not yet accepting registrations for playschool or pre-K. Here are the notes. Please read.

Playschool - The administrators were asked to explain why the school is not taking registrations for playschool yet. Tracy Duckett provided the following explanation.

The division directed Wolf Creek schools to suspend registrations for 2016-17 until they completed a review of the early years programs running in all WC schools.

Wolf Creek created an Early Years Task Force (which included Tracy Duckett) to examine the programs offered throughout the division for children before their kindergarten year and to make recommendations to bring all programs more in line with each other. As a result, the educational experience of any student in Wolf Creek would be comparable, regardless of what program (school/city/town) he or she attends.

Wolf Creek Public Schools recognizes a need to formally address student readiness for kindergarten. A major piece of evidence for this need is the Alberta government’s EC Mapping initiative. The government’s Early Childhood Development (EC) Mapping Project Alberta identified that 27% of the children in the County of Lacombe do not demonstrate readiness for school in at least one of five domains. (For more information on the domains and the results of the project, see the links below.)

It was the role of the Early Years Task Force to make recommendations to the school division superintendency team as to the qualities of excellent programming for children before they enter a five year old kindergarten program. At James S. McCormick, this affects the three playschools and the pre-K program. For example, one standard recommended by the task force was that all programs be developmentally appropriate and play based. As well, it was recommended that students meeting Alberta Education criteria for early entry as kindergarten students (2 years, 6 months to 4 years, 6 months) should be integrated with typically developing playschool students.

Mark McWhinnie, Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services, was in attendance at the meeting during this discussion. As the lead superintendent on this project, he was asked for further input. He mentioned other possible considerations such as

  • having one program for all of Wolf Creek, with locations in several (schools/cities/towns) throughout the division

  • having a centralized intake process

When asked whether JSM will run playschools in the fall of 2016 (both English and FI), he said the size of the population in Lacombe would support the continuation of early years programming for children before kindergarten.

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Of Further Note...

The school board met today to hear the superintendency's idea for early years programming.

The WC administrators will hear about the early years at the next admin mtg on March 23.

Possibly after spring break we will know what the plan is for WC.

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