Monday, February 7, 2011

Full-day check in

This isn't a long piece or really indicative of what I think should be done, but it's the first thing that's crossed my desk that actually speaks about how full-day kindergarten is doing past the halfway point of the program's first year.
Kudos to the Simcoe Reformer's Barbara Simpson, writing for the Delhi News-Record on how two school administrators see the program at this point in the year.
The province's full-day learning plan initially drew some concern when it was unveiled in October 2009. Four-and five-year-olds might not be ready for a full day of school every day, suggested some parents and educators across the province. On-site before and after school care also raised concern with private daycare operators.
Some adjustments to benefit students were temporarily introduced to the daytime routine, (Grand Erie District School Board superintendent Wayne) Baker acknowledged.
"The teachers on occasion at the beginning brought in activities that were a little more sedated," Baker said, adding that students have now acclimatized to the new daily routine.
Sacred Heart (a Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk Catholic board school) principal Zoltan Rapai also found this adjustment at his school. Some of the 36 kindergarten students started off slowly with half-day attendance.
"By the end of the first week, there was no question -- the children were ready for it," he said.
So, here's my wonder. I am very familiar with the Reformer as it's been a longtime sister paper to the newsroom I'm currently on leave from. A staff of six people put out that newspaper five days a week in addition to the Delhi weekly. She had time to make a few phone calls. I would also note the reaction, given Norfolk County is about as rural in southern Ontario as one can get.
What could others, elsewhere, working an education beat full-time, or for a greater amount of time anyway, have done? I have seen a followup to the Globe's kickoff in September on full-day kindergarten (sort of). I don't monitor the Star as religiously, but I can't remember seeing continuing coverage.
This is a missing piece of the puzzle-- going back to families, parents, teachers, early childhood educators-- heck even Charles Pascal himself and asking how things are going now that this province is in the sixth month of this program.