SD73: The classroom journey begins

Column by Denise Harper, School District 73 Board Of Education Trustee and Chair

February has begun and we are at the halfway mark of the school year.

Students have been settled in their classes for some time now and a lot of fun learning is taking place.

You may be forgiven for thinking the hardworking people at School District 73 would sit back and take a breath, but you would be wrong.

Throughout the school year, administrative staff members are constantly planning, budgeting, adapting, preparing, learning and responding.

Some activities are a grind, but many are exciting and engaging.

Preparing for next year’s kindergarten students is an activity that falls in the latter category.

Administrators and teachers look forward to the first weeks of school and to welcoming new registrants who are at the beginning of their school careers.

The kindergarten year launches children and their families on an exciting adventure.

A child’s future success and attitude toward education can be determined by the quality of their first experience.

With this in mind, School District 73 and, in particular, our kindergarten teachers work in partnership with parents and guardians to ensure each child’s first year is joyful, wondrous and positive.

This takes enormous effort and requires a great deal of co-operation.

It may surprise you to read that the first step toward a successful kindergarten year begins with kindergarten registration.

Held in February, registration meetings provide the district with data necessary to allocate staff and other resources to ensure a smooth start to the school year.

Knowing how many students to expect and knowing if a child has specific needs is critical.

For parents or guardians and their children, the information the district provides at registration helps everyone to prepare for this significant milestone in a child’s life.

Beginning in January, the district begins sending out notices, places ads in the local newspaper and takes other measures to advise parents and caregivers of the date and time for kindergarten registration.

This information is also hosted on the SD73 website and can be accessed any time.

Each September, schools are surprised by students who live in the district, but register late because they had been missed the year before.

While we are always delighted to receive new students, their late arrival can cause organizational challenges.

While schools work to manage re-organization of classes swiftly and efficiently, we, as a district, are working hard to inform all families so later registrations can be avoided.

The district will begin advertising registration meetings soon.

Notices will appear in school newsletters and ads will be placed in local newspapers.

Moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, aunts, uncles, sister, brothers and guardians, if you have a child in your family who will be five years old by the end of December 2016, please make sure they are registered to attend school in September 2016.

Denise Harper is a Kamloops-Thompson board of education trustee and chairwoman of the board. To contact Harper email dharper@sd73.bc.ca.  This column courtesy of Kamloops This Week.