INNISFAIL – Kindergarten students at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School will soon have double the fun and twice the time for learning.
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools have greenlighted St. Marguerite’s recommendation to move from part-time kindergarten instruction to full-time learning beginning the next school year.
“What we're going to do next year is that our kindergarten group will come every day,” said Stefan LaBrecque, the principal at St. Marguerite. “We're increasing our instructional hours to 950 instead of like the 425 or 450 that we offer right now.”
He said the current schedule for the school’s two kindergarten classes that have a combined total of 27 students are Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday, as well as on Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday.
The programming change does not impact the school’s two classes of 26 pre-kindergarten students who come to school in the morning for three hours of class with a certified teacher from Monday through to Thursday.
LaBrecque said the change comes after listening to the school’s parent community, as well as the global community in Innisfail.
“We have parents where it's a real struggle to have a kid Monday and Wednesday, and then having to find childcare on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” he said.
LaBrecque added there is also a “huge” educational benefit for children in the kindergarten age bracket to go to school full-time.
“That’s because we can kind of get ahead of a few things, create that rich foundation,” he said. “And then from our lens if there are areas that we can really help our students so that they don't fall behind educationally we can get ahead of that.”
LaBrecque said the programming decision was made after conducting research and having discussions with parents.
The results were then forwarded to senior administration and then to the school board who ultimately approved the programming change.
“This is something that is a divisional sort of initiative,” said LaBrecque. “It’s unique to St. Marguerite’s.”
He said there will not be any additional cost to parents for the increased instruction and time at school.
“Absolutely not,” said LaBrecque.