What does the daily schedule look like?

Providing children with a full day of learning in Kindergarten gives educators time to support and enhance the children's learning, and allows children time to become absorbed more deeply in what they are exploring and investigating. The daily schedule within each of our Kindergarten classrooms is based on a plan to meet the needs of the students in the best way possible with large blocks of time for play to support deep learning experiences as well as following the school’s schedules times for nutrition breaks, outdoor recesses and use of the gym and library.  The educators plan together to ensure the flow of the day is adapted to meet the changing needs of the children in the class. They make adjustments to the schedule to suit the season – for instance, the task of putting on coats and boots in winter requires additional time.

How many children are in the classroom? What is the student teacher ratio?

During the school day, your child will participate in a class of approximately 26 students, which would mean a ratio of 13 students to 1 educator. Your child’s educators, a teacher and a DECE, support the whole group in the key areas of learning including the development of the social and emotional skills that are necessary for future success in school and beyond.

How many staff are in the classroom?

Typically, two educators are in the Kindergarten classroom: a teacher and a Designated Early Childhood Educator (DECE) will work together to help your child learn during the school day. Also, an additional teacher will collaborate in teaching your child for a portion of each day. Depending on the student needs in the classroom, there may also be an educational assistant in the classroom.

What is play-based learning?

Children learn through opportunities to play. Play is an ideal way for children to work out their ideas and theories and use what they already know to deepen their understanding and further their learning.The Kindergarten Program is organized into four broad areas or “frames.” They reflect the way in which learning naturally occurs during children’s exploration, play and inquiry. 

» Belonging and Contributing 

» Self-Regulation and Well-Being 

» Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours 

» Problem Solving and Innovating

Your child will be involved in many different learning opportunities designed to help young learners explore, discover and grow. Research shows that there is a strong link between play-based and inquiry learning for young children, especially in the areas of problem solving, language and literacy, mathematics, and social, physical and emotional skills. This will help your child to think creatively, explore and investigate, solve problems and share learning with others.

Please see our board Kindergarten site:  as well as the following Guide: A Parent’s Guide to Play-Based Learning in Full-Day Kindergarten

Will my child learn French?

French as a Second Language (FSL) is offered to our students in each of our schools beginning in Grade 1. For more information, please see the FSL program information on our board site: https://www.smcdsb.on.ca/programs/french_as_a_second_language

Will teachers help my child with toileting?

Students are expected to attend to their own toileting; classroom educators are not expected to physically assist students in the washroom.

How are lunch and snack times controlled? Will there be assistance?

Students are encouraged to eat snacks as well as having lunch, or a “nutrition break” as a class that will be supervised. In order to foster independence, please send snacks that your child can open easily on his/her own.

Some students may have potentially life-threatening allergies. Please be aware of the classroom and school rules surrounding food and allergies.

How many times does my child have to eat during the day?

All schools provide supervised nutrition breaks. The daily schedule in our schools are in either a “Traditional” or “Balanced” day format. In those schools that have a “traditional day” students are encouraged to have a snack before a morning recess break and afternoon recess break in addition to their lunch break. In schools with a “balanced day” there are two supervised nutrition breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon as well as the option to snack while in the classroom. Your child’s educators will share more about the “flow of the day” to include times when your child will have to eat during the day.

How will kids with special needs be supported/protected?

Every student with special education needs is unique. A successful experience is often the result of careful transition planning between the parents, school-based teams and third party agencies. During those meetings, action plans are developed to ensure  the appropriate supports are in place before the first day of school. Ongoing communication after the first day of school is also key. Our board website has information for you about Special Education, more specifically, you may find this document helpful to refer to as it outlines some key steps in transitioning students to school. 

Supporting students and their families as they transition into Elementary School

How can parents communicate with the teacher throughout the year?

Parents are encouraged to communicate with the educator team about their child’s learning experiences at home and at school  throughout the school year- this can be through a phone call, informal conversation at the Kindergarten gate or a note . There are times during the school year (November and February) for conferences about student learning, however parents can schedule a formal meeting with the educator team at any time by contacting the educator team to set up a meeting time.

Do Kindergarten students nap in the afternoon?

It is essential that the flow of the day be flexible, to allow the children to:

  • have a rest or some quiet time or a snack when they need it;

  • become deeply absorbed in an inquiry and extend their explorations as their engagement requires;

  • sit or stand in a way or location that best allows them to focus on what is happening.

Students are not provided with nap time, however, kindergarten educators are responsive to students’ needs and will provide times for quiet, calm activities within the classroom. There is also space within the classroom that allows students to seek out a place to rest or engage in quiet activities.

How is a Kindergarten classroom supervised? How many adults are in the classroom and what are their roles and responsibilities? How is the playground supervised?

In kindergarten classrooms with a teacher and an early childhood educator, they work together as a team. This partnership helps to create a nurturing learning environment that encourages new ideas and supports the unique needs of each child.

ECEs have knowledge of early childhood development, observation skills  and assessment skills. They bring a focus on age-appropriate program planning that promotes each child’s physical, cognitive, language, emotional, social and creative development and well-being.

Teachers have a knowledge of the broader elementary curriculum, assessment, evaluation and reporting, and child development. They are responsible for student learning, effective instruction and evaluation, and formal reporting to parents, based on the teacher-ECE team’s assessment of children’s progress.

The playground is supervised at all recesses by school staff, usually a DECE, teacher or paid lunch time supervisor.

The playground is supervised 15 minutes prior to the beginning to the school day and 10 minutes following the school day.

Where do the kids go in the morning, do the parents stay with them the first day?

Since drop-off locations are school specific and require routines variance between schools, you will be provided with first day/week expectations by the school or kindergarten team prior to the first day of school.