Full-day kindergarten will be offered in three Central Alberta Catholic schools starting in September.
As part of a one-year pilot project, the Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools will offer full-day kindergarten, five days a week at St.Teresa of Avila School in Red Deer, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys School in Innisfail and Holy Trinity School in Olds for the 2012-2013 school year.
The pilot program will cost $200,000 for the year.
The district currently operates full-day kindergarten on alternate days in its elementary schools.
Rori-Lynn Daniel, the division’s co-ordinator of students services, said there has been an increase in requests from parents who want full-time kindergarten in Red Deer, Innisfail and Olds communities which is why these schools were identified for the pilot. About 587 kindergarten students are enrolled in the district’s existing kindergarten programs.
“There has been a lot of research into learning programs for five-year-olds and the studies indicate the full day learning programs for five-year-olds can have positive impact not only on their academic but their social and emotional development,” said Daniel.
“We’re excited to offer another option to our parents and to accommodate the needs to the modern family today.”
Each school will design its program around its current half-time kindergarten program and will align with the regular school hours.
At the end of the year, the district will assess the future of the program based on its financial implications, space availability in each school and the logistics of running two kindergarten programs in the division. For more information, visit www.rdcrd.ab.ca