Calling all Kinders: WHPS eager to get new students registered
Athabasca’s Whispering Hills Primary School (WHPS) is encouraging parents and caregivers to act now to register their children for Kindergarten next fall.
As of late May, only 48 students were registered for Kindergarten starting in the fall of 2019; according to Alberta Health Services estimates, the number of eligible Kindergarten students in the community should be approximately 92.
“As we start to enjoy warmer temperatures after a long winter, it’s not easy to start thinking about next fall,” WHPS principal Lorna Kravontka acknowledged. “However, registering for Kindergarten in the spring helps the school plan appropriately, ensures that students’ individual needs are addressed, and helps families build some certainty into their busy schedules.”
Kravontka explained that spring registration is important to help the school plan appropriately for the coming school year, particularly with staffing levels. “We want to make sure we have teachers and educational assistants assigned to the right number of Kindergarten classes, with an appropriate number of students in each class. Having accurate registration numbers in the spring helps ensure we have the right classes and staff in place on Day 1, rather than later into the school year.”
Spring registration also helps ensure supports are in place for individual students’ learning needs. Aspen View Public Schools provides play-based pre-assessment sessions for new students that help identify any unique learning needs. “Children’s participation in pre-assessment sessions is up to the parents, but we strongly encourage it,” Aspen View Director of Student Services Shannon Smith explained. “Children play together alongside educational professionals who observe each child’s development in speech, coordination, behavior and other areas. If there are any areas of concern, the school works with parents and caregivers to ensure appropriate and inclusive supports can be accessed. The earlier that children and registered and assessed, the earlier that these important supports can be put in place.”
Many families have also found that registering for Kindergarten in the spring helps with childcare arrangements. WHPS Kindergarten programs run Mondays, Wednesdays and alternating Fridays; or Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternating Fridays. By registering in the spring, families can indicate a preferred Kindergarten schedule that works best with their other childcare arrangements; students registered in the fall may not have the same flexibility as some classes may already be full. “We make every effort to accommodate families, but early registration is the best way to ensure a Kindergarten schedule that meets their needs,” Kravontka said.
WHPS Kindergarten Fast Facts
- In Alberta, to be registered in Kindergarten, children must be at least 5 years old as of December 31st of the school year.
- Enrolment in Kindergarten is optional, but funding is provided through Alberta Education for children to attend a minimum of 475 hours of Kindergarten in one year. (WHPS Kindergarten program offers 483 hours per year.)
- Busing is available for eligible Kindergarten students, as determined by distance from home to school and school attendance boundaries.
- There is no charge to attend Kindergarten; however some fees may be levied for field trips, special initiatives, etc.
- School supply lists are available at WHPS front office (3001 Whispering Hills Drive, Athabasca) or can be found on the school website: https://whps.aspenview.org
How to register for WHPS Kindergarten
- Registration forms are available from the WHPS front office or can be found on any Aspen View school website.
- Completed registration forms can be dropped off at the WHPS front office.