We're sad we cannot see you in person, however we've tried to bring the night to you, virtually!Register for Kindergrow, Here
We know your time is valuable and you may not want to watch a lengthy presentation. This portal offers a wealth of information, in video and text format. You can view this page at anytime and at your convenience... and you don't even have to brave the cold!
Our team has put together this information portal comprised of all questions surrounding Kindergarten - from past parents, our Educator Teams and even some of our amazing Kinders!
While we're here, let's talk about Kindergrow Bags! In the past, anyone who attended Welcome to Kindergarten Night received a bag. This year we are following all safety guidelines outlined by public health and minimizing visitors to our schools. Bags are not available for pickup at your neighbourhood school during this time. We are very hopeful that school and classroom tours, along with an opportunity to meet the classroom educators (even if it's outdoors!) can be planned in the months ahead. During this time, each family will receive a Welcome to Kindergarten bag filled with information and activities
This page offers all you need to know, so sit back, keep scrolling, relax and enjoy "the night"... or perhaps day.
Welcome to the Family!
- TBCDSB Kindergrow Team
Messages in a Minute!
Learn more via video or text about some of the amazing things about Kindergrow!Register for Kindergrow, Here
What Kindergarten Looks Like!
Take a peek into the day in a life at TBCDSB.
Your child's journey begins with us in Kindergarten and concludes graduation day in High School.
Your child will dive into deep learning, explore their thoughts, feelings and emotions. They will inquire and nurture their faith and spirituality and make make life-long friendships throughout their educational journey. They will be cheered on by educators and staff during their milestones and accomplishments but most importantly, they will grow and flourish in a loving and caring family environment. Because family isn't just at home, it's also at school.
*Please note: Footage/photography was taken prior to COVID-19, thus PPE and social distancing practices are not illustrated in some of our materials.
You have questions, we have answers!
The most frequently asked questions our Kindergarten Educator Teams receive can be found below.
Is Kindergarten Full-Day?Yes. The Early Learning Kindergarten Program (ELKP) (formally known as Junior and Senior Kindergarten) is a full-day, everyday program.
What age does my student have to be, in order to attend school?
If your student turns 4 by December 31, 2021 they are eligible to start Kindergarten this September.
With restrictions in place due to COVID-19, will Year 1 students and parents have an opportunity to visit the school and meet the educators?
We know the importance of you having an opportunity to get into your child’s school but we are following all safety guidelines outlined by public health so this will have to wait. We are very hopeful that by Spring we will be permitted to have visitors in our schools and welcome you in person. This may mean a visit in our outdoor classroom but we're very creative and we'll do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition to Kindergarten. You can learn more about our COVID-19 protocols, here.
What if my child can’t…do up their zipper/tie their shoes?
All Kindergarten classes have both a Teacher and Early Childhood Educator that are there to help! They will do their best to help, while focusing on teaching new skills and promoting independence.
Will someone assist my child to prepare for outside play according to seasonal recommendations?
Yes, as the seasons change educators will work with students on what these changes mean for how to dress and what activities they can participate in (ie: the playground equipment is closed during the winter).
What if my child is sad and crying?
This is completely normal.
The school environment is new and so are many of the faces your child is encountering. We expect some mixed emotions. Our staff is there to support and help your child work through all their various emotions. We also use two different programs, Zones of Regulation and Second Step (see Message in a Minute links) that help teach children about all the emotions and how to self-regulate.
What do they need to bring?
Your child will need to bring a backpack, lunch bag, pair of indoor running shoes and if possible, an extra set of clothes. The school will supply your child with any necessary school supplies.
Does my child need to be toilet trained before starting school?
It is the expectation of our Catholic schools that your child attends to his/her own toileting needs before starting school. As children learn and grow, considerations will be made for children with medical or developmental conditions that interfere with regular toilet training. In our Thunder Bay Catholic Schools the partnership with families is an essential piece of supporting parents as they prepare their children with skills for Kindergarten success. Our belief that every child is capable and ready to learn, is enhanced by encouraging a positive self-image and pride in mastery of these skills. While building relationships and supporting you as a family, here are some resources which will provide strategies and ideas as you strive to toilet train your child.
Please see the links below to access websites/books that may support you and your child with their training:
- How to Potty Train Your Child in Just Three Day
- Toilet Learning
- The 17 Best Potty Training Books for Kids and Parents
How many times a day do they eat? What do I pack?
All TBCDSB schools are on a Balanced Day (see schedule below) and eat during each Nutrition Break. Here are a few links to the Thunder Bay District Health Unit that will help with suggestions for packing snacks and a lunch.
Does my child need to be Catholic in order to attend a Catholic school?
No. Our schools welcome students and families of all faiths. Our curriculum incorporates religion courses pertaining to our Catholic faith, along with other faith traditions and world religions. Values and virtues are interwoven throughout the curriculum.
Which school is my student zoned for?
Each student is eligible to attend a zoned school and is provided transportation based on their home address for our Board, grade and program selected. You can access Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay to determine eligibility.
How do I know my child arrived at school on the bus?
There will always be multiple staff greeting students when the bus arrives at school. If for some reason your child does not arrive on the bus, you will receive a call from our School Secretary through the Safe Arrival Program. Rest assured that the bus drivers also do a “sweep” to ensure that all students are off the bus.
Will someone be in charge of getting my child on the correct bus home?
Yes, there will always be multiple staff sending students off on the correct bus at the end of the day. The staff carry bus lists and ensure that they check off which students are on which bus. This is especially important at the beginning of the year when children are unsure - but you’d be surprised on how quickly they develop independence and are able to locate the correct bus on their own.
Will someone call if my child is ill?
Absolutely! If your child is ill and reports the illness to one of the educators (or if one of the educators notices a change in how the student is feeling) a staff member from the school (most likely the secretary) will call and make you aware.
If I notice reversals of letters and numbers, how do I know my child isn’t dyslexic?
As children learn to read and write, it's not unusual for young learners to reverse letters and/or numbers. If your child is still reversing letters and numbers at age 7 or 8 this may require further investigation.
What does the school day schedule look like?
All TBCDSB schools are on a Balanced Day. The school day schedule looks like this (start and end times may vary by 5 to 10 minutes):
- 9:00 - 10:40 a.m. - 100 minute instructional block
- 10:40 - 11:20 a.m. - 40 minute Nutrition Break
- 11:20 a.m. -1:00 p.m. - 100 minute instructional block
- 1:00 - 1:40 p.m. - 40 minute Nutrition Break
- 1:40-3:20 p.m. - 100 minute instructional block
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