The Winnipeg School Division (WSD) is moving away from full-time kindergarten.
After years of examining the pros and cons of full-time kindergarten, the city’s largest division now says it’s decided to stick with offering kids half-days.
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This means that full-time classes for kindergarten students in 11 Winnipeg schools that were part of a pilot study will revert to half-days at the start of the next school year.
“The WSD board has decided to end the pilot program, based on sharp comparisons of grade 2 academic performance between groups of full-time and half-day kindergarten students,” said WSD Superintendent of Education Celia Caetano-Gomes.
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“What we can learn from this pilot project is that, overall, our early childhood students are exceptionally resilient and gain the full measure of readiness for their future learning through the two and a half hours a day. half-day kindergarten. . “
The division’s half-day kindergarten sees students attend class in the morning or afternoon for two and a half hours.
Full-time kindergarten lasts three hours in the morning, with an hour’s lunch break followed by a two-and-a-half-hour afternoon session.
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The division’s pilot project began in four schools in 2013 and expanded to seven more schools at the start of the 2019-2020 school year.
The study looked at students’ social and emotional development, grades, and math and writing skills.
The report made by a third party released this week found that full-time students did slightly better in Grade 1 than half-day students.
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However, the researchers also found that by the time they entered second grade, students in full-time classes and part-time programs were on the same level.
“In fact, the data did not show that the full-time kindergarten program had an impact on academic performance in recent years, as there had not been sustained improvements in growth for students. full-time kindergarten students compared to half-day kindergarten students, ”the division said in a statement. Release.
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Students enrolled in full-time kindergarten this year will not be affected by the changes and can continue to do so until the end of school in June, the division said.
Rather, half-day kindergarten will be offered in all WSD primary schools for the 2022-2023 school year.
– with files from Corey Callaghan
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