FMPSD Kindergarten Open House Events Begin on March 22 and 23

Starting school is a milestone. It’s a new chapter in a family’s life, and one we take pride in helping with at Fort McMurray Public School District. Our 12 elementary schools are hosting Kindergarten open house events starting this Thursday, March 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on Friday, March 23 from 9 a.m. to Noon. Bring your children and friends to visit, and learn about our excellent programming ranging from Reggio Inspired, French Immersion, Montessori to Christian and Islamic initiatives.

Jen Hoilund still remembers her daughter, Brielle’s first day of school last year.

“Brielle is my shy five-year-old, who attends Mrs. Holly Barr’s Kindergarten class at Christina Gordon Public School. When she first started school last year, she was very excited but also very nervous about what to expect. I’ll never forget the first day when her Dad and I walked her into Mrs. Barr’s class and she saw all her new classmates. We weren’t five steps into the classroom door and she was hiding behind my leg crying because she was overwhelmed and nervous. That’s when Mrs. Barr and Mrs. Piercey stepped in. They calmly introduced themselves to Brielle, and started asking her about what she did over the summer and what she wanted to do while at school this year. She slowly started calming down and I knew she would be just fine,” recalls Jen.

Today, Brielle (photo below) is a confident student, who makes sure she’s at school “a little early every day so she can say hi to the office ladies before her class starts,” Jen shares.

                                                                                                                         

“Kindergarten at Christina Gordon has done wonders for Brielle and her personality. We no longer see the shy girl we saw for the first five years of her life. She is outgoing, excited to meet new people and see old friends. I believe Mrs. Barr, and all the staff at the school have played a role in helping her come out of her shell so she can thrive and learn in an amazing environment. We are so glad we chose Christina Gordon as our children’s school, and can’t wait to watch them grow and learn over the coming years,” she adds.

Lena Salameh, a Fort McMurray Islamic School (FMIS) parent shares similar sentiments. She is delighted with her daughter, Sara’s Kindergarten program.

“Sara (photo above) started at FMIS last year. The support of her teacher and the school staff made her feel instantly comfortable. She didn’t have any difficulties making friends and having an amazing and loving relationship with her teacher Mrs. Terri Josey and her Educational Assistant, Mrs. Kennedy. We have noticed amazing improvements in her academic and social skills, she comes home happy and shares fun stories. I am delighted with the results and the improvement that my child has gained through FMIS Kindergarten, and consider it one of the most influential programs through Fort McMurray Public School District,” Lena shares.

Rhonda Blanchette, Coordinator of Early Inclusive Education for the Fort McMurray Public School District, explains more on why attending an open house is important.

“The Kindergarten Open House is an ideal time for parents and children to have the chance to meet the classroom teacher, the school principal, tour the classroom, and the school. The parent is a child's first educator. When children begin Kindergarten, parents and the teacher form a partnership to support learning at home and at school.”

“In Kindergarten, children learn through play and develop skills such as independence, decision-making, problem-solving, creativity, and relating to others. Young learners establish a love for school, while developing early literacy skills, early numeracy skills, environment and community awareness, citizenship and identity, personal and social responsibility, and creative expression through meaningful experiences.”

In addition, notes Blanchette, “in early learning programs, the multidisciplinary team provides early intervention supports for children in developing their fine motor, gross motor, and speech and language skills. Visitors to the Open House may have the opportunity to meet some of our multidisciplinary team including Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists. The children will have some time to play with their new friends while important information is shared with parents. Attending an Open House gives families a chance to make connections with the staff and the school community, and may also help make for an easier transition to school in September.”

Looking forward to hosting everyone this Thursday and Friday.