Tuesday, January 11, 2011

School overcrowding across the province

What is the problem?
It's the move to full-day kindergarten. Mind you, not all places. Not in some rural towns, e.g., Muskoka & TLDSB.

Early Learning Phase One
7 Dec 2010 In September 2010, day kindergarten program will be available in nearly 600 schools in every school board in Ontario.

What were they thinking? Kids don't need a full-day educational program. They need a balanced day of Early Childhood activities, in a cozy environment, with naps, and care arrangements for working parents.
They don't need to hear bells all day. We'll see real school fatigue by grade 8, I'm sure. And do we want 4-year-olds on all day? They need comfort and relaxation in a caring place. I've taught in day care, done home day care, and taught JK and SK. There is no comparison, especially regarding the hot meals offered in day care, a cook, and a soft place to land with a caregiver, not a teacher.

This is the impact to the rest of the children in the schools system:

Board offers six options for school overcrowding
January 11, 2011
...OCDSB presented six possible short-term solutions...Ottawa South and Centretown. The board would continue to try to find a...feasible," said Mike Carson, the board's superintendent of facilities...

Parents hear plans for crowded downtown schools

Parents hear plans for crowded downtown schools. About two hundred parents from the Glebe and Old Ottawa South attended.

Kanata Area Elementary Schools Interim Accommodation Measures
A discussion paper on the proposed interim solutions for the Kanata Area Elementary Study.

What were they thinking?
Early learning does not mean early teaching. Children learn best by play-based activities in an open-ended classroom.

And many parents realize this fact. To quote one person: 'The simple truth is that not all parents are supportive of full day kindergarten in Ontario.'

Ideally all kids should be at home in a safe, stimulating enriched environment. This is not possible for many families. As they say in a critique of the
Pascal Report, not all kids are going to benefit from a classroom of 25 - 28 kids, in an institution. The differences between day care and school are enormous. Some kids need more enrichment that others, and many parents need help finding affordable day care. 

PASCAL: “Early childhood programs that offer full-year, full-time options support the ability of parents to earn a living without compromising children’s early experiences” (Baker, Gruber, & Milligan, 2005…” ) Quoted in this PDF file

 "We uncover striking evidence that children are worse off in a variety of behavioural and health dimensions, ranging from aggression to motor-social skills to illness. Our analysis also suggests that the new childcare program led to more hostile, less consistent parenting, worse parental health, and lower-quality parental relationships."


grahame said...

Full day kindergarten is working. Based on international test scores and evaluation, Ontario has one of the top 10 education systems in the world. Ontario’s education progress report has just been released. See it here: http://bit.ly/mLFvFx

Jenn Jilks said...

Grahame, I am not knocking our schools. I taught for 25 years, all elementary grades, all exceptionalities. I even taught at uOttawa Faculty of Education.
My whole premise is that full-day costs do not balance out with the cost of day care for families.

This is a 'report' released from the provincial government, currently heading towards an election. The report cannot possibly be an accurate report of full-day kindergarten, as it is not in all schools across the province. Not until 2014.
You confuse research-based data with this: a simple press release!

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