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K is for … Kindergarten … Maybe?

When we moved to the Kortright East Neighbourhood 5 years ago, we were just a young couple with a newborn. To be honest, the thought of school zones never even crossed our minds.  Luckily for us, the two options available  for my school age children are both great schools.  We were sure we wouldn’t be disappointed with the education given at either of the location.  Two years after moving into the neighbourhood, construction began on undeveloped land at the back of our neighbourhood and SAY WHAT!?!?, it’s a school!  We are WALKERS!  Wonder if the school will be Public or Catholic?  This is awesome!

We were beyond thrilled at the development.  By the time our kids are ready to register for school, the new school will be built and the kids can actually be walkers with the other neighbourhood kids! I can walk the dog to school with all the other neighbour moms and enjoy a little social time. Seriously, I had it all planned out in my head. I was going to be that super hip, walking to school kind of mom.  What a great way to meet the people we share a neighbourhood with. Kind of like living the Guelph dream.

So we wait…and watch…and wait…finally we find out that it’s been determined it will be a French Immersion school.  Well, this is something we hadn’t considered…hmmm…but we don’t speak ANY french.  How will this work? We decided to look into it and after a consultation at the school we were reassured that french does not need to be an understood language in your house for your kids to be successful in the FI program.  So … we decided to go for it. I was going to be that super hip mom again, terrific!

Our oldest is currently in the FI SK program and loving (almost) every minute. It has been a great success for him and we couldn’t be happier with his progress. But, here’s where things kind of fell apart for me …

The time had come to enrol son number 2.  But then I was hit with some alarming news. The rules have changed.  All sorts of questions are being asked in my social circles – What is a lottery?  Doesn’t child number 2 have priority because child number 1 is already in the FI program?  If we can’t get him enrolled this year can we switch him next year?  

All these questions, all this feedback from other parents.  How do I know which information I am getting is the correct info?  What happens if when the time comes my second doesn’t get into the FI program because it’s at capacity?  Then we send two kids to two different schools? Enrolment opens in Guelph for the FI program January 9th and I want to do everything right to get child number 2 into our school.  I wanted to share the info that I found with other parents in the registration process in hopes that it saves you time and simplifies life for you!  Who doesn’t like simple, right?!?!?!  (You’re welcome) 

 Here is what I have discovered…
    • Junior Kindergarten is the only access point to French Immersion as of September 2017. For the 2017-18 school year, those are children born in 2013.
    • Admission to the program in subsequent grades is available only to students from other jurisdictions with an Early Immersion program or to those students who have comparable proficiency in the French language.
    • Kindergarten Registration is from January 9 to 26, 2017 at all elementary schools in the UGDSB.
    • A deadline has been created to determine on-time JK French Immersion registrations. An on-time JK FI registration is one that has been fully completed with supporting birth and address documentation by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday Jan. 26, 2017. Registration forms that are completed after the deadline passes will be considered ‘late’ and will only be processed after all on-time registrations have been processed.  Applications received after the deadline would still be considered, but it would depend on whether there was space in the classroom. The students may be placed on a wait list or they could be offered a spot at another nearby school, particularly in Guelph.
    • A Junior Kindergarten FI enrolment cap is in place for each French Immersion site. 
    • If the number of on-time JK FI registrants exceeds the school’s enrolment cap, a school-based random selection process will occur on or before Friday Feb. 10, 2017.  A list of schools that require the initiation of a random selection process will be posted on the Board’s website at www.ugdsb.on.ca.
    • Siblings of students currently enrolled in French Immersion will be prioritized.
    • Parents will be notified via email on Tuesday February 28, 2017 regarding their child’s enrolment status
    • Registration for French Immersion Junior Kindergarten IS NOT prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis. As long as a French Immersion Junior Kindergarten registration is FULLY complete and submitted to the school office before 4:00 p.m. on Thursday Jan. 26, 2017, it will be considered on-time. On-time registration can occur anytime between Monday Jan. 9 at 9:00 a.m. and Thursday Jan. 26 at 4:00 p.m.

Take the completed student admission form, along with the following documents to your child’s school:

    • Proof of your child’s age (Birth Certificate, Birth Registration Form, Baptismal Certificate, Passport).
    • Proof of full address (driver’s license, bank statement, utility bill, or similar documentation). In rural areas please include your RR, lot and concession numbers.
    • Your child’s up-to-date immunization record (yellow card).
    • Your child’s citizenship or landed immigrant papers
    • Any relevant custody order documents

As a Realtor/mom, I thought this info was important to share. The more knowledge you have before a move, the better!

Good Luck parents and hope some of this insight helped! Please see the attached links to help with further reading, enrolment documents and other registration assistance.

For more information, please visit www.ugdsb.on.ca/jkfi 

List of FI schools in the UGDSB:  http://www.ugdsb.on.ca/programs/article.aspx?id=54861

http://www.ugdsb.on.ca/programs/article.aspx?id=54848  www.findmyschool.ca can help locate the appropriate school. 

For information specific to Junior Kindergarten FI registration, address your question to their dedicated email address at fsl@ugdsb.on.ca  

http://www.todaysparent.com/blogs/on-our-minds/8-things-i-wish-id-known-about-french-immersion/

http://www.todaysparent.com/blogs/on-our-minds/in-defense-of-french-immersion/



 

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