THE KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM
Niagara Catholic’s Kindergarten Program is a place where our youngest learners play, learn and grow together in faith. Kindergarten is a discovery-based environment, where children are encouraged to discover the joy and wonder of learning by playing and exploring in safe, caring, inclusive environments.
Parents are a child’s first teachers and are valued partners in Catholic education. Together with our school staff and parish priests, we are a team dedicated to supporting your child’s development in mind, body and spirit.
Kindergarten and Catholic School - Celebrating the Wonders of God
At Niagara Catholic, we believe that when we look at each other, we see the face of God looking back at us in return. Niagara Catholic nurtures our youngest learners to find traces of God in themselves and the world around them, recognize God as Father and Creator, and Jesus as their friend. Students will pray daily, listen to bible stories and explore the symbols, rituals, traditions and seasons of the Church.
Our Catholic faith is embedded throughout the four frames of the Kindergarten program. In Kindergarten, the one guiding question that is asked daily, within play and inquiry, is “where is God?” We believe children are born with a natural sense of God, and discover God in all things and beings. It is through this gift that they learn what it is to be a child of God, loved and accepted unconditionally.
Kindergarten prepares students for their formal education, and helps them make a smooth transition from home or day care into a classroom setting. Kindergarten focuses on four areas that experts believe best prepare children to become active, responsible, healthy and engaged citizens who take responsibility for their own well-being and the well-being and feelings of others.
Belonging and Contributing
This area focuses on how our youngest students feel connected with one another, their ability to form relationships and be part of a community.
Self-regulation and Well-Being
This area focuses on helping students develop empathy and understanding for those around them, and to respect the different opinions, experiences, abilities and feelings of others. Students learn impulse control, how to regulate their behaviour and that actions have consequences. They learn to deal with distractions and gain awareness of their physical and mental health and wellness.
Literacy and Mathematics
This area helps students learn different ways to communicate their thoughts and feelings. They will learn new ways to use language and materials to express their ideas and emotions, begin to think independently and learn to read and write. Students will develop early mathematics skills through play, which includes using numbers and patterns.
Problem Solving and Innovating
This area focuses on a child’s natural curiosity. By exploration, students develop their minds and their senses.
Students are encouraged to ask questions to solve problems using creative thinking. By doing this, students gain confidence in their abilities and become fearless about exploring new and complex ideas.
Every Niagara Catholic elementary school will hold a Kindergarten Open House and Registration Day in November and in February.
A child must be four years of age by December 31st in a given year in order to be eligible to start school.
Registration is always available online. Early registration allows parents to make arrangements for child care and transportation, and helps schools get an advance look at class sizes to ensure staff are in place for the start of the year. Visit our registration page for more information.
- In May/June a Parent/Guardian Orientation meeting will take place at your child’s school
- Parents/Guardians receive information about the program at this meeting
Safe Arrival/Safe Dismissal
- Kindergarten students should arrive and leave the playground under the supervision of a parent/guardian or designate
- Supervision begins 15 minutes before the bell or when the first morning bus arrives
- Families are instructed to use the Safe Arrival system to report absences and late arrivals. More information about this will be made available when they begin school.
- Safe dismissal coincides with the dismissal times for the rest of the school and the afternoon buses
- Outdoor play, recess and activities are a daily part of The Kindergarten Program. For outdoor play, schools ensure a safe, adult-supervised play environment.
- Parents/Guardians can be assured that during extreme weather conditions children will not be sent outdoors. Extra socks, shoes, mittens, hats and dress code items are important back-ups for that puddle that just couldn’t be resisted.
Transportation is provided according to Board policy.
Can My Child Ride the Bus?
Niagara Catholic Kindergarten students who live more than 800 metres from their home school are eligible for transportation to and from school. You can check your eligibility for transportation by visiting the Niagara Student Transportation Services’ (NSTS) website here. NSTS will send electronic communication to families of registered Kindergarten students during the summer providing instructions to view your child’s preliminary transportation through the NSTS parent portal and to review important school bus safety and service information.
How does busing work?
NSTS arranges busing for eligible students based on the pick-up and drop-off address in your child’s school records. Effective in the 2022-23 school year, it is mandatory for families to opt-in with NSTS to receive transportation and these instructions are available on the NSTS.ca website. Safe student transportation is a shared responsibility with parents, students, bus drivers, schools and NSTS and important information is on the NSTS.ca website, including safety videos. NSTS.ca also posts alerts if there is a bus delay, or you can subscribe in the NSTS parent portal or download the BusPlanner Delay App to your phone for direct notification of service disruptions.
Bus routes and First Ride Program dates and times will be available at nsts.ca or call 905-357-6787
The majority of Niagara Catholic elementary schools offer before and after-school care. If you require before or after school care for your child, you must register online using the Niagara Region Child Care Registry Online Registration Program.