The Education Act Regulation Moves Kindergarten Eligibility Date!
When the Government of Alberta passed the Education Act and the corresponding regulations, there were a number of things that came into effect on September of 2019. Implementation of some of the regulations did not come into effect right away. An important one is the Age of Entry. Current Board Policy 201.1AP Entrance Age states that entrance age is tied to the Alberta Education Funding Manual. With respect to entrance age for kindergarten, 201.1AP #2 states: “An individual, effective September 1 of the current school year, who attains the age of 5 years on or before the Provincial Funding Date (March 1) in a year shall be permitted to enter in an ECS program with Buffalo Trail Public Schools.” With respect to entrance age for Grade 1, 201.1AP #4 states: “An individual, effective September 1 of the current school year who attains the age of 6 years on or before the Provincial Funding Date (March 1) in a year shall be permitted to enter grade one at school opening.”
THIS WILL CHANGE EFFECTIVE THE BEGINNING OF THE
2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR!
The Education Act Regulation moves the eligibility date for kindergarten to December 31st:
Early Childhood Services Regulation
- Kindergarten is defined to provide distinction between the Kindergarten year and any other early childhood services years, which for some children may precede Kindergarten
- Common age of entry (effective 2020) will require children entering Kindergarten to be a least 5 years of age by December 31 of the school year.
- The authority of the Minister to impose terms and conditions on approvals, as well as cancel them, has been specifically stated. A one-year term approval has been added for clarity.
- Policy requirements (safety standards, programs, evaluation, teacher growth, etc.) for early childhood services operators and stipulated.
This new regulation means that a child who is currently enrolled in a BTPS Kindergarten will be eligible to enroll in Grade 1 for the 2020-2021 school year. Children who are not currently enrolled in kindergarten but are 6 years of age before March 1st, will also be eligible to enroll in Grade 1 for 2020-2021. This approach will mean that enrolment in Grade 1 will be consistent with the current enrolment in Kindergarten. The enrolment in kindergarten will see a reduction in that those who turn 5 years of age between January 1st and February 28th will no longer be eligible and will need to wait until the 2021-2022 school year to enroll in kindergarten. This will likely cause us to see a temporary decline in enrolment in the Class of 32-33 (yes, next year’s kindergarten class will graduate at the end of the 2032-2033 school year!) However, the numbers will recover when the group of students in the eligible age category are once again within a 12 month period. Schools have already begun advertising kindergarten registrations for the 2020-2021 school year and need to communicate this significant change in enrolment eligibility. Your Board of trustees is aware of this change in and will reflect the new expectations in Board Policy.