Entering kindergarten is an important step in every child’s development. A successful transition into school for children who need support involves parents and professionals working together to plan and make decisions. The staff members at the Children’s Therapy and Family Resource Centre are there to help you as you go through this process. At any point in the process, please talk to the staff involved with your child if you have any questions.
The Kindergarten Transition is an opportunity for you, School District staff and other professionals who work with your child, to plan your child’s entry into kindergarten. Kindergarten Transition meetings occur on designated dates in early spring (around March of each year).
What Happens First?
You will receive in the mail a package of information about kindergarten transition, and some forms to complete. The process begins when you complete the school district’s Kindergarten Transition Consent Form and return it to the Children’s Therapy and Family Resource Centre. This form alerts the school district that your child may require special consideration for kindergarten entry. It also allows professionals to share information about your child in preparation for the Kindergarten Transition meeting.
Please note that you must register your child at your local elementary school even if you have completed and returned the Kindergarten Transition Consent Form. You will need to bring:
- Proof of address
- Your child’s birth certificate
- Your child’s immunization record
It will be helpful to specify what support needs your child has and that you have requested a Kindergarten Transition meeting.
The Kindergarten Transition Meeting
At your child’s transition meeting, there will be representatives from the school district and from your child’s school. You are also welcome to invite any other important people in your child’s life, including other professionals or support people.
You may want to prepare an information package about your child to share with School District staff. Consider developing a child’s portfolio, “All About Me”. The portfolio could include:
- Your child’s strengths
- Strategies that have worked in the past (at home or in child-care settings)
- Copies of reports or progress notes from professionals
- Pictures showing your child doing typical activities
What else does the School District want to know when you meet with them? At the transition meeting discussion will focus on five basic questions:
- Do you feel that your child is ready to attend school?
- What concerns do you have about your child’s school entry?
- What difficulties or support needs should the school be aware of?
- Is there a medical condition/diagnosis that the school should know about in order to prepare for your child's entry?
- Is there any documentation (medical or other formal assessment) of your child’s support needs?
Documentation is required by the Ministry of Education for your child to access additional supports.
After Your Meeting
After the Kindergarten Transition meeting, you will be contacted by School District personnel. This may involve making arrangements for additional observations, assessments, meetings and investigating program options.
If you have questions about what was discussed at the meeting, you can speak to any of the staff involved with your child, or to the school district staff.
Transfer of Services
If your child will still require therapy or support services in kindergarten, the following will happen:
- Speech Language Therapy: Your speech-language pathologist (SLP) will make a referral for your child to the school district speech language therapy team. Your current SLP will also write a discharge report describing the kinds of services your child has been receiving, and your child’s progress and current skills.
- Occupational Therapy: Your child will be transferred to our School Therapy Program, and will be assigned to the therapist who cover your child’s school.
- Physiotherapy: Your child will be transferred to our School Therapy Program, and will be assigned to the therapist who cover your child’s school.
- Supported Child Development: If your child still requires support in his/her after-school care program, and your family is still eligible for this support, your child will remain on the caseload of the Supported Child Development Program. If not, he/she will be discharged from this program.