Pre-Primary programs expected to be up and running in CCRSB by the end of September

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) is hoping to begin the Pre-Primary program in all of its eight selected sites by the end of the month.

At a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting Wednesday night, board members were told 162 children were registered so far, including 45 at New Glasgow Academy.

Enrolment in other sites, as of Wednesday were reported to the board as:

  • 24 in Bible Hill Consolidated Elementary
  • 8 in Hilden Elementary
  • 18 in Junction Road Elementary
  • 14 in North River Elementary
  • 21 in Shubenacadie Elementary
  • 8 in Trenton Elementary
  • 19 in West Highlands

Two of the sites which were open last year, the 4 Plus Africentric Program at New Glasgow Academy and the Yearly Years Centre at West Highlands, have opened and will transition to the Pre-Primary program with the rest of the sites.

Each class has a cap of 24 children, and Director of Programs and Student Services Stephanie Isenor-Ryan told board members staff placements are being finalized.

She says Nicki Beck was hired as a Pre-Primary Manager, and began her work on August 30th.

A number of staff stressed to board members how much work had to be done during the summer to prepare the program for implementation, and how quickly the turn-around time had to be in areas such as hiring.

Glenda Talbot-Richards raised concerns that the Africentric Pre-Primary program that will be implemented at New Glasgow Academy doesn't have a single African Nova Scotian hired for the two classes.

Allison McGrath, Director of Human Resources Services, says the job descriptions for those two classes stated that African Nova Scotian applicants would be given priority, but none self-identified as such.

She says they're planning to postpone the posting for a third position in each class at that site to take some time and see if they can address that concern.

Talbot-Richards also says the community, who gathered for a meeting with school board officials on Tuesday, is also worried that if the government decides to scrap the program sometime in the future, they'll lose the 4 Plus Africentric Program that's been built up over the past two decades as it's being converted.

The board was told a new play-based curriculum was developed and piloted in a few Early Years Centres and daycare settings last year, which will be used for the Pre-Primary Program.

The rooms will have zones and stations set up, with literacy and mathematics built into the zones and sessions through play, and the needed materials and equipment will soon be distributed to the sites within the CCRSB.