It Takes A Village Kindergarten is an Alberta Education funded and approved kindergarten program located in the Bow Ridge Plaza, Cochrane, Alberta. Children are eligible to attend It Takes A Village Kindergarten when they turn 5 years old on or before December 31st* of the current school year.  We highly recommend families of children with a late DOB (ie. November/December) consider an extra year in preschool in order to enter Kindergarten as a 5 year old.  As of 2020, all schools in Alberta will have at least a December 31st cut off for Kindergarten entry.

We offer:

  • a Qualified Teacher, certified by Alberta Education with an Early Childhood Education Degree
  • Alberta Kindergarten Curriculum: click here for the link to the Handbook for parents of Kindergarten Students
  • small class sizes and low child to adult ratios
  • a Sensory classroom where we run programming with a “Move to Learn” philosophy and in a wellness model that includes all children in our daily activities that build and develop: strength, coordination, stamina, core, fine and gross motor, focus, attention, motor planning and much more!
  • As we value inclusion and diversity at It Takes A Village, spots will be held for PUF funded Special Needs children
  • our philosophy also sees each child as an individual with unique needs and strengths and the family unit as the child’s first and most important teacher
  • regular access to specialists including; speech language, occupational, physio therapist and psychologists
  • Volunteer Parent Operated Board of Directors. Community members and parents have valued input into their child’s programming and education through membership of an association and optional positions on our board of directors
  • parental involvement encouraged: volunteers in the classroom along with added opportunities for involvement; supervising field trips and class parties
  • a FULL day program on Tuesdays and Thursdays (8:30am-3:30pm) with flex Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays including: 2-3 days throughout the year where parents / caregivers come with their child to school to learn about what we do at school and to strengthen the home-school connection, other flex days will be used for activities such as; skating (CanSkate coach) [2 weeks of M/W] and Playball [6 weeks of M](www.playballcalgary.net) to develop gross motor and skills in these activities
  • free play centers that encourage learning through purposeful play, develop social skills, build your child’s confidence and nurture a love of learning
  • A Move to Learn, multi-sensory, language rich environment
  • PADS http://www.pads.ca service dog puppies in training:  our Kindergarten teacher/Administrator is a puppy raiser so has service dogs in training in the classroom on a regular basis.

Early Literacy:

  • Lively Letters: http://readingwithtlc.com/lively-letters.html  Lively Letters is a comprehensive, researched based, multisensory approach (singing, actions, letters turned into pictures) to sounds/letters, reading, writing, and oral language instruction that moves students from the earliest stages of literacy to develop a strong foundation for future fluency and independence in reading and writing.  Phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, comprehension, and fluency are all key elements of these programs.
  • LiPs:  www.lindamoodbell.com/program/lindmood-phoneme-sequencing-program; The LiPS program develops phonemic awareness and is taught in collaboration with Lively Letters.  Students learn to recognize how their mouths produce the sounds of language so that they can more easily tell the sameness/difference of sounds and get the correct number of sounds in the correct order.  This kinesthetic feedback enables children to develop strong speech, reading and spelling skills.  LiPs fills in the gaps for children who don’t naturally pick up phonemic skills.
  • Talkies Verbalizing and Visualizing: https://lindamoodbell.com/program/talkies-program: Builds understanding and use of language through creating links to concept imagery.
  • Expanding Expression Tool (EET): www.expandingexpression.com: The EET is a multisensory approach (e.g., singing, actions, colored circles, etc.) for describing and defining items. The EET includes a beaded strand and a song that helps students learn what to include when describing. The tool helps build the following language skills: oral expression, written expression, vocabulary comprehension, defining and describing, organization, similarities and differences, associations, categorization, and functions.
  • Handwriting Without Tears:  https://www.lwtears.com/hwt a program for age appropriate and developmentally appropriate process for learning printing and letter recognition. Learning through play, singing and building letters in a kinaesthetic way, students develop the important skills they need to print words and sentences. Proper grip, efficient formation and recognition of letters and numbers through HWT develops strong foundational skills, success and confidence.

Social Thinking Skills & Emotional Regulation & Self Regulation:

  • We Thinkers (formerly Incredible Flexible You – IFY):  http://www.socialthinking.com aims to help verbal learners develop skills to be flexible social thinkers and social problem solvers.  The curriculum utilizes stories, games, music and play to teach children about the ”why” of social mind and social expectations.  Students learn about their own thinking and that of others to help them make better decisions when during social play and interactions.   We Thinkers puts into concrete terms the abstract concepts (hidden rules) that make up the social world.  The dramatic play portion of the program leads into academic learning.  Children learn to sequence, infer, take perspective and predict which critical thinking skills required for classroom learning.
  • The Zones of Regulation:  http://www.thezones.com is a systematic, cognitive behavior approach used to teach self-regulation by categorizing all the different ways we feel and states of alertness we experience into four concrete zones.  The Zones curriculum provides strategies to teach students.  It teaches children to become more aware of, and independent in, controlling their emotions and impulses, managing their sensory needs, and improving their ability to problem solve conflicts.

Other:

  • Field Trip & family experiences, both in school and out of school. Such as:  a family Christmas Open House, attending a live ballet performance for young children at the RancheHouse, End of the Year family party.   As well as specialists brought to our school for In School Field Trips such as: Live Reptiles, I Am Unique, Healthy Me!, Live Bugs, Our Community (fire, police…), etc. All enriched experiences are included in the yearly fee, no extra costs throughout year.
  • hands on scientific study, observation and experiments including hatching butterflies and chicks (full 21 day hatching cycle plus observing the chicks after hatch for 2 weeks), growing crystals
  • a well rounded classroom including rich experiences in music, physical education/gross motor, drama and much more!

All students who attend It Takes a Village Kindergarten have Early Childhood Screenings.  Speech & Language, Physio and Occupational Therapy Screenings take place during the first few weeks of school with individual or group therapy sessions and support provided for those children who require it. These services are provided for students for the entire year or until the child has reached all of their goals and are paid for with AB Education funding.

As a private program, we also have access to other therapies including Behaviorists, Psychologists and so on. Many students and their families have benefited from an Occupational Therapy assessment, classroom support and sessions with our occupational therapist sensory issues. These children and their parents have learned vital strategies to better cope with their sensitivities to sound, light, temperature, texture, clothing and so on. These students have also experienced success and positive outcomes with an increased attention span and the ability to relax and enjoy their surroundings both at school and home!  For more information on Sensory Processing:  http://www.spdfoundation.net/about-sensory-processing-disorder.

Our school philosophy is one of inclusion and we highly value supporting all children.  We hold spots specifically for Program Unit Funded children (PUF) who receive funding from AB Education for things such as:  an Educational Assistant in the classroom, Speech and Language, occupational, Physical therapies, Psychology and so on.  This inclusive model greatly benefits every child in our class as it develops empathy, an open mind, it brings many extra supports into our classroom and enables us to offer many learning opportunities for all parents.  We are blessed to have a high number of Educational Assistants in our classroom as well as the Kindergarten teacher and a Teacher’s Assistant which creates a high adult to child ratio.