No more kindergarten sleepovers

Registration for kindergarten will reopen in late February. - THE NEWS/files
Registration for kindergarten will reopen in late February.
— image credit: THE NEWS/files

Last year, parents wanting to get their children into the kindergarten French Immersion program at Pitt Meadows elementary camped out at the school the night before registration.

This year, there was a more dignified process, as the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district went online with kindergarten registration.

Parents were able to log onto the district website in advance of the registration day for a  practice run, to ensure they had all the information necessary prior to the first-come, first-served online signup. On computer, it can be determined down to the millisecond.

The big day was Jan. 15 at noon. Parents of kindergartners were ready to go, with forms filled out and their fingers poised above the “return” button on their keyboards. When the clock struck noon, classes started to fill up.

That Pitt Meadows kindergarten class was full by 12:02. Laity View’s class, which is also French immersion, filled in about five minutes.

The district also offers other choice programs, such as the environmental school, which were popular.

Computers at school and public libraries were designated for kindergarten registration, and made available to parents who didn’t have other access to an online computer.

“The only feedback I’ve had about the kindergarten registration has been great,” board chairman Mike Murray told his fellow trustees at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Acting superintendent Laurie Meston noted that the registration numbers are as expected.

“Parents have been very positive, and our programs are full,” she said.

Meston acknowledged there were some “little glitches” on the first year of the program’s rollout. For example, some of the addresses in new subdivisions were not yet recognized by the system.

“But it was nothing serious, and our technical people were outstanding,” said Meston.

“It sure was easier for parents, and that’s what we want.”

The board is not aware of any other board in the province that uses online kindergarten registration, and has developed a system that the board hoped might be sale-able to other school districts in the future.

The choice kindergarten programs are now full – French immersion, Montessori and Environmental school. However, there are still a couple of spots open at Kanaka Creek, which offers a year-round school calendar.

Registration is currently closed as the district processes all the enrollments taken to date. The site will re-open in late February, and be remain available until school starts in September.


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