in kindergarten activities, or organized
activities related to kindergarten
• Will the event include a social component?
• What questions do you anticipate that
parents will have about kindergarten? How
will these be communicated and answered?
• Will the orientation include a tour of the
classrooms and the school?
Some schools provide hands-on sessions for families
through partnering with the Learning Partnership’s
Welcome to Kindergarten Program. Information
is available on The Learning Partnership website.
The following is a list of strategies to promote
parent, family, and community engagement at
your school’s kindergarten orientation:
• To maximize parent participation, consider
calling families to remind them of the date
and time, (perhaps this could be done by
• Eliminate barriers for parents to attend
the session by adjusting the orientation
to meet the needs of the community.
(Some communities may need to have
the orientation in the evening. Providing
childcare or including younger children
in the session may increase participation
and make families feel more welcome, as
would providing transport to the school and
back from community centres or places of
worship, etc. Families may appreciate having
translators or translated materials available.)
• Invite the local public librarian to attend
to offer information about children’s
programming and help families apply for
• Invite the supervisor from the local childcare
or preschool to attend to share information
with families and help families make the
transition more seamless from preschool to
• Invite a Public Health Nurse to attend to
distribute Nippissing Developmental Screens
(NDDS) and answer questions about child
• Invite preschool and/or school board speech
and language pathologists to attend to
answer questions, or informally screen
children if appropriate.
• Invite local Ontario Early Years or other
community parenting supports to attend to
share information with families.
Visits to Kindergarten Class
It is helpful for children and their families to visit
the kindergarten classroom before the first day of
school in September. These visits may be planned
during kindergarten orientation or towards the
end of the school year. With creative planning,
some schools manage to invite all families to see
the classroom in action. Planning also needs to
include children from childcare centres whose
parents may not be able to visit.
Many educators like to connect with children
personally before the first day, either by phone
or by mail. The educator may ask the children to
bring a memento on their first day (a photo of
their family, or something with their name on it)
or tell the children what they might do or see on
day one. (For example, one educator wrote that
her pet birds would be visiting.)