Morse Steet PS: Fully qualified ECE staff in high enrolment full-day kindergarten classrooms sign now

Dear Ms. Dandy,

I am a concerned parent at Morse Street School.  It has come to my attention that in September, one of our full-day kindergarten classes will have one teacher and an ECE-in-training.

Morse's enrolment has skyrocketed and this fall we will have four kindergarten classes with about 120 students. Plus, more are expected to join the Morse community due to late enrollments and the fluctuating Red Door population.

With class sizes of 30-ish young students, the taxpayers of Morse Street School are appalled that the only fully trained and qualified person in the class will be the teacher. We’ve been blindsided—with full-day kindergarten the government promised improvements, as well as one qualified teacher and an accredited ECE to manage these higher classroom numbers.

Child-care programs require one trained (not in-training) ECE for every 10 children.  With these regulations, a class of 30 would require three qualified instructors.

Why do TDSB students deserve sub-standard supervision? I think there are major safety concerns, not to mention the number of small children—3, 4, 5 and 6 years old—who will simply fall through the cracks without enough quality care and educators in the classroom.

How is the new full-day kindergarten program an improvement? Without adequate regulations and teacher-student ratios, it’s a step backwards. 

Morse is a tight-knit community and we are determined to give our children the best start. We are passionate about our children's education and we expect quality programming in a nurturing, caring environment. I am concerned that it will be very difficult for a teacher (no matter how experienced) to provide hands-on guidance to this number of students when working with an assistant-in-training. Is it the teacher’s job to teach the students or train the ECE?

I understand that assistants will be required to attend twice weekly evening courses and weekend classes for two years to earn certification. This also concerns me because an educational assistant needs to be focused, well rested, energetic and positive to care for little children six hours a day: It’s too much to expect from someone on such a rigorous schedule. 

The children will suffer. The kindergarten classes will be at a massive disadvantage in terms of learning and social skills. How much hands-on teaching or individual attention will there be? It’s of particular concern when it comes to early detection of children on the autism spectrum.

I support dedicated ECEs-in-training and their efforts to attend school while working. However, I believe those in training should be placed in schools with lower enrolment (where the situation is similar to now—20 children per room) or those that still have half-day programming.

As our trustee, Morse parents are asking you to help us advocate for what we were promised—a teacher and a qualified ECE for each full-day kindergarten class. Our children deserve it: These are important developmental years that set the stage for a lifetime of positive learning.

Thank you for your consideration.

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Morse ParentsBy:
School and EducationIn:
Petition target:
Cathy Dandy, TDSB Ward 15 Trustee

Petition community:
Concerned parents at Morse Street Public School

Tags

ece, full-day kindergarten, morse street ps, tdsb

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