Kindergarten Gradual Entry Information

Dear Parents/Guardians of our new Kindergarten students,

Welcome to Hillcrest Kindergarten! Whether this is your first child to enter Kindergarten, or you already have children in school, getting ready for and starting Kindergarten is very special for children, as well as their families.

Attached are two important documents regarding the start of school and the Gradual Entry process for Kindergarten students. Please read them carefully and call the school at (250) 832-7195 if you have any questions or concerns.

  • Contains gradual entry schedule and other important information about what to bring on the first day of school.
  • This is a letter from the SD83 Elementary Counselling Team with some great advice to help ensure a successful transition to Kindergarten.

As part of our Gradual Entry Schedule students have be assigned to small groups for the first two days of school.

Below is an example of the line included in the emails sent out indicating which group your child has been assigned.

Your child has been assigned to Group ____

In case you missed our email in June, our Kindergarten Team, with the help of SMS student Claire Marino, has put together a video to share with your child.  Please find some time to watch it with them over the next few days as they prepare for their first day of school.


Also, if you have not yet completed the Kindergarten survey sent out in June please do so. The information collected in this survey will help our Kindergarten Team get to know your child.


We look forward to meeting you and your child at your assigned time in the Kindergarten Playground area on Thursday Sept 10.


Your Hillcrest Elementary Kindergarten Team

Information for First Week of School

Dear Hillcrest Families,

I hope this email finds you well. With our new COVID reality there has been a lot of extra planning needed in preparation for the upcoming school year. We are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated, caring and professional team at our school. The staff at Hillcrest have been working hard this week to ensure they will be well prepared to welcome students back to school on Thursday September 10. Below is some important information about our school start-up and the week ahead.

1. Hillcrest Return to School Safety Plan – Please read the document below thoroughly as it contains important information about our Hillcrest specific safety plan and procedures. All students will participate in a safety orientation on their first day of school, however, we encourage you to go over the information in this document with your child before then.

2. Health Checks – We must work together this year to keep each other safe by ensuring students and staff stay home if they are sick. Parents will be expected to complete a Health Check (see Hillcrest Return to School Safety Plan) with their child each day before school Drop-off. Parents should not bring students if they answered “yes” to any of the questions on the Heath Check. Parents will be required to sign a form in Parent Connect indicating that they agree to complete the daily Health Check with their child instead of providing a paper Heath Check Ticket as was required in June.

3. Kindergarten Gradual Entry Schedule – Our Kindergarten Gradual Entry Schedule was emailed to Parents on Wednesday Sept 2. We have received a few calls indicating that some parents did not receive this email. If you know of a parent who has a child in Kindergarten and did not receive this email, please have them contact the school at (250) 832-7195.

4. New Bell Schedule – In order to meet the ministry required minutes of instruction this year we have had to extend our school day by 7min. As a result, classes will begin at 8:12am this year and students will be dismissed at 2:14pm. This is not a result of the delayed start due to COVID-19 but rather because of Labour Day falling later than normal this year.  

5. Class Placements – Most class placements were completed in June, however, staff will be meeting on Tuesday September 8 to place our newly registered students. Parents can expect an email on Wednesday Sept 9 (afternoon) informing you of your child’s Division and Teacher(s). The email will also contain further instructions about the first day of school.

6. First Day Drop-Off – We understand that some students may be anxious and that more parents than usual may want to escort their child to the classroom door on the first day of school. As a result, we will have staggered drop-off times for Sept 10 and Sept 11 so that we can ensure social distancing (2m) can be maintained between the adults dropping off. Below are the Drop-off times for the first two days only.

  • 8:00-8:10 – Divisions 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11
  • 8:15-8:25 – Divisions 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12

Students in Kindergarten (Divisions 13 and 14) will follow the gradual entry schedule for their group. After the first week, parents are encouraged not to remain on school property when dropping off their child.

7. Breakfast Program and Safe Arrival VolunteersWe are excited to share that the Breakfast Program will be operating again this year with a “Grab and Go” style breakfast. Please email if you can help. We are also looking for volunteers for our Safe Arrival Program. Please email if you can help.

We can’t wait to see the smiling faces of our students as they return to school next week. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to call the school at (250) 832-7195. Have a wonderful long weekend with your families!


Gord Ritchie

Principal – Hillcrest Elementary