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School expands kindergarten program to accommodate parents

Written on September 7th, 2007

One of several new developments at Immanuel Christian School

Immanuel Christian School in Oshawa has a number of new initiatives this year, including an optional full-time junior and senior kindergarten program.

“Last spring we looked at how we can be more responsive to the needs of families who are looking for a school,” says Principal Jasper Hoogendam.

Surveys showed that families were interested in the full-time kindergarten option. Later response was enough to warrant offering the program, says Hoogendam.

The school continues to provide a part-time kindergarten program as well, with two days for the junior kindergarten program and three days for the senior.

The full-time option correlates with another new initiative — a before and after school care program, called Club MED (morning evening daycare).

The school doors now open as early as 7 a.m. and close about 6 p.m.

“That way parents can drop their kids offer and have everything under one roof all week,” says Hoogendam.

Immanuel has also switched from a shared-bussing system with the public school board to contracting its own buses. The school is able to run its stand-alone bussing at a lower rate now that it is working directly with a charter bussing company, says Hoogendam.

The change has meant a switch in school hours, with the day starting and ending earlier.

“Parents have had a lot to adjust to this year,” says Hoogendam with a laugh.

Immanuel Christian School was founded in 1962. The current population is about 116 students, down slightly from previous years. Although the school welcomed 10 new families and 20 new students this years, it saw a large number of students graduate as well as several families leave for other reasons, primarily financial, according to Hoogendam.

He notes the decline is a disappointment as the school had been going against current demographics in independent schools. Enrollment had been increasing in recent years.

Immanuel’s theme for the year is The Battle is the Lord’s. Chapels and other school activities will centre on the importance of being prepared for spiritual battle, says Hoogendam.

“We’re working from the passage in Ephesians about putting on the whole armour (of God). So each week we will pick up on a component of the armour and expand on that in terms of how that’s relevant to how students carry on at school and beyond.”

For more information about the school, visit