group of diverse children with smiles in school classroom, ready for learning


Gradual Entry Process

The Abbotsford School District has a long history of planning carefully for the transition to kindergarten and acknowledges the need for a gradual entry process. This important transition phase is aimed to set up students for success for the rest of their school years, and often involves a variety of visits, communications and opportunities to connect young children and their families with their schools, before beginning the first day of full day kindergarten.

Gradual Entry to Kindergarten will look a little different for the 2024-2025 school year.

Please stay connected with our district's social accounts and your school website to receive updates from your child's school/teacher as to when you and your child can come to the school for an interview on September 3, 4, 5, or 6. Schools will share their site-specific schedules with families in the coming weeks. Full-day classes for Kindergarten will begin on Monday, September 16, 2024.

2024-25 K Gradual Entry Schedule

We are looking forward to welcoming your children to Kindergarten in September!

Gradual Entry

Gradual Entry is a way of easing children into the school environment by introducing them to their teachers, classmates, and routines in small groups and shorter sessions. Gradual Entry has many benefits for children, such as:

  • Reducing anxiety and stress by providing a supportive and familiar atmosphere
  • Building positive relationships with teachers and peers
  • Developing a sense of belonging and confidence in the school community
  • Enhancing learning and development by meeting the individual needs and interests of each child


Gradual Entry may vary depending on the school and district, but typically, it involves a modified schedule for the first two weeks of school, where children attend for shorter periods of time and in smaller groups. You will receive more information from your child’s school about the specific dates and times for your child’s Gradual Entry. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school.

Tips to help your child’s transition to Kindergarten:

Transitioning to Kindergarten is an exciting time for both children and parents. Here are some helpful tips to prepare your child:

  • Talk About Kindergarten: Engage in conversations with your child about what Kindergarten will be like. Express enthusiasm and excitement, so your child looks forward to this new adventure.
  • Independent Time with Relatives or Friends: Arrange for your child to spend independent time with relatives or close family friends. This experience helps children develop a sense of independence and learn how to communicate their needs with other adults. It also provides parents with insights into their child’s reactions when away from them.
  • Set Up Playdates: Informal socialization is essential during the summer months, regardless of preschool experiences. Consider setting up playdates with children who attend the same school. These interactions can help your child establish early friendships and feel more comfortable in the school environment.
  • Explore Early Learning Documents: The Ministry of Education and Childcare provides valuable early learning resources that can help support your child’s transition to Kindergarten:

BC's Full Day Kindergarten Program Guide

Frequently Asked Questions about Gradual Entry

What does gradual entry mean for my child?

This approach ensures that your child has dedicated time to connect with the kindergarten teachers and adapt to the social and emotional aspects of the elementary school environment. The transition is facilitated through smaller group interactions, allowing both children and families to get use to the Full Day Kindergarten program. During this period, teachers introduce classroom routines and procedures, making the transition more personalized. Ultimately, this helps your child feel at ease and valued as they become part of the school community.

What does gradual entry mean for my family?

The Abbotsford School District’s approach acknowledges that parents and families play a crucial role as a child’s first teachers. The gradual entry process provides families with a valuable opportunity to share essential background information with the school. This exchange of knowledge helps create a more informed and supportive educational environment for each child.

What does this process look like, and what can I expect during gradual entry?

The gradual entry process remains consistent across the district for full-day kindergarten. However, the timing of intake meetings and student groupings may differ from school to school. During this period, students will have the chance to:

  • Familiarize themselves with the teacher(s)
  • Interact with some classmates
  • Learn about classroom routines
  • Meet key staff members at the school

Kindergarten teachers will actively collect information about each student, including their interests, readiness levels, and learning styles. This will help to inform the teachers’ instructional plans, helping to ensuring a personalized approach for your child. Conversations and observations with both children and families contribute to this holistic understanding.

When will I know who my child’s teacher is?

Getting to know each Kindergarten student individually before finalizing class lists is a thoughtful approach. It allows Kindergarten teachers to create balanced classes that consider the unique needs of every child. While this process does take time, rest assured that classes will be organized and ready by the third Monday of September.