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Grande Prairie Public School Division
Every Student Succeeds


Grande Prairie Public School Division offers three preschool programs to better meet – or to support the needs of our students and their families.

French Immersion Preschool

Learn a second language through fun, exploration and discovery.  Our gentle-approach to language acquisition, offered in the school setting of École Montrose is the perfect opportunity for your 3 and 4-year-old to learn and grow.  Staff are fully bilingual and ready to support your child’s development.  Students in this program have access to all school facilities.  Exploratory field trips are part of programming.

Casa dei Bambini (Montessori Preschool)

The Grande Prairie Public School Division is pleased to offer the Montessori Casa dei Bambini (Preschool and Kindergarten) and Elementary Montessori Program (Grades 1 to 5) our Montessori School - Parkside Montessori.

What is Montessori?

Developed by Italian educator, Maria Montessori, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Montessori method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activities on the part of the child. It stresses the importance of adapting the child’s learning environment to his or her developmental level. The Montessori Method is:

  • Child-directed
  • Individualized
  • Hands-on with tactile materials
  • A process of exploration and discovery
  • Focused on nurturing a natural curiosity and love of learning in a social environment

Dr. Montessori’s observations of children led her to design a number of multi-sensory, sequential and self-correcting materials that facilitate the learning of new skills.

Casa dei Bambini is for children 3 to 5 years old. Children must be three years old as of Sept. 1 of the year of enrollment. Children must have self-sufficient toileting skills.

Inclusive Preschool 

Grande Prairie Public Schools offers Inclusive Preschool programs for children ages 3 to 5 with priority placements for children with identified delays/disabilities based on Alberta Education Program Unit Fund (PUF) criteria. Our preschool classes also provide spaces for Partners in Play (PIP) community children with no delays or disabilities. Our programs offer morning or afternoon classes at Crystal Park School, Derek Taylor Public School, Roy Bickell Public School or Swanavon School.

Currently our Partners in Play spaces are full for 2019-20. If you are interested in going on a wait list send an email to with that request

Our programs provide developmentally appropriate learning experiences, activities and opportunities to help prepare your child for Kindergarten. 

Through our certified teacher created play-based lessons children learn skills to:

  • Enhance communication skills (understanding and speaking)
  • Develop social, emotional and self-regulation skills
  • Develop fine and gross motor skills
  • Foster creative and cognitive development
  • Develop greater independence and problem-solving skills
  • Foster a sense of belonging and well being
Teachers work with educational assistants and a multidisciplinary team made up of therapists and psychologists to support our students learning needs. Individual Program Plans are developed in collaboration with parents.

Family Oriented Programming sessions provide an opportunity for parents and children to learn and spend time together. The programs are designed to provide additional specialized programming hours for children and build parent skills to support their child's learning journey. It is expected that parents of children who have qualified for PUF services and supports attend a minimum of 4 sessions per school year.

Registration process for the 2019-2020 school year. Please refer to the questions and answer section for more information.

As a parent applying for a PUF space, you send or have the qualified professional email the assessment report to or fax it to GPPSD Central Office: Attention - Inclusive Education Preschool at 780-539-4265.
  • Ensure you provide your child's name, date of birth, your name, address and phone number in the email.

As a parent applying for a 'Partner in Play' community space, you send an email to requesting a Partner In Play community space.
  • Ensure you provide your child's name, date of birth, your name, address and phone number in the email.

Next steps:
  1. You will be contacted by a GPPSD staff by phone to get more information through an intake conversation. This conversation will include your school and morning or afternoon preference.  We will make every attempt to accommodate your request, however no placement is guaranteed.
  2. If approved, you will receive an email with a link to our on-line registration form, which will include the school and class placement that you will need to enter on the registration form.
  3. You will receive an email from the school indicating your registration has been received.
  4. The classroom teacher will contact you to welcome you to their class and school. 

Frequently Ask Questions and Answers for Inclusive Preschool

How old does my child need to be to attend?

Children receiving supports through PUF must have turned 2 years 8 months before September 1. We accept non-funded Partners in Play community children who have turned 3 years 8 month and showing age-appropriate development and advanced skills in the areas of language and social development.

What day does my child come to school?

All Inclusive Education Preschool children attend Monday through Thursday and children receiving supports and services through PUF also attend on Fridays.

Where are the preschool programs and what times are the morning or afternoon classes?
2019-2020 School Year Schedules 
​Crystal Park School 
9351 116 Avenue 

Morning class times: 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon class times: 12:10 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.
​Derek Taylor Public School
7321 104A Street

Morning class times: 8:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. 
Afternoon class times: 12:05 p.m. to  2:35 p.m.
​Roy Bickell Public School
10410 Royal Oak Drive

Morning class times: 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Afternoon class times: 12:20 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
​Swanavon School
8908 100 Street

Morning class times: 8:50 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
Afternoon class times: 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

What are the preschool fees?

Families of children who are in non-funded spaces pay a fee of $190 per month.  A pre-authorized debit form is set up at the school for monthly withdrawals. Notice of a child withdrawal must be provided by the third week of the month for next month.  Refunds are not provided. Families of children receiving supports and services through PUF do not pay a fee.

Does my child need to toilet independently?

Children who attend as Partner in Play must be able to toilet independently. Children who receive PUF supports do not need to be able to toilet independently. Parents are responsible to communicate with the classroom staff about where their child is at in the process and to provide diapers or pull ups for throughout the day.

Does preschool provide busing for children?

Families who have children receiving PUF supports may eligible for busing. Busing is not provided for children identified with a mild or moderate delay or for children participating in a community space.

Is my child eligible for Program Unit Funding (PUF)?

PUF supports are provided to school authorities for children with identified severe disabilities/delays by a qualified professional (pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychologist, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist) and who are at least 2 years 8 months and less than 6 years of age on September 1. Funding may be accessed for a maximum of three years if the student continues to qualify with Kindergarten being the last year.

Is my child eligible if they have mild/moderate disabilities/delays?

Mild/moderate funding is provided to school authorities for children who are 3 years 8 months of age and less than 6 years of age on September 1 of any given year. Funding may be accessed for a maximum of two years with their last year being Kindergarten.

If I believe my child has a learning need how do I get an assessment?

For speech and language development concerns contact: Alberta Health Services Preschool Speech and Language Services at Grande Prairie – 780-513-8126 or refer to the following link CLICK HERE

For cognitive, physical or behaviour development concerns contact:  Alberta Health Services Early Childhood Intervention Program for more information at 780-513-7500 or refer to the following link CLICK HERE 

If you have any further questions about Preschool, please contact:

Christina Farquharson


Gerry-Lynn McCann