The core Preschool program runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There are up to 20 children in this class with one teacher, one teacher's assistant and two duty parents. Parent duty days number approximately 10 mornings per school year.
Additional options for children in the preschool class are:
Parents may add Tuesday or Thursday morning to the core program. There is a limit of 10 children in the class with one teacher and one teacher's assistant.
Parents may add Tuesday and Thursday morning to the core program. There is a limit of 10 children in the class with one teacher and one teacher's assistant.
Parents may choose to have their children bring lunch and stay for an after-school lunch program until 1:45 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and/or Friday. Lunch Bunch is limited to 15 children with one teacher and one teacher's assistant.
In order to give our students a successful start to school we carefully plan our activities, organize our environment, select our toys and materials, plan our daily schedule, and talk with our children in a way that accomplishes the goals of our curriculum.
Our Preschool curriculum is based on several beliefs:
- Children learn best, and retain knowledge longer, when they have either a need or a desire to know.
- ote learning creates robots - it satisfies adults but has little or no meaning to children, except for the pleasure they gain from the adults' reactions to their recitations.
- Learning comes through involvement - it takes place when a child interacts with their world and becomes part of the action. A child’s senses ignite when they are allowed to explore their world through discovery and with curiosity.
- Learning begins where the child is; their home, community, friends, family, and environment. We allow our children to ease into new concepts by beginning with the familiar and progressing to new understandings.
- Children learn through play. Just as adults go to work, play is the work of children.
The most important goal of our curriculum is to help children become enthusiastic learners. This means encouraging them to be active and creative explorers who are not afraid to try ideas and to think independently. We help guide our children to become independent, self-confident, inquisitive lifelong learners. We allow them to learn at their own pace and take each child’s individual learning style into consideration. We model good habits and attitudes and help give each child the confidence to see the positive in themselves and others.
The room arrangement is center-based and is carefully planned with distinct areas of interest in order to make choices clear to children. A wide variety of materials are selected with curriculum goals in mind so that no matter where children play they're learning. Materials and items are placed so that they're easily seen and accessible so that children can get them independently. Quiet areas such as the book area and the discovery center are placed away from noisier, active centers such as blocks or house/socio-dramatic play area to give children a quiet place to go to when needed or desired. The art center is near our water source for easy clean up and so children can be more independent with washing skills. Blocks and house/socio-dramatic play centers are near each other to encourage cooperative, dramatic play.
The schedule of our day provides a balance of quiet and active times, between activities and experiences that give children time to engage fully and creatively in their work. Our daily schedule includes:
Arrival/Table Activity Time: Primarily, it is planned to allow for children arriving at different times to be greeted by the teacher and other duty parents, to greet each other, work near each other to spark conversations and friendships, to be aware of others in our class whom they may not play with or notice during more active work time, to encourage learning from each other as well as to develop fine motor, readiness, eye-hand coordination and social skills.
Meeting Time: The "official" beginning of our day, this is a time to come together as a community to share news and plan our daily activities. It gives children a sense of purpose to our morning; a way to inform and include them...this is THEIR classroom.
Center/Work Time: This is the time for children to choose from a variety of activities and centers. The children have the option of moving from center to center, interacting freely with the various environments, to work creatively and industriously alone or with others. Focuses for learning areas include socio-dramatic play, construction, manipulatives, language, art, discovery, investigation, writing, puzzles, etc.
The rest of our schedule also follows a plan and balance of activities: clean-up time is our classroom community coming together, accepting responsibility and taking pride in our environment; while books/story time helps foster a love of reading and books. Indoor/outdoor time is used to improve gross motor skills, to socialize and to swing, run, slide, climb, jump, and smile!
In short, our goals for the Preschool class are to help develop each child's physical, emotional, intellectual, social and creative needs. Most of all, we strive to keep the "CHILD" in childhood and to allow each child to be exactly who they are while they maneuver and participate in our safe and wonderful community.