Our unique center provides a safe and engaging environment where children are encouraged to explore and be creative. Within this setting, we are able to offer a variety of interactive and challenging activities that encourage each child’s exploration. We provide each child with a developmentally appropriate curriculum that is based on the DCFS guidelines and State and City licensing requirements. Lesson plans for each classroom are developed through the children’s interests and capabilities. We try to meet every child individually at their own level and encourage them to advance to a higher level of understanding.
Parents receive daily reports from teachers about class activities and about how their child is progressing. All parents are encouraged to visit the classroom and teachers throughout the school year, to review their child’s progress and to learn more about the school’s programs. The staff is always available to help during this dynamic and exciting stage in your child’s life.
We provide a healthy breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch and a snack after nap. We are a peanut and tree nut free school. All meals are catered through Sprout Scouts which serves organic and locally grown ingredients. All meals are peanut/tree nut free.
TWO YEAR OLD’S
Children in the 2-year-old program are exploring the world around them. Goals for this age group fall into four categories: social/emotional, self-help, physical and cognitive.
- Social and emotional skills include being able to participate in group activities, taking turns, showing respect for others, and sharing.
- Self-help skills include being able to follow simple two-step directions, for example, washing hands and then sitting down at the table. They will also begin potty training.
- Cognitive and physical developmental goals include manipulation of crayons, paintbrushes, stacking blocks, running, climbing and riding bikes. Children identify basic shapes and colors, count to 10, recite the alphabet and recognize the first letter of their name.
- Children will listen to stories, sing songs, play games, do art projects, develop language and vocabulary skills, as well as movement and sensory motor skills.
Each day begins with a circle time gathering, where children greet each other, talk about weather and discuss other significant events The months of the year and days of the week are reviewed on a daily basis. The children participate in organized activities, either one-on-one or in small groups, and have many opportunities for free play.
Preschool (3 year old’s)
Children in our Preschool program are actively involved in meeting new friends and discovering the world around them. They learn basic social and emotional skills and beginning academic skills. Our curriculum is thematically oriented with projects encompassing each special theme.
- Art facilitates discovery of one’s unique creativity, using numerous art media in fun and exciting ways. Children will be given the opportunity to color, paint, use glue and scissors, and create many masterpieces using their own imagination and guidance from their teachers.
- Music & creative movement encourages the pure joy of music and allows the children to enjoy dancing and moving their bodies. This enables them to strengthen their large muscles and provides ample opportunity for gross motor activity.
- Social skills foster a sense of community, responsibility and self-awareness. Children will show more interest in playing with their friends and developing early social skills through various activities.
- Blocks and different manipulatives enhance math development and coordination. Children will learn how to count to 20, sort colors and create simple patterns. Manipulating big and small objects will also allow the children to strengthen their hand muscles, which is vital for early writing skills.
- Dramatic play fosters learning of everyday living skills, role-playing, cooperation, and language development.
- Language development is provided through many portals. Children will have many opportunities to listen to stories, sing songs, do finger plays and flannel board stories. Teachers will also use language development cards to initiate conversations about various topics like the weather, people, feelings and objects.
- Science involves learning about bugs, animals, rocks, trees, flowers, weather, and much more. We take the children on nature walks and allow the children the opportunity to tell us about nature and science.
- Learning centers encourage self-reliance and provide opportunities for children to develop their self-confidence. Children also practice their decision making as they navigate from center to center. Children are encouraged to progress at their own pace according to their individual needs and abilities
Pre-Kindergarten (4-5 year old’s)
Children in the Pre-Kindergarten class are ready for more challenging and structured activities. The teachers in the Pre-K class provide the children with essential tools for early literacy skills and build their curriculum around their interests.
- Art is an important part of the curriculum. The children are very active in making their own art creations. The teacher will demonstrate the art activity for the day and the students will follow directions and use their imagination. Many art projects allow for freedom with the art supplies to encourage the children to use their imagination. We continue to develop fine motor skills, such as cutting, writing, and drawing.
- Math is taught through various approaches. The children count to higher numbers each day, learn new numbers, and play games to develop math skills. Some math games include counting, sorting objects, creating patterns and placing objects in categories. These techniques are very useful and help the children learn quickly.
- Science experiments help children explore their surroundings. Children will develop hypotheses for various experiments and discuss the conclusions at the end. They will also discuss bugs, animals, rocks, trees, flowers, weather, and much more. We will take the children on nature walks and allow the children the opportunity to tell us about nature and science.
- Language development will become more challenging and structured in the Pre-K classroom. The children will learn one letter per week during the school year which will allow them to become more comfortable with the beginning and ending sounds of each letter of the alphabet. This will enable them to begin reading and jump start their early literacy skills. While reading stories, your child will be asked to use critical-thinking skills to predict outcomes. Teachers will also use language development cards to initiate conversations about various topics like the weather, people, feelings and objects.
- Early literacy skills include beginning writing skills as well, and the Pre-K children will be provided with many activities that will aid in learning how to write the letters of the alphabet, and eventually, their name and many other words. They will start off with fine motor muscle strengthening activities like lacing strings through boards and using tweezers to pick up beans. They will also practice tracing a variety of lines. This will help them develop stronger hand muscles, which will enable them to hold a pencil and produce letter, and eventually, spell out words.
- Dramatic play and music and movement encourage freedom of expression and also allow the children to use their imagination. We give the children many opportunities to use the puppets, dress up clothes, and more. Music is a very important experience for young children. We use music to teach the children their alphabet, numbers, shapes, days of the week, and the months of the year.
In our weekly cooking class, children will have the opportunity to create nut-free meals and prepare a variety of healthy foods. Counting and measurement skills will be encouraged, self-help skills will be cultivated, and children will engage in their own hypotheses about their creations. Much of the actions will revolve around the executive functioning skills of planning, listening, sharing, negotiating, turn-taking, and reflecting.
Our weekly yoga and movement class is designed for children to play and use their imaginations, along with incorporating ways for them to reduce stress, increase focus and confidence, and get in shape. We believe starting a yoga practice early in life gets children moving and stretching, aids in the development of self-regulation tools, and encourages them to live a life of wellness and health long-term.
Our weekly Spanish lessons will allow your child to gain appreciation and acceptance of the diverse society we live in at an early age. The most important thing to know is that no language is easier to learn for your child than another language. Research shows that children below the age of 10 have a unique ability to absorb a foreign language like a sponge, and to build a foundation in a new language alongside their primary language.
Preschool and Pre-K enjoy computer classes once a week. Children will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of lessons involving math, science and literacy skills using computer software designed to teach young children. Children will gain exposure to learning their shapes, colors, numbers and letters, along with many other cognitive skills while learning how to manipulate a computer and gain technology skills.