We have three classrooms that serve children in different age-groups:
• A Toddler Class for eight 1 to 2 year-olds,
• A Middler Class for eight to ten 2 to 3 year-olds, and
• A Preschool Class for 15-17 3, 4, and 5 year-olds
Each class has two full time teachers. Children stay in the same classroom with the same peers and the same two teachers from September (or time of enrollment) through August.
Teaching teams alternate schedules weekly with one teacher working from 7:30-5:30 with a two hour break, and one working from 8:30-5:30 with a one hour break, or 9:30-5:30 with no break. This allows parents and teachers to communicate in the morning at drop off, then again with the same teacher at pick up.
Our curriculum is:
- Child-centered. Children learn through play and naturally choose activities that stimulate their unique development.
- Emergent. Children learn best when curriculum is based on the children’s interests and developmental needs.
- Supportive. Our program is responsive to ongoing individual children’s assessment and is unique to each child.
- Influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach. Our program emphasizes the importance of the children’s learning environment, creative expression, and ongoing, reciprocal relationships between children and adults.
- Enhanced by our Outdoor Learning Initiative. Our program focuses on the environment through children’s interactions with, and care for, the natural world.
Our curriculum also:
- Allows for adaptations and modifications to ensure access to the curriculum for all children.
- Can be implemented in a manner that reflects responsiveness to family home values, beliefs, experiences and language.
As children reach developmental goals, teachers use educational scaffolding to gently provide a strong link and guidance to the next goal. This is done through exploration and experimentation with materials, activities built into the lesson plan, or by the teacher or a classmate sharing their knowledge.
Each classroom has activity areas rich with developmentally appropriate materials that are of interest to the children. Children choose their own activities. This allows them to play alone, with friends, and/or with a teacher, and thoroughly explore the materials and concepts involved. As children age, activity areas become more specific and increase in number. Materials become more complex and sophisticated, building on what the child has learned while providing access to new knowledge and skills.
Embracing Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) means we meet the children “where they are” in their development across all domains. Development is measured in terms of what children can do, as opposed to what they cannot do. Teachers conduct authentic assessments of children’s development continuously through observation, listening, documenting children’s work, and individual children’s portfolios.
Parents participate in their child’s assessment by voluntarily contributing documentation to portfolios, and through individual meetings with teachers at least twice a year to formally discuss their child’s growth and development, interests, and developmental goals.
All information collected by the teachers is immediately and directly used to help create a tailored and unique approach to education for each child.