Preschool & Pre-K
For preschool and pre-kindergarten, we currently have full- and part-time options for children ages two and a half through five. The philosophy is based primarily on principles of Democratic Education, Humane Education, and Reggio Emilia. There is a maximum student to teacher ratio of 7 to 1, plus close director involvement. See below for more details or attend one of our Information Sessions to tour the school and ask questions.
Environment & Materials in the Preschool
Each group is assigned one or two advisor teachers. The advisor teacher will be the parents' first point of contact for questions and concerns about their child. However, we do have a co-teaching environment which allows all teachers and children to get to know one another. Again this helps us to feel much like a family, where teachers constantly model cooperative communication.
Children in any age group may attend half-days or full-days for any consistent number of days each week, with a minimum of 2 half-days. Parents may select their days at registration time. Please note that children must be 2 1/2 on the day that they start, and we do NOT require that they be potty-trained.
These times are flexible and change as needed, depending on the group’s interests and the flow of the particular day, but this can give you an idea of what a day is like:
~8:00 (about 1 hour) Free Play - For those children arriving early, this is a time for free play with others or individually or small group work with a teacher.
~8:50-9:20 (about 30 minutes) Children Arrive and We Greet Each Other - We offer a fairly long drop-off window because we understand that it is very difficult to arrive exactly on time with small children. We also want to have ample opportunity to welcome each child individually and ensure a smooth transition. We will work with you to find a consistent drop-off routine that works for you and your child.
~9:20-10:10 (about 30 minutes) Free Play - Once the children are settled in to the day, we like to offer them plenty of time to fully enjoy whichever activity they have chosen to participate in. Then, once they start feeling hungry, there is a natural transition point for cleaning up and starting our meeting time.
~10:10 (10-30 minutes) Morning Meeting and Snack - This is a special time of day where we gather in small groups to have a chance to talk and listen to one another. We often sing songs, read books, share about our weekends, discuss ideas for the day, or just chat about an interesting topic. We ask that parents make every effort to arrive prior to meeting, as it can feel awkward for children to try to say goodbye mid-meeting. While meeting, we provide a healthy snack, usually fruits or vegetables and a grain, which we try to rotate. The teachers and children enjoy coming together to chat with one another as we continue to further our plans for the day.
~10:30 (about 1 hour) Unscheduled Time - The greatest gift we can give the children is this large block of unscheduled time, during which anything can happen. Teachers set out provocations, children and teachers host offerings, children create their own activities using the rich materials in the environment, visitors and community members share their talents and expertise, and spontaneous events occur (from caterpillar sightings to dance parties). Because we do not have a rigid structure, we are able to thoroughly enjoy this time and delve deeply into whatever we may be doing in that moment.
~11:35 (5-10 minutes) Clean Up - We work together as a community clean up from our morning activities. Children are expected to help, but the focus is on participating in some way so that everyone feels involved rather than overwhelmed.
~11:45 (5-30 minutes) Lunch Time - This is one of the children's favorite times of day as they at last get to crack open their beloved lunch boxes to see what treasures have been packed inside. We all enjoy sitting down together as a community to enjoy a meal.
~12:30 (5-45 minutes) Quiet or Outside Time - We all generally go outside after lunch, which is where you will usually find your child for half-day pick-up. This is a great time to do a quick check-in with a teacher about the day, to spend a moment playing with your child in the sandbox, or to catch up with another parent.
~1:00 (1-3 hours) Nap or Still Time - Children that stay all day will either take a nap or have Still Time, depending on their needs. We like to work with parents to determine if the child still seems to require a nap or is ready to be awake all day. Those children that do not nap can choose a quiet activity for a period of Still Time. This allows us all to take a moment to slow down and relax after a busy morning.
~2:30 (10-30 minutes) Snack Time - As children wake up from nap or wrap up their afternoon work they will have the opportunity to reconvene for an afternoon snack.
~3:00 (1 hour) Free Play & Cleanup - Most children will leave at this time, but those who remain will be able to play freely and will have opportunities to help teachers clean up for the day.
For 2013-2014 there is a $190 registration fee for new families (this also covers a required parent orientation class) or a $165 registration fee per child per year for returning families. Fees will be pro-rated for students entering mid-year. There is also a one-time $200 Parent Education Fee for each new family, which includes a Communication Skills Workshop.
Unfortunately we do not currently have any tuition assistance available for the preschool. However, we are excited to be able to offer some assistance and a sliding scale for K-12 students. Click here for details.