Preschool

“…fourth graders who had attended play-oriented preschools in which children often initiated their own activities had better academic performance than those who had attended academics-driven preschools.” Rae Pica, Education Consultant

Our Philosophy

DSC_3288Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of the Reggio Emilia preschools, often spoke of learning as a “tangle of spaghetti, rather than a linear path.” Our progressive preschool and kindergarten learning environments offer each student their own emergent path to learning. The focus on the whole child starts with helping each individual student build the social emotional foundations that they will need both in and out of the classroom environment. We also offer our families flexible scheduling, understanding that focusing on the whole child also means accommodating each families unique needs.

Kindness and Collaboration

Like happiness, our culture tends to view kindness as something abstract, even wishy-washy, but practicing kindness is an important skill in an increasingly collaborative world.

Throughout our school, we focus on principles of kindness, respect and cooperation. In our younger classrooms, teachers develop curriculum that supports caring behaviors (such as taking care of baby dolls, planting seeds, or cleaning up messes). As children grow older they are encouraged to take care of our school by participating in jobs, fixing broken objects, and using materials in appropriate ways.

thumb_DSC_2101_1024Instead of rules, our school community has developed kindness principles for framing our interactions with the world.

  • We take care of ourselves
  • We take care of each other
  • We take care of our materials and the school community

We also use gathering times to discuss multiple perspectives to a problem, and engage in processes of negotiation. Often, classrooms will write their own set of rules and expectations for shared spaces. When children naturally exhibit kind or cooperative behavior, teachers take note of their efforts, and acknowledge the emotional regulation involved.

Emergent Curriculum

Emergent curriculum means deriving the areas of study in the classroom from careful observation of the children. As teachers, our job is to observe children as they play and to engage in meaningful conversations with them to find out where their interests lie and what their abilities are. thumb_DSC_3111_1024Our curriculum is then tailored to help the children explore these play themes in depth, to help them create meaning out of their play, and to offer guidance and support which will enable a child to go beyond his or her current abilities. We feel that the Reggio Emilia approach blends perfectly with the developmentally appropriate practices encouraged by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and supports and enhances our guided play philosophy.