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Pre-K: Four- Five-year-olds

For our pre-k students, we offer a complete and well-rounded curriculum, with science as a primary thematic focus.  With the children’s expanding awareness of the community, social studies are also explored more.   Each year the children build upon their knowledge, life experience and increasing cognitive sophistication to expand their understanding of the world! 

Our pre-k teachers incorporate all of the elements from our comprehensive developmental checklist into their lesson plans, so the children enjoy a full educational experience.  The developmental checklist includes:  reading, phonics, speech and language arts, math, fine motor development, gross motor development, cognitive skills, practical life skills, social and emotional development, science, social studies, and fine arts.

At the pre-k level, the teacher is moving the children toward more focused and sustained attention and expanding their abilities to complete tasks in preparation for kindergarten.  Objectives at this level include, but are not limited to, gaining a more solid recognition of letters and letter sounds, increasing exposure to sight words, and the process of blending sounds into words.  “The Letter People” program is used as an engaging and effective system for capturing the children’s interest and making our written language come alive.  

For fine motor development, we utilize “Handi-Learning” manipulatives and the “Handwriting Without Tears” program.  Our goal is for the pre-k students to use writing tools with increasing comfort, write their names and the other letters in the alphabet in upper case, and use scissors safely and with increasing accuracy and precision.  It is important for the children to continue to refine their finger control as well as their core postural strength throughout their pre-k year.  

The children also acquire a sense of numbers and how they are used.  This is accomplished by daily exposure to numbers through various means such as the calendar, base ten and place value, patterns, weighing, measuring, time, money, temperature, graphing, Venn diagrams, and basic addition and subtraction.  

In addition to weekly music class, pre-k students receive computer instruction for 40 minutes per week.  

We strongly support the value of outdoor activity and movement for both health and brain function.  Weather permitting, students have daily playground access with an average 20 minute free play time for vigorous movement, climbing, scooter and trike riding, ball play, cooperative games, and block construction.   Pre-k students also are allocated 20 minutes of gym time daily for physical education.  

In order to be ready for kindergarten, we want the children to feel comfortable and confident and to enjoy their ability to learn. They need to learn to stick with a task to completion and be willing to take a risk when learning something new and challenging.  Kindergarten readiness includes the ability to follow multistep teacher instructions, work reasonably well with others, learn how to resolve conflict and interact successfully with others.   If a child is not yet to this point, we feel that another year at the pre-k level gaining confidence, skill and maturity is in the child’s best interest. 

At the pre-k level, attendance is five mornings per week with nine to ten children in each class. The hours are 8:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.. There are enrichment classes available each day after class as well as limited extended day.  All children must be picked up by 2 p.m.