Early Childhood (Preschool-Kindergarten, ages 3-6) – half day all day
Schedule: There are both half-day and all-day program options at the Early Childhood level.
All-day classrooms open at 8am, and the arrival window is from 8-9:15am. Their days consist of an uninterrupted work morning, outdoor time, lunch, rest, an afternoon work and outdoor period, and the dismissal window for children to go home is between 3:15-5:30pm.
In the half-day program, families can choose either a morning or an afternoon option, and either group can enroll in the lunch program to eat a community meal with friends and extend their day. The morning class opens at 8:15am, with an arrival window between 8:15-8:30. Children can be picked up at 11:15am or stay for lunch until 12:30. Afternoon children arrive at 11:15 for lunch or 12:30 and the dismissal window to go home is from 3-3:15pm. Either class has opportunities for an uninterrupted work period, community meeting, snack, and outdoor play.
Plane of Development: Three to six year olds are in the plane of development known as the Absorbent Mind. This is a period of intense mental activity for children in which they are like sponges, absorbing everything around them. It is a time to focus on modeling, opportunities for exploration, and rich environments. The teacher acts as a guide to facilitate a child’s connection to learning opportunities.
Curriculum: During the beginning of a child’s journey in the Early Childhood classroom, he or she will spend time focusing on foundational skills for learning such as order, coordination, concentration, and independence. These abilities will empower and fuel future learning and taking the time to build these strong foundations is a valuable investment. As children move toward kindergarten, they have these tools for effective learning and begin focusing on the full spectrum of learner outcomes: independence and autonomy, confidence and competence, intrinsic motivation, academic preparation, social responsibility, and spiritual awareness.
All of this work is completed in the context of freedom within limits, choices, hands-on experiences, movement, and social learning.
Teachers carefully observe students as they work, and individualize lessons and experiences based on the readiness and interests they demonstrate.