Our Preschool program is deeply rooted in the principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy. We believe that our students are strong, capable individuals who deserve to exercise autonomy over their own education, and are therefore guided to co-construct their own knowledge within the context of an emergent curriculum. Emphasis is given to the development of individual identity, in the hopes that all students realize their value and responsibility within our school and local community. Preschool students participate in child-centered and teacher-facilitated activities that give them opportunities to fully explore the world around them. Teachers carry out comprehensive observations and documentation of goings-on in the classroom, and in conjunction with their knowledge of child development and their objectives for the year, are able to thoughtfully craft a curriculum that is centered on the interests and questions of their class. Employing the 100 languages of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, a multi-sensory approach is used to meet the varying learning styles and developmental needs of each child, as children are encouraged to express their thoughts, emotions and knowledge through a variety of media, including paint, clay, collage, music, dance, storytelling, blocks, and both natural and recycled materials.
The Preschool 2s & 3s Program
In the Preschool 2s program, there is a strong focus on social and emotional growth, with a healthy separation being of the utmost importance in the early months of the school year. For many children, this will be their first time in a traditional classroom setting and away from the one-on-one care of a parent or caretaker, and therefore the teachers’ goal is to help children begin to understand that they are part of a larger society. Teachers guide their children to find their individual niche within the classroom community, and to notice and appreciate each other's differences. Engagement in a variety of multi-sensory activities and regular daily routines help children build comfort and gain confidence in their new school setting.
In the Preschool 3s program, teachers build upon the children’s developing social and emotional skills as they continue to foster a respect for our greater community. Focus is also given to fostering a strong sense of independence in our 3s. As topics of interest emerge in the 3s program, classrooms dive deeper into project work as teachers begin to encourage investigations into early literacy and mathematical concepts.
The Preschool Day
While time spent engaging in project work is a critical part of the school day, all aspects of the preschool schedule are filled with opportunities for skill building and learning. Throughout the preschool experience, teachers are guided by the developmental milestones set forth by the New York State Early Learning Guidelines, as well as their own professional experiences, to provide opportunities that help each student to meet developmentally and age-appropriate expectations while also challenging them accordingly.
Consistency and predictability within the preschool daily schedule is a crucial factor in building community and relationships among peers and adults alike. While there is flexibility in routine, the components of the day remain the same from class to class. Each class participates in group conversations at morning assembly, engages in project work, and has the opportunity for unstructured gross motor exercise on our recently renovated rooftop or in our indoor gym. Ample time is allotted for meals, play, read-alouds, rest time and bathroom breaks.
Enrichments Led by Specialists
- Art Studio
- Music & Movement