The children range in age from eighteen months to six years. We have seven classrooms: two for toddlers (18 months to three years), four for preschoolers (three to five years), and one kindergarten. Our toddler and preschool classrooms have mixed-age groups. Children stay with the same teacher for two years, affording them a sense of belonging and continuity of experience. Mixed age groups afford children opportunities for leadership and support individual differences in development.
Lead teachers in each classroom are experienced teachers who hold one or more degrees and teacher licensure in Early Childhood Education. The teaching faculty is assisted by associate teachers (graduate students), undergraduate teaching assistants, and early childhood field students. A studio teacher serves as the visual arts consultant for the school. Administrative faculty include the director and coordinators for admissions and finance. The director is the pedagogical coordinator for the school and an early childhood faculty member in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies.
Our Curriculum Focus
Inspired by our study of the Reggio Emilia approach, we have constructed an educational program that extends our understanding of developmentally appropriate practices and has these key elements and values:
- Individuality of each person within the group
- Participation as a right and an expectation
- Inquiry and critical thinking embedded in daily practice
- School as a place for research
- Learning as a journey of the mind and the heart
The contexts for learning are both inside and outside the school. The meadow near the school serves as a laboratory for research by the children and their teachers. In addition, we will be breaking ground for our new Outdoor Learning Laboratory this spring. The Outdoor Learning Laboratory will promote environmental stewardship, conservation, and the development of an ecological identity in young children. This new outdoor venue will contain many places for children to pursue inquiry in nature including enhanced garden spaces, a mud kitchen, and an amphitheater.