• Early Childhood

      downtown early childhood header

Early Childhood


Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten

Making discoveries through play, 
learning is joyful in early childhood programs.
Early childhood programs on the Downtown Campus are all about play. We're developing the whole child to become a well-rounded individual, someone who is creative and empathetic, who finds constant joy in discovery. 

In October, one of our Pre-Kindergarten themes is apples. Students learn about gravity by racing their apples down ramps at different inclines, propping up the ramps all around the classroom and playground, and taking turns to see whose apple rolls the fastest. This simple game demonstrates gravity while exercising social skills as children took turns, kindly returned run-away apples, and guessed aloud whose apple would be the winner. 

Play-based learning happens every day in early childhood as students play in "centers" -- areas stationed throughout the classrooms with simple toys, blocks, and puzzles -- where they learn about the joy of discovery.

Schedule Options

The Downtown Campus offers a full-day Kindergarten program. While Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten students may attend full-day or half-day. Additionally, Preschool students may choose to attend 3, 4, or 5, days each week, either half- or full-day.

We also offer before-care beginning at 7:30 am and after-care, which runs until 6:00 pm.

LOVE & UNDERSTANDING

Every morning begins with a community circle. Students speak with kindness, patiently take turns, and make eye contact with one another. Every child's voice is heard and perspective considered, laying the groundwork for our youngest learners to develop empathy.
 
We approach all of our activities with that same sense of love and understanding. We want to show our students we care for them, and we then want them to extend that same caring toward others.

We also help our students develop mindfulness. As we experience nature on walks through God's Acre, we ask them to check in with their thoughts and feelings. These quiet times of reflection are important for children to learn to understand themselves so they can then better understand others. 

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

Every day in all areas of learning, we aim for interactive experiences. This means building with Legos, learning about density by experimenting with objects that float or sink, creating art with tools from individual art buckets, and moving as much as possible between "centers" -- stations for imaginative play located around the classroom. 
 
It's important to note, too, that our math and writing programs are personalized for each child, meaning every student is being challenged to the best of their abilities at the appropriate level. Not only are learning experiences fun and social whenever possible, but they are individually tailored and developmentally focused. 

Perhaps one of the best parts of the experiential learning we offer is the digital student portfolio, SeeSaw, parents, and families can see a real-time picture of what their children are doing in class and are therefore able to ask them specific questions about their day, becoming partners in learning and a part of the overall experience. 

The most important part of Early Childhood is simply the experience of being a child and not rushing toward the Lower School, having fun every step of the way, and moving forward when each student is developmentally ready.

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