Additional Preschool Programs
Early Childhood students participate in art and science activities that stimulate their imaginations, foster fine motor development, and allow exploration of a variety of mediums. Students have the opportunity to draw, paint, and work with clay on a regular basis. Through art, children develop and demonstrate an understanding of scientific concepts.
The preschool and Kindergarten music program includes singing, playing, moving, listening, and creating, all of which encourage students to recognize and respond to their own inherent musical natures. At this age profound enthusiasm for songs, dances, and musical stories is enhanced by hands-on involvement that builds confidence in their own ability to make music. The core curriculum of their music education is complemented with seasonal songs and weekly chapel selections.
Mandarin Chinese is introduced to Pre-K and Spanish is introduced to Kindergarten students. The world languages program provides children with an interactive learning environment in which they learn the languages in fun ways. The course focuses more on communication competence (listening and speaking skills) through visual and audio aids, which involve games, songs, and the use of technology (flip-camera, Mimio smart board, and iPads.)
Students in PK3, PK4, and Kindergarten are exposed to a wide variety of authors and illustrators at an early age in the Lower School Library. PK and Kindergarten students visit the library once each week for story time. They also enjoy the Books and Bags Program. Through Books and Bags, students take home a different red book bag filled with 3 systematically chosen books each week, selected for families to enjoy together. By the end of the year, students have heard total of about 100 books in addition to stories read in the classroom and library!
Each week, classes meet in the Lower School classroom, adjacent to the Jean Jones-Downey Chapel for "Little Chapel" Class. Modeled after our weekly "Big Chapel" service held every Friday at 8:15 in the Lower School gym. Little Chapel is a chance for the individual classes to learn, discuss, and share in a communal environment. We are always full of music and song, color and laughter.
The curriculum for grades PK3 through 1 is based on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: Level I. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian faith.
Pre-k and Kindergarten students participate in a fitness program called Stretch n Grow, which promotes wellness and exercise specifically for young children. The curriculum also incorporates topics including nutrition, muscle groups, balance, agility, coordination, and self-esteem.
Pre-kindergarten students work with iPads in their classrooms as part of their regular curriculum. Kindergarten students are introduced to the Tech Lounge and its many actiivities early in the year. They work with our SMART Table, digital cameras, computers, iPads, and more to develop those introductory schills necessary to use technology equipment safely and successfully.