Our Pre-First department is a special place where children are educated in a safe, nurturing environment. Since children develop skills at different rates, students work on language arts and math skills in small groups which are designed to take them where they are and move them forward at their own pace.
The Pre-First curriculum begins with our half-day 3 yr. old class where children develop essential social skills, motor skills, math, language, and pre-reading skills through play and group activities. Students participate in local field trips such as the pumpkin patch in the Fall and the strawberry farm in the Spring to offer educational experiences outside of the regular school setting. Our three year olds also attend a weekly class in the science lab, where they have hands-on interaction with animals. Dance and library time are also attended once a week. Children must turn 3 by September 1 in order to enroll in this program.
Our 4 year olds continue to develop foundational skills in a full day program. Instructional time in language arts and math is balanced with outdoor activities and a state-mandated rest time each day. Children learn in a hands-on environment which encourages structured activity as well as time for exploration and inquiry. Our four year olds participate in weekly enrichment classes. These include dance, library time, science lab for hands on experiences with animal and physical education. Field trips offer real-world experiences and opportunities for children to visit interesting places in our community. Students must be 4 by September 1 to enroll in this program. Both 4 and 5 year old kindergartners participate in Handwriting without Tears.
Our 5 year old Kindergarten rounds out the Pre-First program with a unit-based curriculum that integrates the language and math skills that should be mastered in order for a child to be ready for first grade. Guided reading instruction and participation in our Accelerated Reader program, once a child is a beginning reader, are emphasized. Developmentally appropriate activities in Learning Centers which help build social skills as well as academic skills are intermingled with large and small group instruction each day. Kindergarten students participate in weekly enrichment classes in the areas of library, PE, dance, science lab where hands on interaction with animals and beginning science skills are taught.