Can you tell me about your program?
We are a multi-service organization that provides a variety of programs for families, and early childhood professionals. We have an eco-friendly preschool that serves children ages 2-6. We also offer parent education for individual families or groups, as well as workshops and in-services for professional development.
Can you tell me about your educational approach?
Congruent with our ecological view and our understanding of bi-directional influences, we believe in “guided participation.” It is a non-traditional teaching method that stresses reflection and observational skills on the part of the educator to reach the child. Guided participation is a relationship-based method in which the teacher engages with the child to help him/her acquire or expand on his/her knowledge of world. It is a collaborative and active process between the child and the teacher.
How do you handle discipline?
We believe that when a child “misbehaves” it is because he/she lacks a certain skill: for example, the cognitive ability to understand the cause and effect relationship of their actions towards an object or individual. Discipline is seen as an opportunity for us to “teach” (using our guided participation approach) the child the skill they are lacking.
How do you handle conflict between children?
We believe that children learn important interpersonal and social skills through conflict. Therefore, conflicts are not avoided. They are handled according to the age, cognitive level, language and emotional maturity of the individual child(ren). We support our children in their conflict resolution efforts with a non-judgmental approach in which we honor feelings and decision-making. In many cases, children lack the verbal ability to communicate their needs. Sometimes, the child needs to learn negotiation skills. Our teachers support the children verbally by describing the situation, allowing each child to share their side of the story, acknowledging feelings, prompting verbal exchanges and encouraging ideas to solve the conflict but ultimately, respecting the children's solution. As children get older, they learn to communicate effectively and solve conflicts successfully with little or no intervention from the teacher.
What is your teacher:student ratio?
Our ratio is 1:6 in our younger preschool classes and 1:7 in our older preschool classes.
Do children have to be potty learned to start your program?
No, children can be on the way to potty learning. We will work with families and child through the process.
What are your hours of operation?
Our morning program meets from 9:00am to 12:00pm Monday through Friday, and our Spanish Immersion afternoon program meets from 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm Monday through Friday. We offer an optional Extended Day Program until 1:30. Our Developmental Kindergarten class meets Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm. All morning program classes may be extended by adding the above afternoon programs to your schedule. Please click on Programs at the top of the page to find more information about these individual classes.
Are you a year-round school?
Our school year runs from August to June, with school closures on national holidays and a 2-week break in the winter and in the spring. Camps are offered during winter and spring break. We are closed during the month of July.
Can you describe the admissions process?
First, parents sign up to take a tour of our facility with our director Veronica Cabello. After the tour, if you think that our preschool might be a good fit for your child and family, you may turn in your completed registration application. We will then contact you to arrange a 1-hour “playdate” with our teachers and with other applicants and their children. We will review your application and then let you know by March 15 whether you have been admitted to our program. Admission to our program is NOT on a first-come first-served basis; it is based on a variety of factors, including our desire for gender balance in the classrooms and our mission to create a diverse population of children and families.
In what ways can parents get involved in your program?
We have an open door policy and parents are welcome on our campus any time during the school day. We encourage parents to volunteer their time in the classrooms or to bring in special activities and projects to share with their child’s class. Hours should be arranged with the child’s teacher ahead of time. Parents may also sign up to be a member of our Parent Action Committee (PAC), which gives parents the opportunity to get involved both in and out of the classroom in many ways, such as fundraising, event planning, and more.
What does is it mean that you are an "eco-friendly" school?
Our facility is eco-friendly in many ways, and we also incorporate eco-friendly practices into our daily routines with the children and among the staff.
How is your facility eco-friendly?
- We installed recycled wood flooring in our classrooms and offices.
- Our walls are painted with zero VOC paints.
- Our play structure and other playground materials come from companies that are environmentally responsible and use wood from managed forests.
- Our toys, furniture, and other materials are non-toxic, made from recycled materials, come from environmentally-responsible companies, or have been reused or salvaged from older materials that might otherwise have been thrown away.
- We reused many of the left-over materials from our remodel, such as pieces of concrete to make a patio and scraps of wood to use for woodworking projects with the children.
- We use a low-flow irrigation system to water the plants.
How do you incorporate eco-friendly practices into your daily routine?
- Recycling and composting are part of our daily routine. The children learn to sort recyclables and to save their food scraps for the compost bin.
- We encourage healthy eating habits by serving only organic and all-natural snacks, and by discouraging parents from packing sugary or other unhealthy snacks for their children.
- We have a zero-trash lunch policy, in which parents are expected to pack their children's lunches in reusable containers.
- Gardening is a huge part of our curriculum. The children tend to our gardens daily.
- We celebrate Earth Day once a week, dedicating a whole day to earth-related projects such as taking care of animals, gardening, recycling, and singing songs about nature.
- We use environmentally-safe cleaning products in our classrooms, offices, kitchens, and bathrooms.
What are your tuition costs?
Our tuition rates vary based on the age of the child, the number of days enrolled per week, and the hours enrolled per day. Detailed tuition information is given out on the tours.