Our curriculum is segmented into trimesters; the first trimester provides a look at what the world means to us – how it sounds, smells, tastes and looks. The second trimester allows children to explore other countries through ‘visits’ and pen pals — children examine how the world appears to people of different cultures and learn about familial and community structures in other cultures. The final trimester takes children another step outside themselves — looking at how the world has formed to create all of us and how it is perfectly designed to stimulate and provide for us. While these themes remain constant the lessons we use to teach them are constantly changing. Each new year brings a new staff view and a new classroom desire. Each tenant and value may be reexamined and altered to fit our community’s ever-growing search for knowledge.
The following are some guiding principles that serve as the basis for our curriculum:
- Children constantly learn as they play.
- Children learn to be socially interactive through dramatic play.
- Feeling, touching and creating through sensory activities enhance cognitive skills.
- Painting, pasting and participation in art activities allows children to express themselves creatively.
- Cutting, assembling and threading objects encourage the development of fine motor skills.
- Physical activity and movement, such as balancing, crawling, dancing and jumping, help to develop gross motor skills.
- Reading stories every day promotes literacy while exposing children to different cultures and experiences.
- Positive interaction and communication are encouraged among all the children as well as between adults and children.
Our curriculum encourages teachers to ask open-ended questions and interact with children on their eye level.
Our academic year starts in early September and ends in late June. To accommodate parents who need an extended-day, we also offer optional early drop off, after-school and Summer Day Camp programs.
Our pre-school program at 87 Irving Place has seven full-day classes: 2s (Ladybugs and Rolly Pollies); 3s (Fireflies, Caterpillars, and Crickets); 3/4s (Butterflies). The full-time schedule is 5 days a week from 8:30-3:30 pm for the Ladybugs, Crickets, and Fireflies and 9:00-4:00 pm for Caterpillars, Butterflies, and Rolly Pollies. Part-time schedules are either two, three or four days a week.
Starting in September 2016 we are offering a half-day program at 87 Irving Place as well. The two morning classrooms run from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. One afternoon classroom will run from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. As a member of our half day program, each child will have their own special place (and pillow) in our school community. They will be lead by our wonderful Co-op teachers, enriched by the same Music/Gardening/Movement specialists of our full day programs and get free reign of our facilities. Children enrolled in our half day program will be given preference/priority for admission into our full day program, there will not be the guarantee of a spot for the 2017-2018 school year.