Preschool Questions? We Have Answers…

Do the children play all day, or do they have some “real learning” time?

All the materials in the classroom are there to teach, so when a child is building with blocks, he/she is learning math and physics. The Preschool At Country Day is a language rich environment, where the children and teachers carry on conversations throughout most of the day. Language games and counting games are a normal part of the day, and children are encouraged to use paper, markers, and scissors to exercise their creativity and their motor control. Children of different ability levels work on projects together to foster cooperation and shared learning.

Why should my child learn another language? He/she is just learning English.

At the preschool age, children learn any language as if it were their native language, storing it in a different part of the brain. This helps develop an ear for the language that allows them to build on this base later in life. Learning another language helps children learn to listen and to understand English word usage. Because our student population is very diverse, we appreciate the opportunity to share another language and culture with all our children, enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the world they will live in. Besides, it’s lots of fun for all!

How do you know what the children know?

Our staff are all highly trained observers and they are responsible for collecting samples of the work (or pictures of the child working) to document the child’s mastery of a skill or concept. Following nationally scaled guidelines, we are able to assess each child’s needs and, through scheduled conferences, plan and set goals for your child’s particular needs and gifts. The children are guided to choose more challenging work when they have gained the necessary basic skills. Each child is encouraged to work to the limits of his/her ability.

What form of discipline do you use?

Our classrooms are very “child centered” so it is very easy for us to make simple rules which are not difficult for children to follow. When we do need to remind a child, we use time out. The child will be placed away from the activity and told the reason they have been put in time out. After a wait of approximately 1 minute per year of the child’s age, the teacher will return and ask the child why they are in time out. If the child is able to tell us, then they are allowed to return to the class; if not, we repeat the reason and have them tell us what we just said. This turns time out into a learning experience rather than punishment.

How long has The Preschool At Country Day been in existence?

The Country Day School was begun in 1987 as an outgrowth of The Gifted Child School, established in 1981 and Morningstar Learning Center, established in 1970.

What is the average tenure of the preschool staff?

The average length of time our staff has been with The Preschool At Country Day is six years, with some members of the staff at 8 to 17 years.

Where do the preschoolers go from here?  Do they all go to private schools and how do they do?

The children who do not stay on at the Country Day School go on to many different kinds of learning environments in the area and all over the country, and, in fact, the world. They leave for classrooms as diverse as our student population itself. Well over half of our children are placed on Honor Rolls in the schools they attend. They have no trouble adjusting to different situations, when the new situation values them as we have.

What makes your program different from other preschools in the area?

Our preschool is the one of the few program in our area which has been accredited by  Advanc-ED and Internationally by CITA. We are unique in that we are completely “individualized”, tailoring our program to fit the needs of each of our children and to grow with them. Our teaching techniques are inspired by the Preschool’s programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Our staff has participated in study tours in Italy and at other Reggio Schools in the US. We also offer foreign languages to our preschoolers, since this is the age research has indicated as optimum for learning another language. Our environment is very peaceful and homelike, making children feel comfortable and secure. We have a variety of animals on our campus: there are goats, cats and a fountain with fish and a turtle.  Classrooms have aquariums and hermit crabs.

Because our preschool is very diverse, we are able to learn from each other about the many cultures which make up our world. Children share special traditions and holidays with the group, making them feel special and also a part of the “whole” preschool.