The most heroic thing young children ever do is leave their parents’ side to come be with other children and teachers.” Virginia Connor, Head of School
Our youngest students join the Beginners program at age 2. Beginners attend school from 8:35-11 a.m., either two or three days a week, depending on their birthday. Under our individualized approach, separation from parents is a gradual process. We offer students a nurturing environment with experienced teachers who focus on children's early language skills, social and emotional development, and building classroom routines. Learning occurs through play, and as students gain a sense of self, they then move on to build friendships with one another.
In addition to their three full-time classroom teachers, the beginners are visited by teachers who specialize in music and movement. As the year progresses and students adjust to their new environment, the class will begin to travel around the school with visits to our greenhouse, library, and music spaces as well as visits from older students in our community for special events.
Separation is different for every child. Some children are able to say goodbye from the first day while others need more time and teacher attention. We make a plan with all families to make the transition from home to school easier for everyone.”- Emily Snyder, Beginners Head Teacher, Faculty Since 2013
- Students must be at least age 2 by September
- Two-day or three-day schedule, determined by each student’s birth date, from 8:35 to 11 a.m.
- Three full-time teachers with extensive experience as early childhood educators
- Establishing routines and beginning independence
- Play-based approach where language and motor skills are developed through exploration of classroom materials
- Weekly visits from teachers who specialize in music and movement
- Visits to the school library and special group read-alouds
- Daily hands-on art projects with a wide variety of media
- Visits to the school’s greenhouse to help care for the plants and their environment
- Introducing themes and concepts such as friendship, seasons, counting, and colors during circle time and special projects
- Cooking projects using the classroom microkitchen
- Group snack, provided by our in-house caterers, to promote self-help and conversation skills