|Our preschool program is fully accredited by APPLE and has consistently earned a five star rating in the Guiding Stars of Duval Program. Since 1954, our mission has been to provide a safe place for children to play, learn, discover and grow. We believe that childhood is a time for children to learn through play and toward this end we adhere to the guidelines for developmentally appropriate programs of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Our new curriculum is called Beyond Centers and Circle Time and fits our motto “Play, Learn, Discover, and Grow”. The lessons are play-based and offer greater flexibility for teachable moments. Think your child comes home messy now? Just wait until next year! Our staff has spent countless hours researching, developing, and training to provide the high quality early childhood education that parents are looking for.
Beyond Centers and Circle time still has the centers families are used to, but utilizes them in a different way. Instead of all the centers being in a single room, there is one center per room and the children rotate through to rooms spending an entire day in each center/room. The full day gives the child plenty to time to “play out” their learning. Likewise, instead of having a teacher who must learn all the center activities, each teacher focuses on a single center and the children rotate teachers on a daily basis. This provides the child with a highly specialized teacher in that activity and personal interactions with multiple teachers.
A typical day starts with a large group Circle Time at 8:30 am. Circle Time is led by our Preschool Director and attended by all preschoolers and their teachers. Children are divided into “play groups” similar to a home room. They have a single lead teacher for their 11 member play group and they stay in the group and with their teacher both years of preschool/VPK. The play groups are mixed ages (3-5), consisting of preschoolers and VPKers. Play groups stay together all day but “their” teacher is only with them before Circle Time and after Nap. The idea is that children learn to seek comfort from the other children in the play group rather than from a single adult. After Circle Time, play groups transition to the assigned center for the day. Once in the center, instruction begins with directions on what activities are open for the day. Instead of children having free reign of toys, focus-driven activities are carefully planned out for play. For example, the focus for the month of March is the color green, frogs, and the letter F. During Circle Time, we read a book about families (letter F) and highlight the letter F each time we read it. In blocks, we are working to build a lake (for frogs). In Art, we are easel painting green houses for families. In Fluids, we are painting the Art House (the actual building) with green paint. In cooking, we are making Green Eggs and Ham. In Manipulatives, we are constructing the letter F out of Lincoln Logs. In housekeeping, we having a Frog Tea (dressing up as frogs and pretending to be frogs during tea time). Each activity done throughout the day has a purpose to reinforce the focus. Play groups stay in the centers until outside free play time at 10:30 am. Lunch is served for all play groups at 11:30 in the center for the day. After lunch, children are free to burn off some extra energy until nap begins at 12:30. All children are required to lay down for a rest period. Children who do not nap may quietly read books on a nap mat until 2:00. The afternoon is more relaxed with all groups inter mingling on the playground from 2:00 until close. Snack is served buffet style outside between 2:30-3:00. Children serve themselves when they are ready to eat. At 5:00, we wash up again and eat a late snack.
Preschoolers also take part in twice weekly pony rides. They participate in gardening, growing and harvesting organic produce which they enjoy tasting! The children are involved in Project Learning Tree and Growing Up Wild Programs. There is always plenty of time and space for outdoor experiences. Our preschool summer camp program offers the children a special time to learn to swim, ride horses, create art, make crafts, play games and generally just be a kid. Preschoolers still have some free time inside to enjoy their favorite classroom pursuits like blocks, dramatic play and story time.
Children may enroll for year round care or for summer camp only.
Preschool Pricing (Ages 3 to 5)
Interested in enrolling? Click here to request an application.