St. Martin’s Episcopal School offers preschool for children age 18 months through age 5. We offer a flexible number of days for preschoolers, with availability for two to five days per week, so you can pick which days work best for your schedule. We also offer an extended care program on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a drop-in program and a multiple-child discount.
We believe that each child is a precious gift from God and should be treated like the special individual they are, so that one day they can live up to their full potential. Our program benefits children 18 months of age and older, whose parents wish them to be in a loving Christian environment.
Throughout the year, your child will be exposed to many different kinds of learning experiences through the use of children’s literature, poetry, art, math, music, science, Spanish and more. We strive to provide a positive learning experience for your child and try to foster in them the attitude that “school is a great place to be.”
“When I do, I learn”
Readiness to learn is not only determined by the developmental levels of the child, but by the educational environment. Maximum learning can occur when the child is actively involved in the learning process. In this context, early childhood specialists agree unanimously that play is fundamental to the young child’s total development and learning.
A balanced program
At St. Martin’s School there is a balance between free play (both indoors and out) and regular small group involvement; between independent activity and socially oriented activities. Equipment which involves the use of both large muscles and small muscles is provided. Activities which encourage creativity and imagination are important to the child’s total development and are offered daily. Teacher-guided exploration of themes related to the child’s everyday world and experience is an integral part of the curriculum.
Partnership with parents
The most important people in the young child’s world are the parents and others in his or her family. Effective two-way communication between the school and home is essential. Parents receive regular newsletters, share together in parenting workshops and are invited to participate in various aspects of the program. We are very much in partnership with parents.
The school is staffed by professional teachers who are trained and experienced in early childhood education. The teacher’s assistants are experienced in working with young children. The staff is committed to providing a caring and nurturing environment in which the children can learn and grow. Meet our staff.
Learning & development
Between the ages of three and five, children must accomplish many tasks in order to develop optimally in all five dimensions.
Social and emotional development
Children need to learn in a social context. They learn best when allowed to explore, with the support of helpful and responsive adults. Intelligence, academic success, and emotional stability are strongly influenced by the personal and language interactions children have with others.
Approaches toward learning
In the domain of approaches toward learning, there are several important areas that the child must develop.
- They must develop all of their senses as well as learn through the use, actions and interactions of all the senses.
- They need to learn to be powerful learners. Children need to control the materials they use (such as modeling clay, blocks, crayons, paints, dolls and trucks,) thus learning cause and effect and self-control. This encourages children to be active learners and problem solvers, and lays a foundation for internal motivation.
- Children need to develop their attention spans and focus clearly while resisting distractions.
- They also need plenty of time to engage their memory and practice visualization.
Children are beginning to master the written symbols of words and numbers. They need time to work with the symbols enough to internalize them, and to make the connection between the concept and the written form.
Cognition and general knowledge
Children need to learn causal reasoning (i.e., if I do this, then that will occur) and physically experience the results of their actions. They also need to learn and experience social-causal reasoning, which allows them to develop an understanding of how their actions affect the others in their lives.
Physical well-being and motor development
Children must make use of their whole bodies and the whole environment they operate in. They must make a physical connection to all that is around them and understand their relationship to other things. They need plenty of opportunity to develop small/fine motor skills in order to build the foundation for later writing.
The Pre-Kindergarten classes are structured to prepare your child for kindergarten. Each thematic unit will include lessons and opportunities that will expose your child to the skills they will need for a successful learning experience. Our curriculum provides direct instruction and hands-on activities, each of which will focus on the whole child. The classes will provide many experiences that will allow the students to be successful and to practice the necessary pre-reading and pre-math skills needed for kindergarten, while interacting with others in a social setting. A “letter of the week” program has also been adopted to give exposure to the alphabet. Emphasis is placed on recognition and phonemic awareness. The Pre-K class will have an emphasis on working independently to enhance basic skills. This will allow the students to participate in activities which introduce them to a variety of developmentally appropriate skills.
A nutritious snack will be provided through our parent participation snack program. Snack suggestions are posted on the snack calendar outside each room.
Parent involvement is encouraged. You may want to share with us a hobby, game, or story or help out in the classroom, and assist with parties and special events. We will welcome your input and involvement. Arrangements should be made in advance.
Adjusting to preschool
Doing something new is hard for all of us. Remember your first speech or your first job interview? Our children also have those same apprehensions. They may seem eager to go to school, but they will need your help making the transition. The first few weeks will see many adjustments, but with all of our encouragement and your support, we are confident that your child will have a wonderful year. Please feel free to talk with your child’s teachers should you have concerns about your child’s adjustment.