Philosophy of Education
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Active Child Participation
Jack and Jill upholds its effective tradition of helping children to become active participants in the learning process with an interactive playgroup for 2-year-olds and separate preschool programs for children ages 2 1/2 to 5 years old. In a cozy and nurturing environment, all age groups are involved in hands-on activities fostering experimentation. Based on a whole child approach, a dedicated group of well-educated teachers use positive reinforcement as key to further the joy and challenge of learning. In a sequential manner, students develop and build a variety of skills as they learn to make their own choices and become more confident in their capabilities. Children proceed at their own pace in an individualized program including letter and number experimentation in an early literacy curriculum, story time, art, music and movement, Spanish classes, and a rich science curriculum. In addition to bright, cheerful classrooms, Jack and Jill has a large outdoor play yard and an indoor gym space. Unique not only describes the primary characteristics of each child, but also the developmental process of every program offered at Jack and Jill - where learning is a hands-on adventure and a secure foundation for future formal learning is well established.
We emphasize cooperation in work and play, and encourage children to develop a sense of caring for each other and a sense of responsibility for their own actions. We strive to create a community of mutual respect for the various traditions of our diverse family. Each school year, the Church offers several Family Holiday Services to allow us to come together to celebrate our varied traditions and find our shared values.
The Jack and Jill School uses a variety of teaching techniques and modalities to serve the range of styles of learning we see in each classroom. We recognize the sequential development of skills and allow the time to experiment with ideas and materials. Classrooms are organized with a daily schedule so that each day there are opportunities for children to work individually or in small groups and sometimes with a teacher in guided play.
Positive discipline sets a classroom tone from the first day when teachers acknowledge children's efforts to share, cooperate and listen. Reminder and redirection is our preferred method.
Acknowledging children's efforts encourages the development of the inner motivation within each child. The ability to persevere and work through challenges, to have patience and appreciate the hard work of practice and repetition is visible in all children do, whether building in the blocks, completing a puzzle or learning to write their name. Teacher support encourages each child to see themselves as ever more capable.
Each classroom organizes its curriculum around various topics or units of study. This creative and integrated curriculum allows children to spend time gaining understanding of various concepts while working on small motor, dramatic play and art projects. Children can enter the topic through an avenue which suits them most comfortably and then expand their experiences over time. Our goal is to help children diversify in their activities and become more global thinkers as they compare, contrast and begin to generalize and hypothesize about their experiences.
Common themes for 3's are the Rain Forest and Under the Sea. The 4's explore transportation and a study of ourselves. The 4/5's class will explore the Native American culture and Dinosaurs.
Global thinking and problem solving are encouraged in all the classrooms. Children use their own experiences to relate to new information. Conversation is the basic classroom ingredient.
A sense of joint responsibility shared by parents and teachers is vital to a successful preschool program. Upon request, the director or group teacher is available to discuss the progress and needs of a child. Formal conferences are scheduled each November and March. Parents are urged to be in close contact with the school. Additionally, all parents are members of the Parents' Association which raises money for the Scholarship and Development Fund and provides special entertainment for children and guest speakers for parents.