Is Fort Collins Preschool associated with the Shepherd of the Hills church?
Fort Collins Preschool rents classroom space from the church and uses the kitchen, playground and other facilities, but the school is not affiliated with the church and the curriculum does not have a religious content.
What is unique about Fort Collins Preschool?
Fort Collins Preschool is unique in the fact that we incorporate the family into the educational experience. Fort Collins Preschool provides for the collaboration of parents, children and teachers working together both inside and outside of the classroom.
Parents work together, under the guidance of a trained teacher, to provide high quality preschool education for their children. Parents want to participate in their child’s first formal educational experiences; they want to share their talents and skills with the children. In addition, parents continue to gain an understanding and an appreciation for their child’s individual growth and development patterns.
What is a cooperative Preschool?
A cooperative preschool is a parent-involved preschool. It is a perfect environment for parents who want to be actively involved in their child’s first school experience and who would like to contribute their time and abilities to a small community of families. Research suggests that parent participation in a child’s preschool program is positively associated with future social adjustment and school performance. A benefit of a cooperative preschool is affordable tuition.
What is the daily routine?
CHILDREN ARRIVE – Free choice of activities. This is a time for us to greet the children and for them to greet their friends. Free choice will include different combinations of these activities: books, puzzles, drawing, manipulatives, and investigating the science table. These are low-keyed activities, which tend to encourage the children to socialize as they play.
CIRCLE, PLANNING TIME – During this time we will socialize and come together as a group. Songs and finger plays will be done to develop memory and motor skills or perhaps another type of activity will be planned. The children will hear their choices of center time activities. This provides the children with instructions and a chance to plan how they will spend their time.
CENTERS – This is a time when art projects, scissors skills, tactile activities, dramatic play activities, cooking projects, etc. will be done. This is a busy time, and children will not be at the same tables at the same time. While some children receive individual help, others will be playing in different areas in the room.
CLEAN-UP AND BATHROOM TIME – Children will be encouraged to clean-up after play, and then will be encouraged to use the bathroom. Hand washing will be required and the reasons why we wash our hands after using the bathroom and before eating will be emphasized.
SNACK – Snack is one of our group activities. Socialization and polite table manners are taught. Also, eye-hand coordination is practiced as children pour their own drinks and pass the serving plate.
SMALL GROUP TIME (Pre-k only) – The children will be divided into two groups and each small group will be involved in different activities. The groups will rotate so each child will participate in all activities. Often the teacher will prepare an activity designed to enhance a specific skill: It may be literacy or number development, auditory or visual perception, or perhaps a cognitive skill.
LARGE MOTOR TIME – We will usually go outside. In case of extreme weather, we will do a large motor activity indoors.
STORY – A story will be chosen to complement the theme or to extend learning.
How does my child learn through play?
Play promotes learning, physical play helps children develop perceptual, motor and cognitive skills. Creative play helps children develop problem-solving skills, social competence, and helps children understand their feelings. Materials are carefully selected to maximize the play environment. In addition to an enhanced environment, preschools provide the opportunity for the socialization so necessary to early learning. While it is possible to provide your child with many opportunities to practice social skills, it is difficult to duplicate the kind of group interactions children encounter in a preschool school setting.
How are conflicts resolved in the classroom?
Conflict is seen as an opportunity for learning. It is our belief that young children often have a limited ability to express emotions and frustrations to others. The goal for children is social competence and they are supported during times of conflict with acceptable ideas of how the problem could be solved. They are encouraged and expected to talk with each other.
Are siblings allowed in the classroom?
Siblings are not allowed in the classroom, and about half of our families have younger siblings. Due to the nature of our school and the relationships that develop between families, trading babysitting with other parents is a viable childcare option. This provides childcare for you on teach days and a “play date” for your younger child.
Is babysitting offered?
Another option for younger sibling care is paid babysitting for a nominal fee on some teach days.
How much participation of the parents is expected?
Parents are expected to work in the classroom about 17 times during the school year bringing the planned snack six of those times. This equates to being in the classroom as a “teach parent” once or twice per month.
In addition to teach days parents are expected to give time to a committee – about 15 hours for the year. This equates to 1-3 hours per month. Parents are also asked to participate in fundraisers and to contribute to preschool functions such as our annual garage sale.
What kind of enrichment is offered?
Professionally taught art and music classes are offered to the Pre-K children and formally taught art classes are offered to the Intermediate children as part of the curriculum.
Art classes teach children about line and form, shape and color, textures, and technique. In addition, the styles of several famous artists are discussed and the children are provided with activities that reinforce the instruction.
Children participate in music several times a month. The classes provide activities that help children to be successful in experiencing music-related concepts. The children experience rhythm, beat and melody, they are provided opportunities for movement and dance, and they are introduced to different cultures and different instruments.
Fort Collins Preschool also offers an extended day option once or twice a month throughout the year. These classes revolve around a specific theme (science, literature, social studies) and include lunch.
How does Fort Collins Preschool prepare children for Kindergarten?
Preschool is the foundation for a child’s education. The skills and knowledge, not to mention aptitudes and attitudes, developed in early childhood will have dramatic impact on future success in later school years. Fort Collins Preschool helps children to develop a sense of mastery and self esteem. Children gain confidence when learning is easy and fun.
Fort Collins Preschool provides opportunities for children to engage in activities that will encourage the development of social, cognitive, perceptual and motor skills. Children are also provided with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to work in a group environment.
Are snacks provided?
Snacks are planned by the teacher and parents provide the planned snack on a rotating basis.
How is communication handled at the preschool?
Parents are kept informed through e-mail exchange, hallway bulletin board, announcements in the cubbies, a monthly newsletter, the parent/teacher conferences twice a year, and the evening general meetings.