Many parents have common concerns when searching for a four-year-old program. Here are some questions you may have:
Will my child be able to play and interact with other children?
Each day begins with free play to help your child adjust to the classroom environment and play with the other children. During this time your child has the freedom to choose from various activities including table activities (fine motor), creative play (imagination), problem-solving activities (blocks-logical/mathematical thinking), and other areas of exploration.
What is circle time?
Circle time is how we transition into the more structured part of our day. The children recite the Pledge of Allegiance, review the monthly calendar, discuss the weather and hear our daily devotion. During circle time the children learn about our weekly theme and the letter of the week. We use songs, poems, and pocket charts to develop pre-reading skills and oral language during this time.
How do learning centers prepare my child for kindergarten?
Learning centers are a vital part of our day. We focus on reading, math/science and art skills to cover various concepts important in your child's preparation for kindergarten. Our curriculum is current with the New York State standards and is constantly updated. Each day, small groups of children rotate to each center, learning and exploring through fun, hands-on activities. Details regarding the centers are listed below:
Reading - at this center, your child will hold and read books, interpret pictures and text, discuss what they discover. Children will make predictions, use divergent thinking, and practice their recall skills. There will be a focus on letter sound and recognition, sight words, and pre-writing skills.
Math/science- at this center, your child will experiment with counting, sorting, classifying, and charting. They will expand their math/science vocabulary and cover content areas of fractions, probability, and geometry. The students will also get to observe various objects in this center; for example, in years past we've had butterflies, ladybugs, tadpoles, bugs, and ants join our classrooms for study and observation.
Art- at this center, your child will be given opportunities to be creative and use their imagination. They'll discover color, shape, and texture as they create various pictures and/or works. Later in the year, they will further their writing skills as they communicate their ideas and messages through letters, words, pictures, etc.
What is the student to teacher ratio?
We have a ratio of eight children to each teacher this school year. We capped the number of students to 16 for this school year.
What are the teacher qualifications?
The Head Teacher is required to have a Bachelor's Degree in Education and a minimum of 3 years of age appropriate experience. All staff members are encouraged to further enhance their education by attending workshops and seminars each year. All of our staff members are CPR certified.
What choices do I have in scheduling?
Morning classes are offered from 9:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. either three (Monday-Wednesday-Friday), four or five days per week. It is possible to add days as the year progresses provided there is availability. The 3 year olds dismiss at 12:00 p.m. and the four year olds dismiss at 12:15 p.m. All classes begin at 9:30 a.m.
New this year, we will be staggering our arrival times by ten minutes to alleviate congestion.
Will snack be provided?
We provide juice and a nutritious snack for your child every day. We give thanks to God for our food, learn proper table manners and teach the children to clean up after themselves.
What special days or events take place during the year?
At New Life, we like to break up the daily routine with many different special events and themes. We have several special visitors throughout the year including the local fire department and a dentist. We celebrate birthdays, autumn harvest, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and Dad's Day! The children learn songs focusing on the Bible, holidays and fun-filled themes for the Christmas and Graduation programs. Parents and family members are invited to attend the Christmas and Graduation programs and enjoy refreshments afterwards. However, due to COVID, some events may not be held. Parents will be updated of any changes.
Will I be informed of my child's progress throughout the year?
Parent/teacher conferences can be scheduled at any time upon request. A detailed progress report will be sent home in late January and again in June. However, conferences are encouraged for all parents in November to discuss their child's progress.
What aspects of the Christian faith are included in the curriculum?
We believe that every child is a precious gift from God. We strive to share that belief with the children through an awareness of God's love reflected in Bible stories, daily devotions and music. We celebrate Christmas and Easter with the children in age appropriate lessons.
Will I have the opportunity to be involved in my child's school experience?
Normally, parents may sign up to participate in a typical school day as the parent volunteer from mid October through June. In order to maintain safety for all the children and staff, we will not be having parents in school for parent volunteers this fall season. We will re-evaluate the situation in January 2021. Our prayer is that all parents and family will be able to attend the Christmas and Graduation programs. We are also planning, as of now, to have our dads come in for our Pancakes with Dad in April and our moms attend a Mother's Day Tea in May as well. Obviously, this is all based upon how the COVID situation goes.