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Is the Preschool program a full day or half day?
We are a half day educational preschool and kindergarten for 3 year olds through 6.  We have Two Day, Three Day, Four Day and Five Day classes.  We follow a traditional school year calendar, September through May.  Our groups have an age mix, rather than an all age specific class. Four preschool classes have mixed age groups of three and four year olds, that are carefully balanced by age and gender. Three other classes are age specific: kindergarten, a five year old class, and a two day class for three year olds.

What is your teacher/child ratio?

  • Two Day Tu/Th AM, Three Day M/W/F AM classes have 20 children with 4 teachers, for a 5/1 ratio.
  • Three Day AM Tu/W/Th AM, Four Day PM, Five Day AM and Five Year Old classes have 15 children with 3 teachers, for a 5/1 ratio.
  • Two Day M/F AM class has 10 children with 2 teachers, for a 5/1 ratio.
  • Three Day PM class has 12 children, for a 6/1 ratio.
  • Kindergarten has 21 children, with 3 teachers, for a 7/1 ratio.
  • Each class is carefully balance by age and by gender.

What is the educational philosophy?
Our school philosophy is based in child development theory.  Children learn through play; as they engage directly in the many varied activities they have the opportunity to     explore, discover and learn.  The program     teaches to the whole child, covering the cognitive areas, as well as large and fine motor, creative art, dramatic play, social and     emotional development. Each child learns on their own timetable, crawling, walking, speaking, learning letters, learning to read, etc. when they are ready.  Our school classroom environment provides enriching experiences for many levels.

What is the curriculum like?

The Acorn offers developmentally appropriate activities that allow children to explore, discover, and learn in center based classrooms.  The teachers create the daily curriculum under the developmentally appropriate philosophy of the school.  They meet with the director weekly to discuss curriculum and the children’s experiences in the classroom.  Each class has rooms into different interest areas:

  • One room is used for large motor activities. The development of large motor skills is of great importance in these early years, since motor development is so closely related to self confidence and is a precursor to fine motor development.
  • Another room is a quiet area for books, science, nature, and manipulative toys and equipment. These areas help develop fine motor abilities, perceptual skills, love of nature and the environment, and an appreciation for books and reading. This room also has a computer for the children to use.
  • A third room houses our dramatic play and block area. The dramatic play area is totally changed most every week and is important because it provides our children with the opportunity to role play and possibly to work through situations in their lives. The block area allows a sizable space for the children to be creative with all sizes of building blocks, transportation toys, and other accessories. It’s an important area for creativity, cooperative play, and exploring the concepts of size, shape, space, balance, etc.
  • The fourth room is our art area and is used for all kinds of imaginative, often messy activities. We take a very creative approach to art and are definitely process oriented, avoiding product oriented, teacher directed art. Our goal is to open up the children’s minds to the idea that there are lots of different, creative ways to use any given medium. Our daily schedule includes large group activities, free play time, and small group activities.
  • Our outdoor play time is very important and is an integral part of our total program. Our large, well equipped playground provides an opportunity for large motor development and social interaction. We utilize the outdoors as an extension of the classroom. Our Three Day Afternoon Class also includes religious content, which adds Bible stories and the teaching of God’s love and the life of Jesus as an element of the curriculum.

What is a typical preschool day schedule like?

Each class offers a well-balanced schedule.  A day starts with greeting and play on the playground.  After coming inside there is a large group time, featuring story, music, discussion of a particular theme, topic or concept.  Then the children have free choice time with the manipulative room, dramatic play and block room, large motor skills room and creative art room available. Then after a second large group, the children are divided developmentally into small groups for a more directed activity.  That could include something to do with a particular theme or concept, cooking, a more directed motor activity, etc. The children then are dismissed from the playground.
The teachers have a pre-session to discuss each day, and a post-session after each class to discuss the children and their reaction to the activities offered.
Materials in the classroom are rotated weekly, so there are new interesting activities offered continually.

What are the hours of operation?

Morning Classes are held from 8:40 - 11:30 A.M. Afternoon Classes are held from 12:40 - 3:30 P.M. The Acorn follows a traditional schoolyear calendar, from September through May. Normal scheduled holidays include the following:

  • Columbus Day
  • Thanksgiving week
  • Christmas Break
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Presidents’ Day
  • Spring Break
  • Good Friday
  • Battle of Flowers Day

What is your nutrition policy?

All of our snacks are nutritional foods that support our belief in healthy eating habits. We encourage good habits of health and hygiene, and provide a safe environment for the children.  Depending on needs of children enrolled, The Acorn may provide a nut-free environment.  Nutritious snacks are served, and each child will also have the opportunity to cook about once a week.  We have a “no sugar” policy, so snacks could include whole fruit juices, milk, cheeses, crackers, fruits and vegetables, etc. Also, special restrictions may be made as we accommodate particular students with allergies.

What is your discipline policy?

We handle all our guidance and discipline in a positive manner, and, in fact, are careful to phrase everything positively. We suggest alternate appropriate behaviors, set reasonable limits, and are consistent in enforcing the limits.  Our goal is to help our students learn to make good choices, to share, take turns, and problem solve.  Consistency is important, and we communicate regularly with parents.

What are the steps a parent must take to enroll their child?

  • Call the school office to put your name and information on our Master List. Order for enrollment is based upon the date of your first call to the school.
  • Attend a tour of the school. Tours are offered three times a year, usually in late October or early November, late January or early February, and May. Tours are on a Saturday morning, at 10:00 AM, and usually last approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Tours are for adults only. On the tour, Rich Lange, the head director, will show parents the different interest areas of the school and explain the philosophy and programs in detail.
  • Complete an application form and submit an application fee for each child.  Fees are $50 for the first application, and $30 per each additional application in the family.
  • Call the school in January to inform the school of your continued interest.  This is a very important step; with so many families on the list, we rely on you to keep us informed of your plans.
  • Enrollment for new families takes place in February for the following school year beginning in September. On enrollment day, appointments are set throughout the day, based on the date of your original phone call.  If a space is available for your child, you will complete an enrollment form and submit an enrollment fee.

When would you recommend a tour?
Tours are scheduled three times a year, each January, May, and late October or early November.  Parents can attend any time before the January their child turns 3.  If one is available and the date is good, it is recommended to attend earlier rather than later, so it is not left to the last minute.  (If a family plans to attend the last one available before enrollment and something interferes with them attending, they will not be eligible for enrollment at that time.)

What if a space is not available for my child on enrollment day?

Waiting lists are kept by age and gender. Names are placed in the order of the original phone contact with the school. Most changes for the following school year occur in mid-July, when the first tuition payment is due.  At times vacancies are made available during the school year.

Is there parent involvement at The Acorn?

Parents are welcome at any time at The Acorn.  Besides driving on field trips, parents can share time in the classroom offering help, sharing hobbies, talents and interests, reading, or helping with activities.    Each class has a get to know you picnic at the beginning of the school year, and we have a school wide picnic or similar, usually in the fall.  There are also class Thanksgiving events, Fiesta, etc., to which the families are invited.  Parents can also assist with office duties, repairs and upkeep, and with our fundraising efforts.  As a non-profit school we rely on every family to participate in our annual fundraiser.

 

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