Our multiage Pre-K program is a warm, happy and nurturing environment for 3- and 4-year olds in which children are actively engaged in play and other learning activities. Our students are part of a community in which children and adults interact with personal respect, individuality, positive support, sensitivity, trust and responsiveness.
We offer morning and afternoon Pre-K sessions. Classes meet five days a week. Our average class size is 10 students with two teachers, at least one of whom is certified in early childhood development and education. We maintain ongoing communication with our families and work as a collaborative team to help the child reach shared goals.
Our Pre-K activities promote all aspects of a child’s development: intellectual, social, emotional and physical. Because children learn best through direct experiences, we fill our days with opportunities for students to explore, create, question and interact with the world around them in a natural manner.
Saratoga Independent School’s multiage philosophy recognizes that children develop at different rates regardless of their chronological age. A multiage setting helps children develop self-esteem and social confidence. Children learn to communicate, cooperate, problem-solve, and respect each other’s differences.
In the Pre-K classroom we work with a weekly theme that integrates language, science, math, music, storytelling and dramatic play so that children can make meaningful connections between the different content areas. Our children develop independence and become confident learners as they are helped to make choices and explore their interests. They learn in individual, small group and community activities.
Our Pre-K program is based on the following principles of developmentally appropriate practices for young children as identified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children:
- Domains of children’s development are interrelated.
- Development proceeds at varying rates from child to child, as well as unevenly within different areas of each child’s functioning.
- Children are active learners, not passive recipients. They draw on experience to construct their own understandings of the world around them.
- Play is an important vehicle for children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development.
- Children develop and learn best in the context of a community where they are safe and valued, their physical needs are met, and they feel psychologically secure.
- Children learn through social interaction with other adults and other children.
At the Saratoga Independent School each Pre-K child’s growth and development is documented in “Focused Portfolios™.” The teachers carefully observe each child in everyday interactions in the classroom, and use photographs, anecdotes and work samples to put together a visual account of the child’s accomplishments. Teachers also use recognized developmental milestones to assess the child’s growth in these areas of development:
- Thinking, Reasoning and Problem Solving
- Emotional and Social Competency
- Language and Communication
- Gross Motor Development
- Fine Motor Development
- Reading and Writing Development
- Creative Development
The Focused Portfolio™ process recognizes and celebrates that all children develop at different rates and with various strengths. The portfolio collection is a representation of each child as an individual with distinct interests, background, skills and desires.
In addition to the daily interactions that naturally occur between parents and teachers, our teachers formally meet with parents three times a year. At the mid-year and end-of-year conferences we share the portfolio collection and celebrate the accomplishments of each child.
We believe that the best way to get a feel for the Saratoga Independent School Pre-K is to come for a visit. Talk to our teachers, watch our students, listen to the interactions, feel the excitement and caring that goes on in our school.
To schedule a visit or ask any questions, contact us at 518-583-0841. We look forward to your visit.
For information on our supplemental programming, Pre-K Discover and Play Wrap-Around, that extends the school day from 8:30 AM til 3:15 PM, please click here.