Preschool

Program at a Glance

  • Three levels of preschool (must be 2 years old by May 1 for P1, 3 years by August 1 for P2, and 4 years by August 1 for P3)
  • 4:1 student to teacher ratio for P1 preschool
  • 6:1 student to teacher ratio for P2 and P3 preschool
  • 6 classes (maximum 20 students per class for P1 and 24 students per class for P2 and P3)
  • Full-day, 5-day program (4-day option available for P1)
  • Extended care and enrichment classes available

Experience a Day at Presidio Knolls School Preschool

Early drop-off begins at 7:30am, and aftercare is available for all preschool students through 6:00pm. Regular preschool classroom hours are 9:00am-3:30pm for P1 classes and 9:00am-4:00pm for P2-P3 classes (early dismissal at 3pm on Wednesdays). Click below to see what happens during a typical day.


Preschool Learning

The PKS preschool program is steeped in the principles of our progressive mission. We believe children are full of curiosity and creativity, rather than empty vessels waiting to be filled with facts and figures. Our Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum is flexible and emerges from children’s ideas, thoughts, and observations. The central Reggio goal is to cultivate within children a lifelong passion for learning and exploration. The pillars of our early childhood program include:

An image of the child as a strong, capable protagonist in his or her own learning. 

We see each child as competent and full of potential. We try to understand and bring out the child’s viewpoint and abilities.
 

The centrality of expressive arts in learning. 

We give children the opportunity to observe and experience their world in many different ways, and we encourage them to use all their senses. We value each child’s capacity to communicate through “the one hundred languages” such as music, painting, drawing, art, clay, collage, imaginative play, movement, dance, friendship, poetry, and song-writing.
 

Education as a continuous interaction, exchange, and collaboration among teachers, children, and parents. 

Children and teachers are encouraged to dialogue, critique, compare, negotiate, hypothesize, and problem-solve in groups. Multiple perspectives promote a sense of belonging to a group as well as the uniqueness of self. The role of the teacher is to observe, document, and reflect on the children’s actions and interactions, and to be partners of discovery and learning, together with the children.
 

An emergent curriculum that builds upon the interests of children.

Topics for study emerge from children's discussions and interests. Our teachers work together with the children to formulate possible directions a project may take, what materials are needed, the ways in which the group will research the topic, and the representational media that will be used to represent the work. Projects may last a few weeks or can continue throughout the school year.

We encourage you to learn more from the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance

Mandarin Immersion

Each classroom has a blend of students who can already speak Mandarin and those who are learning it for the first time. This mix creates a rich and varied learning environment for all children. Parents from non-Mandarin speaking families are always amazed at how quickly their children progress from zero Mandarin skills to full classroom understanding. Through projects, song, dance, play, art, field trips, and inquiry-based learning, our preschool children develop strong Mandarin skills and establish a firm foundation to take them through elementary school.

Social-Emotional Learning

Social-emotional learning is an important part of the preschool curriculum at PKS. Our goal is to help children develop a positive sense of self-identity and belonging, and a feeling that they are valued and respected as part of a family and community. We take advantage of spontaneity and surprises, but also keep in mind that children (and adults) flourish when they know there are soft walls to bump up against and familiar patterns in their lives. Our preschool flow of day is structured with this important axiom in mind. At PKS, we strive to support the development of kind, empathetic children. Strong, positive relationships with oneself and with others are the foundation upon which all future learning happens. We focus on helping children interact with one another thoughtfully, understand their own emotions, and thrive as part of a community.

Preparing for Elementary School

Our preschool children see the “big kids” in action on the playground every day, and are excited to move on to kindergarten after completing preschool at PKS. In order to ensure that children will be successful in kindergarten, we work hard to get a clear picture of their readiness skills through individual assessments and observations. We develop concrete growth and support plans together with parents if necessary, and provide many opportunities for children to become familiar with the kindergarten program. As we move into Spring of the third year of preschool, students take “field trips” to elementary classrooms and are given meaningful opportunities to interact with elementary school students.

 

Photos: parent volunteers and John Lee