The prekindergarten program is designed to provide an environment filled with hands on and play oriented experiences. Individual differences are encouraged, and attention is given to meeting the needs of each child. Care and understanding are provided to help the child develop a positive self-image. The staff assumes an active and encouraging role in guiding the child to explore, express, create, experiment, observe, and discover. The Academy believes learning is not a fragmented skill and that to function at his/her best the child must develop as a whole.
The prekindergarten program offers a variety of educationally challenging experiences, which promote creativity and curiosity. A flexible schedule and predictable surroundings promote a sense of confidence in a natural, homelike atmosphere. In order to foster the development of the child’s self-expression and independence, a well planned curriculum includes daily choices of stimulating learning centers and enrichment classes. School is a positive, nurturing experience preparing the student emotionally, socially, and academically for the kindergarten program.
Prekindergarten is composed of two separate programs designed for three and four year olds. Each class operates within a structured, yet flexible environment with small classes that follow the ratio guidelines mandated by the accrediting agency. There are separate classrooms for three and four year olds. Students may be registered for the three or five day program. Units of study are used as the basis for the curriculum, and daily activities are correlated along a central theme. Learning objectives are based on cognitive development and age appropriate characteristics of the two age groups. Carefully planned outdoor activities, field trips, cultural events, resource visitors, assemblies, and enrichment classes enhance the daily schedule. While both classes enjoy similar activities, the curriculum of each group is carefully planned to meet the needs and interests of youngsters of each age.
Direct communication among administrators, teachers, and parents exists on a regular basis. Conference days are scheduled throughout the year and written reports on progress and achievement are shared with parents.
The prekindergarten program is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Social Services and accredited by two agencies, the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Teachers participate in workshops on and off campus in addition to mandatory inservice training required by the accrediting agency. All prekindergarten personnel are certified in CPR and first aid and have undergone criminal records checks.
AFTER SCHOOL CARE PROGRAM
An after-school care program staffed by qualified adults offers supervised care, Monday through Friday, until 6:00 p.m. Each staff member has undergone a criminal record check prior to employment. A daily schedule is provided to ensure a routine and to offer such activities as computer, outdoor play, homework time, and quiet time. The school provides care on days of early dismissal as needed.