Building Foundations for Learning Success

Peek into any EDS preschool classroom and discover something special: bright colors, a smiling teacher and assistant, excited children (most likely not sitting at desks), lots of games, and activities. It adds up to a rich and playful learning environment that stimulates all the senses and engages many disciplines. Our preschoolers learn through age appropriate discovery and exploration, a kind of play with purpose. Teachers and assistants team up to keep the learning exciting and interconnected.

Alicia Haltermann

Head of Preschool

EDS Faculty since 1998; 3 years prior experience
Brevard College
Augusta State University

Our preschool program supports and enhances all aspects of each child’s development – cognitive, spiritual, social, emotional, and physical. This is accomplished through “child-centered” units of study that integrate all curriculum areas – pre-reading, reading, writing, math, science, social studies, art, and music. These units, which are groups of activities related to themes, are used as a means of providing meaningful experiences. Unit topics that are of interest and relevance to children are selected. A variety of materials are incorporated for hands-on learning and active participation. A print-rich environment is provided to stimulate the development of language and literacy skills. Activities are accomplished through large groups, small groups, individual activities, and learning centers. Units that embrace multicultural and non-stereotyping themes are incorporated to enable children to develop self-esteem, as well as the ability to understand and appreciate people of different cultures, races, sexes, and abilities. Opportunities for parent involvement are provided and encouraged. The preschool day begins at 8:10 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. Before and after school care is available from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m and from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Curriculum

  • Language Arts: The Open Court Reading Program is used in preschool. Phonics, phonological awareness, social studies, science, music, and art are components of the curriculum in threes and prekindergarten.
  • Journal writing: prekindergarten students participate in journal writing on an age-appropriate level.
  • Mathematics: The University of Chicago’s school mathematics project, Everyday Mathematics, is the core of the math program for prekindergarten.
  • Accelerated Reader: Students in prekindergarten who have mastered the necessary pre-reading skills may also participate.

Co-Curricular

Foreign Language – The foreign language program offered in Preschool introduces students to the Spanish language and culture using stories, songs, games, poems, rhymes, and role-playing. The program is strictly oral, and classes are conducted almost entirely in the target language. The program is also built upon topics and interests of the children’s ages. Spanish vocabulary and conversation are integrated into daily activities.

Science Enrichment – In science enrichment, students discover a love for science through hands on activities, various learning centers, and experiments in the classroom. Science enrichment themes are based on the preschool curriculum in order to reinforce concepts covered in classrooms in a different setting. Some of the themes are pets, farms, weather, seasons, animal habitats, space, dinosaurs, the five senses, marsupials, nocturnal animals, insects, ocean animals, conservation, air, water, and soil.

Flowing Wells Campus – All preschool students participate in STEM activities and integrated units: nature walks, scavenger hunts for nature’s treasures, planting seeds and varieties of flowers and vegetables, watering of plants, and weed pulling.

Physical Education – The physical education program at EDS is taught with the hope of stimulating a love for physical activity and life-long fitness. Through various activities, each student is allowed to progress at his or her own rate. The focus is on creating a positive, supportive, and non-threatening environment where each student is encouraged to be the best that he or she can be.

Religious Education – In preschool, students have religious education class and Chapel once each week. Our preschool religion curriculum employs the Montessori-based program, Godly Play. The  curriculum engages what is most exciting about religious education: God inviting us into-and pursuing us in the midst of-Scripture and spiritual experience. Godly Play nurtures participants to larger dimensions of belief and faith through wondering and play.

Chapel – Chapel is a central and important part of life at EDS. The opportunity to worship together strengthens the school as a community and nurtures each child as an individual. Young Threes, Three year olds, and Prekindergarten attend chapel each Tuesday with Kindergarteners and First Graders. Through Bible stories, a short homily, songs and prayers, students are reminded of God’s love for them and invited to say thank you. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend these weekly chapel services.

Technology – The technology curriculum emphasizes tools, techniques, and processes that promote productivity in the 21st Century. The use of technology in the classroom supports and enhances all areas of the curriculum and is used as the basis for developing skills that support learning, personal productivity, and decision-making in daily life while also developing real-world skills necessary in continuing education.

Preschool students learn computer skills by using drawing/art software, as well as educational software that focuses on basic skills in reading, math, and science. Preschool students also learn Internet navigation skills by having access to several preschool websites.

Preschool has access to the iPad cart to use in their classrooms. In prekindergarten, students have the opportunity to participate in activities using the iPad cart once a week in a more structured environment.

Music – We use the Preschool Prodigies app-based program to learn strong control of pitch and reading music by color; FUN Music Company’s interactive whiteboard Theory Program to learn about note values, composers, and composition; and each grade will work on live performances including singing in Chapel, The Preschool Christmas Story, and Rock-Out with PK.

Library – Students have an opportunity each week to visit the library. The media specialist uses a variety of teaching tools to engage the children in story time. Prekindergarten students may check out a book each week to keep in the classroom collection.

Activities & Special Events

Young Threes – Prekindergarten

  • Weekly Chapel Program
  • Flowing Wells Campus Experiential Learning Field Trips
  • Storyland Theatre Visits
  • Preschool Outreach Projects
  • EDS Pumpkin Patch
  • Halloween Parade
  • Preschool Monument and Weather Yoga

Young Threes

  • Planting and Maintaining the Village Garden
  • Partner Painting
  • Animal Habitat Unit of Study
  • Potlatch Feast
  • Culinary Arts and Starting from Scratch
  • Friendship Quilts

Threes

  • Five Senses Garden
  • Visit with Mother Goose and Nursery Rhyme Character Day
  • Teddy Bear Picnic and Parade
  • Storytime at Appleby Library
  • Fire Station Field Trip
  • Butterfly Release and Picnic Celebration
  • Wampanoag and Pilgrim Play
  • Patriotic Parade

PK

  • Musical Bridges Intergenerational Music Class at the Charlie Norwood VA Hospital
  • “The Christmas Story” Performance
  • The EDS 500: Transportation
  • Rock Out With PK Music Program