An extraordinary start in life
Our preschool through kindergarten is affectionately referred to as our early childhood program. Do not be fooled into thinking that their age means their learning experience is any less robust than their older counterparts. Taking full advantage of our students’ natural love of learning, our enthusiastic faculty engage them in exciting hands-on projects and immersive educational experiences, including an array of enriching field trips. Each classroom’s lead teacher and teacher assistant guide students in discovering their talents and in developing social, emotional and physical skills. In a creative and celebratory environment, students learn not only from their homeroom teachers and specialty subject teachers, but also their “big buddies” in fourth and fifth grades and in our Middle School.
Mr. Darren Holgate
Early Childhood School Director
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The Joy of Discovery
Our curriculum is based on the real-life experiences of children. The classroom becomes a microcosm of the students’ world where they’re encouraged to play, observe and explore.
Students learn about form, scale and color using a wide range of materials such as paint, clay, paper mâché and pastels to explore their creativity. During the early years, they are introduced to the biographies and work of artists ranging from Cassatt to Alma Thomas to van Gogh.
Voice & Choice
Our classrooms are teacher-guided environments, providing children with the gift of charting their own course. Self-directed centers ranging in interests from Lego and block building, to sand and light tables, to different materials and scenarios, allow them to learn through play and exploration of their interests.
Experiencing and creating music and rhythmic movement patterns is central to the development of the whole child. Our youngest students learn a repertory of songs and singing games and easy rhythms. By prekindergarten, children perform in our Veterans Day Celebration, Spring and Winter concerts, and Grandparents and Special Friends Day.
Step into any preschool, prekindergarten or kindergarten classroom, and you’ll find children speaking in front of their classmates as they share stories and accept questions about their show & tell or answer a special question like, “What is your favorite thing about yourself?” The roots of oration are planted in an informal setting where students become comfortable taking the stage and learning to speak clearly and with purpose when addressing an audience.
Exploring the World
International mindedness is learned and practiced by the youngest students through the beginning study of Spanish in prekindergarten. Intercultural experiences are also provided through fine arts, music and social studies classes.
In order for students to become confident and competent readers and communicators, they interact with many forms of print, including signs, labeled centers, wall stories, word displays, labeled murals, bulletin boards and more (starting in PK, weekly library visits are a long-standing favorite).
Our PK and K students enjoy an early childhood swim program focused on water comfort, safety and new swimming skills. This weekly program is part of our physical education curriculum and is taught within Ida Lee Park Recreation Center’s fun and supportive environment.
Our students’ first steps in the journey of self-discovery are based in making connections with real-life experiences and people. A morning meeting the mayor of Leesburg, a veterinarian or a firefighter allows for a deeper understanding of what it is to be a community helper. The Good Manners Club comes to life during lunch at a local restaurant. An outdoor hike at a nature center incorporates the children’s studies of the life cycles of plants, insects and animals, as well as the importance of habitat and life cycle changes.