PreK at Parker
Play is the important and joyful work of children.
It’s how they develop the power to reason, experiment and create. It’s how they learn about the give-and-take of being members of a community. Their executive functioning skills – those connected to self-control and organization – are developed through sustained, themed play. Teachers respond and build on what emerges from the children's curiosities and interactions, structuring a unique emergent curriculum for each classroom founded on play-based learning. Read more about the PreK experience at Parker in our Blog.
Our teachers listen to our students, and design curriculum and units of study around their interests and what they are curious about. By responding to students, we nurture the natural creativity, playfulness, and joy in discovery that is present in every three- and four-year-old.
We carefully construct a daily schedule and comfortable routine, with inside and outside activities that enables children to feel safe so that their learning and creativity can thrive.
Three year olds attend a minimum of 3 mornings a week and may attend up to five full days.
Four year olds attend a minimum of five mornings a week and may attend up to five full days.
All students eat a mid-morning healthy snack together. Lunch is brought from home. Full-day students have a healthy snack in the afternoon.
PreK Program Features
Students learn about the world and how to be a learner through activities planned by the teachers, and equally important, through activities the students choose to engage in. Play is the important and joyful work of children. It’s how they develop the power to reason, experiment and create. It’s how they learn about the give-and-take of being members of a community. Their executive functioning skills – those connected to self-control and organization – are developed through sustained, themed play. Teachers respond and build on what emerges from the children’s play, and this is called play-based learning.
We emphasize this crucial element of child development both indoors and outdoors, on our 77-acre campus. Children are curious about nature and our teachers make tremendous use of the spacious woods, fields and pond. Units of study are developed as students ask questions and perform experiments based on their observations. Students are outside not just for play, but as part of the curriculum as well. Being active outside has numerous benefits for children, as health professionals are increasingly realizing.
With teachers nearby and engaging students as they play and explore, students develop language and cooperative skills. We support their development as individuals, whose skills and talents emerge at their own pace. And, most important of all, we laugh and have fun.
Parker preschoolers feel honored and respected, encouraging them to show respect and kindness to others.
PreK as Part of the Whole School
Our youngest students have the advantage of being part of a bigger school and its program!
PreK students have music and library once a week. The Spanish teacher comes into each classroom and plays with the students, while speaking in Spanish, to give our young students some exposure to vocabulary in the early years.
Each PreK child has a”buddy” in the older grades, who meets with them once a week for a playful activities like making an art project, exploring the woods, writing a poem, or reading a story.
PreK students attend the all school assembly each Friday morning, and then help the middle school students with campus recycling.
Interactions with “big kids” gives preschoolers confidence, and makes them feel important and comfortable at school.
Parker Parent Perspective
"We had identified Parker School as our top schooling option when I was pregnant with our daughter. I was thrilled when she was old enough to enroll in Parker's PreK program. Since starting school there, she has flourished socially. She genuinely loves school, and I have witnessed tremendous growth and development in just a short period of time. Parker has a tight-knit community of parents, teachers, and staff, and it feels like a family coming together in support of our children. Additionally, the expansive campus allows for plenty of outdoor discovery and physical activity, and the enrichment options are plentiful. My daughter has discovered a love of Yoga thanks to Parker. We couldn't be more pleased with our experience." Emily C.