Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten

PK

Country Day School’s pre-kindergarten offers an unhurried learning atmosphere that promotes inquiry, discovery, creativity and enthusiasm for learning. Nurturing teachers offer kindness and encouragement as children begin their educational journeys while building self-confidence and independence in each child. Children enjoy hands-on learning and an enormous amount of time exploring and playing in our beautiful outdoor classroom as well as in bright spacious indoor classrooms. Play is valued as a mode through which young children learn. Therefore, time is dedicated to spontaneous play and building gross motor skills, balanced with playful learning opportunities where lessons come to life.

Kindergarten offers a safe community where learners grow academically, socially, emotionally and physically. Children enjoy hands-on learning and purposeful play each day. They enjoy an enormous amount of time exploring and playing in our beautiful outdoor classroom as well as in bright spacious indoor classrooms. Teachers meet the needs of each student through differentiated instruction and strive to build self-confidence and independence in each child. All children are encouraged to take responsibility for their choices and learning. Student work in an environment where they are free to take risks, ask questions, experiment with a variety of mediums, make mistakes and try again.

Junior Pre-Kindergarten (age 3-4)

The junior pre-kindergarten (JPK) program at SSA Country Day School provides a nurturing, child-centered environment for children ages 3 and 4. Our JPK classroom is led by two teachers, with a typical student-to-teacher ratio of 7 to 1. The program is offered three or five days a week, with options for half-, three-quarter- or full-day enrollment. The day begins at 8:15 a.m. with ending times at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively. On Wednesdays, all JPK children enjoy a lunch brought from home and dismiss at 1:30 p.m. Students entering JPK must be independent when using the bathroom.

Curriculum
The JPK curriculum is child-centered and evolves according to the students' interests. Teachers guide and encourage students to play while learning social skills and cooperation. Small-group and individual instruction exposes children to letters and sounds, colors and shapes and early math skills in a fun, playful manner. The classroom is broken up into sections: kitchen, dramatic play, sensory table, reading nook and a space for building, all of which facilitate learning through discovery. Art, library and music classes enrich the educational experience. Students take part in snack, recess and outdoor time every day. Learn more about the JPK curriculum.

Responsive Classroom
Country Day School uses the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning to foster safe, challenging and joyful classrooms in grades JPK-5. Children learn social and emotional competencies, such as cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy and self-control. Learn more about Responsive Classroom at CDS.

After-School Opportunities
JPK students may join the Stay & Play program until 1:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m., and then join the After-School Program from 3:30-5:30 p.m. These programs provide extra time for children to play in a supervised environment. Learn more about CDS after-school opportunities.

Senior Pre-Kindergarten (age 4-5)

The senior pre-kindergarten (SPK) program at SSA Country Day School provides a nurturing, child-centered environment for children ages 4 and 5. Our SPK classroom is led by two teachers with a typical student-to-teacher ratio of 9 to 1. SPK is a five-day-a-week program with options for half-, three-quarter- or full-day enrollment. The school day begins at 8:15 a.m. with ending times at noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively. On Wednesdays, all SPK children enjoy a lunch brought from home and dismiss at 1:30 p.m.

Curriculum
The senior pre-kindergarten curriculum presents topics in an interdisciplinary, integrated way. Each topic or theme is related to all subject areas and disciplines. A study of the human body, for example, begins as a science topic but is also explored through art, dramatic play, math, songs, dance, stories, and direct observation. Art, library, music, physical education and Spanish provide a rich educational experience for senior pre-kindergarten students. Students take part in snack, recess and outdoor time every day. Learn more about the CDS curriculum.

Country Day School uses the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning to foster safe, challenging and joyful classrooms in grades JPK-5. Children learn social and emotional competencies, such as cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy and self-control. Learn more about Responsive Classroom at CDS.

After-School Opportunities
SPK students may join the Stay & Play program until 1:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m., and then join the After-School Program from 3:30-5:30 p.m. These programs provide extra time for children to play in a supervised environment. Learn more about CDS after-school opportunities.

Kindergarten

The kindergarten program at SSA Country Day School is a five-day-a-week, three-quarter-day program which runs from 8:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with an option to extend the day to 3:30 p.m. Our kindergarten classroom is led by two teachers, with a typical student-to-teacher ratio of 9 to 1. Daily snacks are provided, but kindergartners will need to bring a packed lunch from home each day.

Curriculum
The kindergarten language arts program combines whole group, small group and individual instruction to establish a foundation of essential reading and writing skills. Students build upon phonemic awareness and phonics while learning high-frequency words and developing a robust vocabulary. Small-group instruction targets students with similar skills. Through a Writing Workshop approach, children learn the basics of the writing process as well as handwriting, spelling and grammar.

The math program is designed to foster children’s curiosity about numbers, shapes and patterns. A strong number sense and fluidity with numbers is crucial for building mastery. Teachers use a process of building understanding, from a concrete understanding, using hands-on tools and activities, building towards an abstract understanding, representing problems using equations and supporting their answers with an explanation.

Art, library, music, physical education, science and Spanish provide a rich education experience for kindergarten students. Students take part in snack and multiple opportunities for recess and outdoor time every day. Learn more about the CDS curriculum.

Responsive Classroom

Country Day School uses the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning to foster safe, challenging and joyful classrooms in grades JPK-5. Children learn social and emotional competencies, such as cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy and self-control. Learn more about Responsive Classroom at CDS.

After-School Opportunities
Kindergarten students may join the Stay & Play program until 3:30 p.m., and then join the After-School Program from 3:30-5:30 p.m. These programs provide extra time for children to play in a supervised environment. Learn more about CDS after-school opportunities.

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