The principles of St. Mary’s School – Early Education Program follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) standards as well as the guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Our program is centered on the values of trust, relationships, respect, responsibility and community through play, exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment constructed on the interests of the children. We believe, when children feel safe and develop healthy, trusting relationships, cognitive development is fostered.
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program is a comprehensive, inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning, allowing all learners to grow and apply knowledge in an emergent, hands-on environment. Providing these opportunities for children to be actively involved helps them understand the world around them, promotes investigation of meaningful learning centers and build students’ problem solving and critical thinking skills. St. Mary’s highly educated teaching staff supplements self-directed student activities with large group, small group and one-on-one activities. These student-centered, teacher facilitated activities ensure that all students are given the opportunity to reach their highest potential developmentally and academically, while nurturing the whole child.
In addition to teaching our IB profile and attitudes; students participate in Chapel on Monday mornings. Chapel is a developmentally appropriate, spiritual learning experience including prayer, music and Bible stories. Additionally, we expose children to other walks of faith and are welcoming of all. Spanish is incorporated in classrooms throughout the school day, and formal Spanish education is offered in Preschool and Junior Kindergarten on a daily basis. We give children the foundation that prepares them for Lower School and sets them on a path of life-long learning.
Outside of the school day, we do offer two other opportunities for children. Each trimester, several on-campus, after-school enrichment classes are offered to expand on our well-rounded education, such as art, science, music & movement and sports. Additionally, extended day plan, staffed with fully qualified teachers provide opportunities for self-select play and facilitate fun activities including games, art and gardening before and after the regular school day. The various options within our program offer families support and choices in a safe, caring environment on campus, providing their children with opportunities to further engage in activities while expanding their knowledge and skills.