Discover St. Mary's

Discover St. Mary's
A Day In The Life
The Academic Details

Early Education

Supporting the Optimal Development of Each Child

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.

List of 3 items.

  • Early Preschool

    Early Preschool (EP) is a time when endless exploration tests independence and expanded verbal skills through open lines of communication. Two-year olds strive to make sense of the world around them and won’t take “no” for an answer. Our curriculum and classroom layout are designed with this in mind, providing a safe environment for students to explore, engage and be autonomous! Our teachers guide children through age-appropriate group activities and self-directed learning center exploration. Story time reinforces the joy and wonder of books and literacy. Puzzles and other small manipulatives teach beginning math skills like shape, size and color. As children prepare for Preschool, the importance of nurturing their love of learning is paramount, and plenty of play, with hands-on educational experiences, is vital.

    Ratio & Class size:
    • 1:6 Ratio / Maximum of 12 students per class
    Program Schedule Offerings:
    • Option 1: Tuesday & Thursday: 2 Half Days or Standard Days
    • Option 2: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday: 3 Half Days or Standard Days
    • Option 3: Monday – Friday: Half Days or Standard Days
  • Preschool

    Preschool (PS) children are discovering the world, deepening their knowledge, testing their independence and forming a love of learning. St. Mary’s unique preschool program, shaped by our IB curriculum, facilitates learning and discovery. We meet each child’s developmental and educational needs while nurturing cognitive, physical, social and emotional growth. Our program supports children in playful exploration because children learn best when they are actively engaged in constructing their own knowledge. Our curriculum is based on the belief that children learn in many different ways. Learning centers are designed to invite children to investigate. Teachers supplement individual activities with large group lessons focusing on core subject areas and units of inquiry.

    Ratio & Class size:
    • 1:8 Ratio / Maximum of 16 students per class
    Program Schedule Offerings:
    • Option 1: Tuesday & Thursday: 2 Half Days or Standard Days
    • Option 2: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday: 3 Half Days or Standard Days
    • Option 3: Monday – Friday: Half Days or Standard Days
  • Junior Kindergarten

    Four year-olds are investigators. That’s why our Junior Kindergarten (JK) component, shaped by our thoughtful IB planners, provide countless opportunities for students to explore, investigate and experiment. The guiding principle for our JK curriculum is readiness. It prepares children for reading, writing and basic math skills. In addition, children engage in group activities, which help to promote social-emotional skills such as, collaboration, communication and self-regulation. Teachers facilitate and encourage, asking open-ended questions that spur problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Along with a strong emphasis on mathematics and literacy skills, our teachers engage students in hands-on social studies, science and physical fitness lessons. This program gives children the tools they need to grow and develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

    Ratio & Class Size:
    • 1:9 Ratio / Maximum of 18 students per class
    Program Schedule Offerings:
    • Option: Monday – Friday: Half Days or Standard Days