Early Childhood Program
We encourage our youngest to be sincere, honest and kind in their work & play
St. Mary of the Angels School offers a competitive play-based academic program beginning at age 3.
Our program includes the following:
- PreK 3 AM , PreK 3 Full Day , PreK 4 AM, PreK 4 Full Day and Junior Kindergarten.
- PreK 3 AM: Offered Monday, Wednesday & Friday of each week from 8am-11:15 am
- PreK 3 Full Day: Offered Monday-Friday of each week, with the option to attend either 5 days or 3 days, from 8am-3pm
- PreK 4 AM: Offered Monday-Friday of each week, with the option to attend either 5 days or 3 days, from 8am-11:15am.
- PreK 4 Full Day: Offered Monday-Friday of each week, with the option to attend either 5 days or 3 days, from 8am-3pm.
Junior Kindergarten: Offered Monday-Friday of each week, with the option to attend either 5 days or 3 days, from 8am-3pm. The Junior Kindergarten program is for our oldest Early Childhood Students. It was created for those students who are not quite old enough to begin Kindergarten, but who have progressed beyond what PreK can offer. The Junior Kindergarten offers a more challenging curriculum, with a strong focus on early literacy and mathematics skills.
All PreK & Junior Kindergarten programs include the option of daily before school care, from 7am-7:45 and all full day PreK & Junior Kindergarten programs include the option of daily after-school care from 3pm-6pm.
Early Childhood Program: The child’s first educational experiences in PreK and Junior Kindergarten lay the foundation for later success. St. Mary of the Angels School provides a nurturing, invigorating and welcoming environment that stimulates thinking and enriches social skills in these early formative years. Through hands-on experiences and whole child instruction, our young learners discover how the world works and develop a joy of lifelong learning.
Teachers encourage our youngest to explore and discover through their own natural curiosity and creativeness. Learning through imaginative play and collaborating with peers and teachers, our young learners develop imagination, inquisitiveness and learn to speak and think articulately.
Classroom Size: We maintain a small class-size and teacher to student ratio of 11:1 so that our students receive the individualized attention that they need to progress and excel in our Early Childhood Program.
Six Areas of Learning are emphasized in the early years to foster each child’s indivualized progress.
- Personal, social and emotional skills
- Communication, language and literacy
- Reasoning and problem solving
- Physical development
- Creative development
- Knowledge and understanding of the world.
We encourage our youngest to be sincere, honest and kind in their work and play, as well as to develop the ability to adapt to new situations, to understand their own and others’ feelings and to manage them appropriately. Our “littlest” are a big part of the school community through interactions with older students at Mass, all school activities and Faith Partner activities.
- Circle Time: Circle time is a group gathering during which we share our ideas, plans and observations. Circle activities are designed to stimulate thinking, enrich social skills and expand attention spans.
- Gross-Motor Activties: These activities give children the opportunity to use their muscles- as well as their imaginations – as they engage in fun, healthy exercises such as running, jumping, tricycle riding, climbing and playground time.
- Fine-Motor Activities: These activities help improve small-muscle development and eye-hand coordination. Some common items found in the fine-motor/manipulative area include puzzles, crayons, scissors and small building blocks.
- Art Activities: Art activities help youngsters creatively express their thoughts and feelings. They help reinforce fine-motor skills and concept development in areas such as colors, shapes and size relationships.
- Dramatic Play: These activities help children express themselves, practice life skills, improve social skills and increase self-esteem, build vocabulary and solve problems.
- Music: Music promotes listening skills, creative expression and social skills. In music, children can explore sound, volume, tempo & rhythm.
- Science: Science activities offer children many hands-on opportunities for observation, exploration, investigation, making predictions and experimentation.
- Sand & Water Activities: These allow youngsters to experiment with textures and the properties of different substances. These activities also promote the development of other skills such as math, science and language.
- Block Play: Block play gives children experience with many different concepts such as shape and size discrimination, spatial relationships, number skills, balance, organizations, cause & effect and classification. Cooperative play skills, problem solving and creativity are also promoted in block play.
- Storytime: Storytime is designed to help youngsters develop an appreciation and enjoyment of literature. Reading activities enhance children’s vocabulary, comprehension skills and expand their knowledge base.
Assessment: Children in our Early Childhood Program will be assessed three times throughout the school year. These assessments are made solely for the purpose of gauging the progress made by each individual child throughout the school year. Teachers assess children so that the academic program can be better tailored to suit the needs of each individual child. Results are shared with parents at scheduled parent-teacher conferences and as needed.
- Students will enjoy a healthy snack once per day in our AM programs and twice per day in our full-day programs.
- Snack calendars are determined by the classroom teacher and distributed to families at the start of each month. Families are assigned a snack to bring for the entire class.
- Allergy policy: All snacks and classroom treats must adhere to the SMA Nut Policy . Upon applying to St. Mary of the Angels School we ask that all families explain and make known any allergies or dietary restrictions. Once classrooms are set, we also ask that parents detail and explain these allergies and dietary restrictions to the classroom teacher, so that an amended classroom snack policy can be put into place, or alternative snack options can be prepared when necessary.
Behavior Policy: Communication between school & home is a critical component of the St. Mary of the Angels School behavior policy, PreK-8th grade. We ask that families notify the teacher of any issues or struggles at home, so that we can reinforce the necessary lessons at school, creating a consistent environment for our students. On our part, families will always be made aware of a child’s progress, struggles and successes each and every school day, whether it be via your child’s daily behavior chart, a note home, a quick email, conversation or phone call.
- Red, Yellow & Green Light System: Our Early Childhood Program utilizes the red, yellow & green light system, with a focus on positive reinforcement. Each morning children start out on “green”. If, throughout the day a child is struggling with a classroom skill, listening or following directions etc, a child may be put on “yellow” with a clear explanation of why this measure is being taken before doing so. If a child amends his or her behavior and works hard to listen and improve, the teacher will move the child back to green, explaining to the child that his or her effort to exhibit good behavior has earned him or her this change. Red indicates a more serious behavioral issue, such as physical harm (biting, spitting, pushing or kicking), and a parent will be called immediately to explain why and when their child was placed on “red”.
- Positive Reinforcement: The Red, Yellow & Green Light system focuses on earning back your “green” light status through good behavior.
Lunch: Students in our full day program will enjoy a lunch period each day. Students can choose from a hot lunch, offered by Food Service Program or can opt to bring their own. The hot lunch menu is sent home with families before the start of each month, families can choose between two options from the lunch program, or can choose to only receive milk, or can bring their own. You can choose to take hot lunch once or every day each month. Visit the FSP website for a detailed look at their menus and nut policy.
Nap: Students in our full day PreK & Junior Kindergarten programs have a scheduled naptime each day. All children must participate in naptime. If students are not sleeping, they are laying quietly on their mat, resting throughout the scheduled period. At the start of the year, children bring a pillow, blanket and one sleeptime “friend” to leave in their cubbies at school, which are used during naptime. We ask that children leave these items at school full-time (except during scheduled take-home washing periods), so that they are always available.
Uniform: All students at St. Mary of the Angels School are required to wear a school uniform.
- PreK & Junior K Girls Uniform: SMA Jumper, white peter-pan collared shirt (short or long sleeved) or white turtleneck, plain colored shorts or leggings & comfortable close-toed shoes (preferably sneakers). Optional- SMA sweater and other accessories.
- PreK & Junior K Boys Uniform: SMA White Polo shirt (short or long sleeved), navy blue pants (can be elastic waist cotton pants, sweatpants, dress pants. No blue jeans) & comfortable close-toed shoes (preferably sneakers). Optional- SMA sweater or sweater vest.