Students challenge themselves to work on the skills they need to learn and develop through play. A focus on play allows preschoolers many opportunities to interact with peers and practice valuable skills such as empathy, flexibility, problem solving, and negotiating. The majority of our activities are open-ended. By encouraging children to create their own projects, our approach is child-led rather than teacher-directed. Letters, numbers, Spanish, and our science-based curriculum are incorporated in organic ways that make learning fun.
We have an inclusion philosophy and the expectation that all children are invited to join in any activity. If children want to exclude others, we remind them that school is like a birthday party and everyone is invited to play. We feel this fosters an emotionally safe environment of acceptance where we learn to embrace differences in others and truly work cooperatively with everyone at the school. We strive to create an authentic community where students feel safe emotionally to be themselves and share who they are. We talk about differences and acceptance and take students' feelings seriously. We use the Collaborative Problem Solving Approach. When conflicts arise, we work with the children and brainstorm solutions together. We see "negative" behavior as a child's attempt to fill a need in the best way he or she can at that moment, and we look for how we can meet all our needs in a way that feels acceptable to everyone.