IN THE CLASSROOM
In a Reggio-inspired school, the curriculum constantly evolves in accordance to children’s interests, community opportunities, seasons, cultural resources, and more. Thus, there is no set curriculum for the Escuelita class, as themes emerge and extend themselves in an organic fashion in response to all of these factors. All subjects reflect themes under study, so children deepen their sense of science, social studies, and the arts through thematic explorations in these subjects.
In Reggio-inspired schools, “making learning visible” through documentation is very important. Teachers maintain a portfolio on each child, which records pictures and anecdotes about the child at play, and which builds over time to document developmental changes. The portfolio is shared with parents in a spring conference, and is given to the family when the child moves to Primaria or leaves the program. The goal of the portfolio is to share with families the rich activities which their children do in the “children’s world” of the Reggio-inspired classroom.
"These are streets. They are having a race! These are cars. The two dots in the front are lights."
- Theo, 3 years old
All parents participate in family tasks each year, and are asked to assist at one of two work parties, to attend fund-raisers, and to help give at least one fundraiser. We encourage but do not require parents to volunteer in the classroom, and give tuition relief for up to two mornings of volunteer time per month. We also encourage parents who have relevant professions or skills to share those in class when they match a theme under study, or to share cultural heritage experiences.
BEFORE- AND AFTER-CARE
A majority of Escuelita students stay beyond regular curriculum hours. Some stay from 8-2 daily; others are joined by Primaria students for daycare until 6 PM, or whenever the family chooses to pick them up before that time. We also provide daycare hours between 7 and 9 AM. Daycare teachers are fully qualified, and the PM head teacher works in the afternoon only, so that they are fresh and can provide special afternoon experiences.