We view all children as capable learners. We are here to provide an opportunity for them to live into their potential. Our role is to support children’s inquiries and build strong relationships with children and families. We provide a safe, nurturing and rich environment where children feel empowered to take risks, explore their ideas and grow dispositions of being life long learners.
The School for Young Children on Asylum Hill maintains a set of core values about how young children learn and how they deserve to be treated. We understand that children view the world very differently from adults. Our staff and teachers embrace and nurture the unique perspectives of young minds.
Children are treated with respect and the understanding that they are capable decision-makers. Their ideas are taken seriously, and teachers give children the opportunity to work through problems, projects, and conflicts independently. Teachers are available to support and facilitate children's activities and communication with peers.
Responding and Communicating with Families
At the School for Young Children on Asylum Hill, we understand that families are different from each other in many ways and we honor and respect those differences. Not all families are from the same culture, not all families speak the same language, and not all families make the same personal or professional choices.
We recognize the importance of communication with families. We have multiple modes of formal and informal communication including: in person, phone, e-mail, journals, photos, conferences, and a parent questionnaire.
The School fosters an understanding of early education with families through conversations with teachers, school events, workshops, documentation panels and sharing of articles. Bi-annual parent-teacher conferences are held to discuss children's learning styles and progress.
There are numerous ways for parents to participate in their child's classroom and to have a voice in the overall direction of the school. The Parent Advisory Committee is a group whose role is to help build a sense of community among families and staff through activities and ongoing school wide communication. With the help of parent volunteers, PAC provides support for all school programs and is an avenue for parent feedback which is used to shape the direction of the school.
Expectations of Children
Teachers help children learn responsibility, self -control and independence in the classroom. As a school that respects children and responds to their needs, we also have clear expectations of them. Foremost among these expectations is that children respect the rights and feelings of others. They are taught to respect teachers and to value materials; good manners are also emphasized in the classroom.
Teachers are mediators, helping children settle conflicts, while allowing youngsters to independently practice conflict resolution. When conflicts arise, teachers help children come up with alternatives to inappropriate behavior, such as hitting.
If a child is having persistent behavior problems, our staff will work closely with the family behavioral plan for the child. When necessary, referrals are made for outside support.
The classroom routine is built around a predictable schedule that provides security and stability for the children. Routine is critical for preschoolers' feelings of security. Children are provided with a balance of quiet and active times along with self-initiated and teacher directed activities with the understanding that the length of these activities must to be flexible to meet the ever changing needs of young children.
The School for Young Children on Asylum Hill utilizes both The Creative Curriculum® and the State of Connecticut Preschool Curricular Goals and Performance Standards as guides for curriculum. A child centered, play based, and process oriented approach to teaching is used.
Through play children are able to manipulate concrete materials and manipulate social interactions to build knowledge about their physical and social world. The classroom is a safe and rich learning environment which provides ample time and flexibility for exploration and discovery. Teachers create an environment in which children are physically safe as well as emotionally safe creating a sanctuary where children are able to become risk takers, taking on new challenges and investigating new ideas.
Teachers provide large portions of time for in-depth investigation as well as the opportunity for investigation over time, leaving materials out for days, weeks or months. Teachers provide open ended materials with many loose parts. These materials are selected thoughtfully and intentionally so they are challenging and interesting for children yet not too challenging and frustrating for children.
Teachers make ample time for observation and documentation of and reflection and collaboration about the children they work with. Through the careful assessment of children on a continuum of development, teachers plan for experiences that will meet children’s individual needs. To know the “whole” child, it is important to also include the input of adults who are significant to the child outside of school (parents, guardians, caregivers).