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Ready for the world

Pre-K children are fascinating and fun! Their imaginations lead them to create complex and internally consistent games, scenarios, and, yes, problems. It’s no longer so easy, as parents of Pre-K-ers will tell you, to plunk a 4-year-old down with a bunch of other 4-year-olds and expect that they’ll all play together as if they’ve known one another all their lives; now they have preferences. Helping them navigate the new and uncertain waters of social interaction is a challenging and vital part of our Pre-K teaching staff’s day.

Play remains the foundation of learning in the Pre-K classroom, but Mrs. Furin, our tremendous teacher, introduces more elements of traditional classroom instruction – longer circle times, more table projects, more organized “recitation” like finger games, rhymes, and songs – so that her Pre-K-ers will be altogether prepared and comfortable with their eventual kindergarten classes. One of Mrs. Furin’s special talents is to create a classroom environment in which children seriously settle in to do their work… having a great time all the while.

Pre-K-ers focus on kindergarten readiness skills:

  • narrative skills
  • more advanced shape and pattern recognition leading to…
  • letter and letter-sound recognition
  • counting and manipulating numbers for different purposes
  • observation and description
  • importantly, continuing social and emotional development.

In addition to regular play- and class-time, Pre-K-ers participate in science, music and movement,library, and chapel, as well as several field trips. Game days promote turn-taking and good sportsmanship; share days invite youngsters to tell about a special item or event; taking care of the class mascot, “Bones,” encourages narrative development and responsibility; and other special days, such as Grandparents’ Day and Earth Day, explore other aspects of their lives.

“Although graduation was an emotional time for Mommy and Daddy, all three of our children left St. Peter’s ready for kindergarten – with the academic skills they would need, a love of learning, and the confidence to welcome new challenges with enthusiasm.

“Our years here were truly a gift – one that we will always cherish and remember with the fondest of memories. Thank you again for providing a special place in this fast-paced world where our kids could just enjoy being kids. The location and setting are charming, and the staff at St. Peter’s provided a welcoming environment and individual attention that was simply wonderful.”

         – Preschool parents Cynthia and Mike Hires

IMG_9562Program days and times: Monday through Thursday, Friday optional when at least 6 children enroll for this option, 9:00-11:45 a.m.

Program eligibility: Pre-K is open to children who will be aged 4 by the kindergarten cut-off date of their home school district (typically 9/30, though Phoenixville A.S.D. uses 9/30). Children must be toilet trained. (Please note that your home school district may observe a different kindergarten eligibility date.)

Adult:child ratio: Never to exceed 1:8, and held to 1:7 except for special circumstances (for instance, a set of twins). Class size will generally be held to 14 children with a teacher and an aide (that is, we will never add a second aide in order to add more children), and will never exceed 16 children; the decision whether to add a fifteenth child will be made with care at the Director’s discretion, based on the personalities and abilities of children already registered or enrolled.