Four key features of a high-quality preschool program include: the curriculum, the teachers, environment, and family.
Curriculum: MCSD Preschool Program has adopted the research based preschool curriculum: Houghton Mifflin Pre-K: Where Bright Futures Begin. HM Pre-K is designed to provide young children with a comprehensive integrated program. The program is built around oral language and print activities to enhance children’s language and literacy development. The curriculum also addresses early math concepts as well as science and social studies. MCSD Preschool Program values health education including nutrition. We implement the Harvest of the Month nutrition program with the help of Merced County Office of Education. Physical activity promotion is also imperative and supported through the Sports, Play, & Active Recreations for Kids (SPARKS) curriculum. Special activities and materials from our Positive Behavior Support Program help children learn appropriate social and emotional behaviors.
Teachers: MCSD teachers are responsive to each child’s needs and abilities. They engage in interesting conversations and provide interesting, hands-on experiences for children. Lead Teachers have college degrees and Site Supervisor Permits. Teachers are committed to learning and keeping informed on the latest research in early childhood education. Staff Development is provided on a regular basis.
Environment: MCSD preschool classrooms provide activities and experiences that help develop children’s language, mathematics, social-emotional and problem-solving skills. Guidelines and suggestions in the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale are followed. Class size is kept small with a ratio of 1:8. Low ratios allow teachers to devote more time to children’s individual needs.
Family: MCSD preschool program values the family-school relationship and strives to involve families in the early education of their children. The preschool’s open door policy promotes parent involvement in everyday classroom activities and special events. Communication is supported through family orientation, conferences and daily communication regarding program activities and student progress. MCSD Preschool Program supports parents as the early teachers of their children through information sharing, and with ‘Parents in Education’ (P.I.E.) workshops sharing activities and strategies to promote children success.