34 Southers Marsh Lane
The Woodside Kindergarten was established in September 2002, at the beginning of our second year of operation, as a result of the interest of Woodside families who were exploring educational options for their older children. Working together, Woodside staff and first grade teachers in the public system, created an integrated Kindergarten curriculum and learning environment which provides a broad variety of developmentally appropriate activities that emphasize concrete experiential learning to achieve the objectives of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Department of Education (DOE) standards. The class activities focus on the strengths, interests, needs, and life experiences of the children. The team teachers provide opportunities and materials for small, interactive group learning, with a focus on process-oriented, concrete activities, and hands-on experiences, to foster positive identity and a sense of well-being, to develop social and emotional skills, to encourage children to think, reason, question, and experiment, to encourage language and literary development, to enhance physical development and skills, to encourage and demonstrate sound health, safety, and nutritional practices, and to develop respect for and to learn from diversity.
Kindergarten teachers, Nancy Stearns and Bambi Urann, together have degrees in Child Development, Early Childhood Education, and over 30 years of teaching experience. In addition, their qualifications include Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC) Lead Teacher and Director II certifications, as well as certification in Parenting Education and MA DOE Pre-K through grade 3 teacher license.
Class size is limited to no more than 18 children, to allow for small group and individual interactions with the teachers. The day begins at 12:15 with lunch, then puzzles, writing, independent reading, group meeting, assigned work, free choice, clean-up, small group reading, music/movement, snack, large group story, and outdoor play and exploration, until 4:00. The children create portfolios of their art and written work, which also include photographs documenting their daily experiences and learning opportunities.
Parents have daily contact with the teachers at arrival and dismissal, and are encouraged to volunteer in the classroom. Kindergarten and school newsletters are sent out regularly throughout the year to keep families informed of class activities and goals. The teachers prepare two conferences yearly, which include copies of written observations and individualized goals.
To keep the Kindergarten viable and relevant, Woodside Directors and Teachers annually assess the curriculum, learning activities, and the daily routines, and encourage feedback from families when children have continued on to other private and public schools.