Our Preschool Classes

 

Preschool Classes are offered in the morning with two options for extended day programming.  We serve children between 2 years and 9 months old (33 months) as of September 1st, to Kindergarten entry (5-6 years).

 

*Three-year-old children do not need to be potty trained to attend GNNS. We work closely with families to support children in their toilet learning. We maintain a teacher/child ratio of 1:10 or less.

AM preschool classes are from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

  • 2 days a week on Monday/Friday

  • 3 days a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

  • 5 days a week on Monday thru Friday for children who are 39 months or older
     

The Discovery Class is an extended day PM class for 4 & 5 year olds who attend an AM class. Meets 12:00 - 3:30 PM

  • 3 days a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
     

Bus transportation is available within a 3-mile radius of the school. 

 

Extended Day Programming

Early Risers

  • Early Risers is a flexible, extended-day program option that takes place from 8:00 to 9:00 AM daily, during the hour preceding our regular class schedule. It is ideal for families with early work schedules or who have siblings attending schools with early start times. Children meet in one of our classrooms to play and have a morning snack before being walked to their classroom at 9:00 AM.

 

  • Enrollment for Early Risers takes place before the school year begins and on a rolling basis throughout the year.

 

Lunch Bunch

 

  • Lunch Bunch is an extended-day program option that is offered three times a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from noon - 2:30. All currently enrolled children who are not in the Discovery Class are welcome to attend Lunch Bunch.

 

  • Lunch Bunch begins the first week of school. Children bring a bag lunch, eat together, play in a classroom, go outside to the play yard and have a rest time. Children can attend Lunch Bunch on a regular weekly basis or on a drop-in basis, space permitting.

 

 

A Typical Day at Grace

During our half-day classes children participate in a balance of self-selected, child-directed learning experiences and teacher-facilitated learning experiences. Every day offers a range of educational opportunities and include self-directed learning time, large group meeting, large motor activities inside, going outside to the playground and having a shared snack. There are ongoing opportunities to explore the neighborhood by taking "exploring" walks around the neighborhood and walking to nearby Painters Park.  The schedule below is an approximate daily schedule for all of our classes. 

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A Daily Schedule

 

Arrival Time

First 10 minutes of the day

Parents walk children to their classroom and are greeted by the teachers. Children hang up their jackets and backpacks, wash their hands and select an area of the classroom to begin their day.

 

Self-Selected Learning Time

Approximately one hour

During this time, children may choose from a number of activities made available for the day. This time may include, but not be limited to: art, math, science, problem solving activities, books and literacy activities, blocks, dramatic play, cooking, construction activities, large motor play and sensory activities such as play with water or sand.

 

Clean-up, Hand-washing, Toileting

Approximately 20 minutes (varies by class)

 

Large Group/Circle Time

Approximately 20 minutes (varies by class)

This time may include music and movement experiences, stories and dramatizations, concept development games and, as the children are ready, group discussions.

 

Snack Time

Approximately 20 minutes (varies by class)

Children are seated at a table with a teacher and serve themselves family style. This is a time for informal conversations, discussions about classroom topics of interest, as well as eating a nutritious snack.

 

Large Motor Time/Outdoor Time

30 minutes for all classes

All classes have 30 minutes of daily assigned time to go to our playground or take children to explore and play in one of the nature spaces or garden areas that surround our building. Classes also regularly walk to nearby Painters Park. We also have a large indoor space that we can use for large motor activities in the church's Social Hall.

Departure Time

Last 10 minutes of the day

Parents wait at the classroom door for teachers to dismiss children individually. This allows for personal good-byes and certainty that children are leaving with the appropriate adult.

 

*Note about Rest Time

Because the AM classes at GNNS are half-day only, naps and rest are not part of their daily schedule. Should a child need to rest, there are resting mats available. Children in the Discovery Class and Lunch Bunch have a regular rest time each day.

Enrichment Programming

Add-A-Day

 

Add-a-Day is a unique enrichment program that offers children the opportunity to expand their preschool learning experience. Offered on Monday and Friday afternoons, children who attend Grace on Monday or Friday mornings have the option of extending their school day, and children attending classes at other times, can extend their school week. The program is flexible to accommodate your scheduling needs – your child can participate on a regular weekly basis, or can attend Add-A-Day on a drop-in basis, space permitting.

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  • Add-A-Day on Monday Afternoons:
    12:00 - 2:30. Think Global! Explore the World/ International Study
     

  • Add-A-Day on Friday Afternoons:
    12:00 - 3:30. Think Local! Explore the city on our school bus

The Discovery Class


The Discovery Class is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused preschool program that meets from 12:00 to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. This class is open to 4 year olds who currently attend Grace in the mornings. Children are enrolled for the entire school year. This specific program option is an expansion and extension of children’s regular preschool experience. The main focus of the curriculum is to encourage scientific, inquiry-based thinking through play. During the three and a half hour program children eat a healthy lunch from home, go outside and have an opportunity short rest time in addition to the STEM focused experiences for the day.

 

  • The Discovery Class meets on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons: from 12:00 – 3:30 PM.

Summer Programs

 

We have traditionally offered several summer camps in June and July for children who have been enrolled during our regular school year. We are not certain yet if we will be able to continue to do that in our new location inside The First Universalist Church. More information about summer camps will be made available to parents in February.

 

Grace is closed for the month of August.

 
 

Special Programs at Grace

Our Poet In Residence

 

A unique early literacy program that has been part of our curriculum since the early 2000’s is our collaboration with local poet, Julia Klatt Singer.  Each year Julia spends a month or more in each classroom to share her poetry as well as support the children to find their own poet voice. Please watch this short video about this special program that is unique to Grace.

 

Click here to view a video about Our Poet In Residence.

Gardening at Grace

 

We have a long tradition of creating opportunities to connect children with nature and plant life, even though we are located in a very urban setting. The First Universalist Church has two planted areas around the building and we plan to continue this aspect of our program in the spring by working with the church to establish and maintain garden beds here at our building where the children can be active participants in the process of planting and caring for the gardens.

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