Canyon Heights Academy Preschool in Campbell, CA combines the foundational curriculum with the methods of Montessori education to create a unique program that cultivates the academic, physical, emotional and spiritual development of preschool students. Attention to the individual child fosters a balanced atmosphere that is cheerful, nourishing and orderly. The classroom is filled with manipulatives and hands-on activities because learning at this age is an up-close and tactile experience. The environment encourages young students to explore their own curiosities and challenges them to master language and math concepts. Children develop the love for learning and social skills which are the foundation for future success.
Preschool is open to school-ready three-, four-, and five- year olds who are potty-trained. The school day runs from 8:30am-3:15pm each day, with time for lunch and nap. Arrangements can also be made for three-day and half-day programs.
Our preschool classrooms are set up according to the guidelines first outlined by Maria Montessori. This set up is beneficial to the children in two ways. First, the choice of activities (called “jobs”) allows each child to experience the joy of learning by their own choice. Second, it helps them perfect their own natural learning tools for continued success in their academic pursuits.
Our preschool classrooms are designed for the children. They are prepared and equipped for the size and pace of preschool-aged children and are designed to give them freedom in the environment through carefully prepared and attractive materials on low shelves. Tables and chairs are movable to allow a variety of activities, and the children also work on small rugs on the floor where they are naturally comfortable. In our classrooms, there is no “front” of the room or teacher’s desk as a focal point because the stimulation from learning comes from the total environment.
Reading, Phonics and Writing
The students develop beginning reading skills. Concepts taught include: pre-reading and pre-writing jobs; simple phonics rules and simple short vowel words; reading and writing readiness is watched carefully so learning to read and write is motivated by the student’s natural enthusiasm.
The students develop an early enthusiasm for the world of numbers. Concepts taught include: understanding place value and reading numbers to the thousands; recognition of number symbols as well as physical representation; self-discovery of mathematical facts through math activities and materials.
The students begin to understand the world around them through the study of science. Concepts taught include: basic characteristics of the solar system; the role of the sun, especially for the Earth; why we live on Earth and could not live anywhere else; the importance of dirt and soil; appreciation of the environment through knowledge of the earth’s layers, five oceans, seven contents and various landforms.
The student explores various art media. Concepts taught in preschool include: awareness of the elements and principles of art; famous artists such as Michelangelo, Rafael, Mary Cassat; Monet, Tommy de Paola and Paul Klee; different historical periods of art: Renaissance, Baroque and Impressionism.
The student is introduced to music by various composers. Concepts taught in preschool include: folk music and dances from all continents, including North America; Strauss, Blue Danube (during study of the continent of Europe and landforms); Hayden’s Creation Story; chants; sacred music by various artists.
Concepts taught in preschool include: why God made him/her; about your Guardian Angel; Christmas and Easter; Saints Francis, Patrick and Joseph as well as Blessed Mother Mary; why we attend Mass and what happens there; the three basic prayers: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be; understanding forgiveness, grace and courtesy.
Preschool is an important part of Canyon Heights Academy. All core areas of our curriculum begin in Preschool and the subsequent grades will build upon the foundation laid in our preschool program. Students are divided into multiple, identical classrooms, and our current student:teacher ratio is 9:1.
8:30-9:00 Outside play
9:00-9:30 Academic Circle
9:30-11:30 Work Time
11:30-12:00 Music/Movement Circle
12:00-1:00 Lunch and Outside play
1:45-3:15 Work Time
Before School Care is available from 7:30am and Extended Daycare is available until 6:00pm. Detailed information and arrangements for enrollment can be obtained from the front office.
Students may bring their own lunch, or take advantage of Choice Lunch, our daily hot lunch provider.
Snack is provided in the classroom both in the morning and again in the afternoon. We serve a variety of foods, such as fruit, breads, cheese, fruit juices, milk, etc.
All children must be toilet trained by the time they begin school. This means they must be able to determine when they need to go to the bathroom and be able to express that need to a teacher. They should also be able to manage their clothing and toileting needs. The teachers are happy to help with difficult zippers, snaps, etc.
Birthday celebration is a time of quiet appreciation for each year the child has spent on the planet. The child has a chance to walk around a candle (representing the sun) while holding a globe in his/her hands. A brief outline of what he/she did for each year of his/her life will allow the teacher to describe the child’s life as he/she walks. Parents are encouraged and welcome to participate in the celebration. If a family chooses, a book may be donated to the school in the child’s name. For those children who have summer birthdays, celebrations will be held toward the end of the school year.
Child of the Week
We celebrate each child as our “Child of the Week” for one whole week during the year. During this week, your child may bring his/her favorite family photos glued on a poster board which will be displayed on our class bulletin board. During circle time that week, we will sing a special song to that child and give him/her time to tell us about the pictures. At the end of the week, we will spend a circle time getting to know your child’s favorite things (i.e. pets, toys, jobs, movies, etc.).
Parent involvement is highly valued, reaffirming the conviction that parents are the first and most important educators of their children. Parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s school life at CHA in many different ways. These range from school-wide activities and events, visiting the classroom and doing a project (art, science, food, etc.), reading a book, and enriching our curriculum throughout the year.
The purpose of discipline is to promote the virtues we talk about in the classroom and to ensure the safety of the children by promoting positive interactions and helping the children to develop their self-control, empathy and cooperation. By providing an appropriate environment with a high level of positive reinforcement, we encourage age appropriate behavior. Logical consequences, keeping in mind the child’s age, personality, circumstances, and level of understanding, will be used to fit individual situations which require discipline.