Phone calls, text messages and emails: Because the children are being constantly supervised and cared for, if your family is not currently enrolled, we may not be able to answer or return your call right away. Please allow up to one-business day for returned communications. For families who are currently enrolled, we will always answer your calls, but if it is not an urgent matter, we may ask to call you back at a time that is available to us so teaching and care is not disturbed.
Daily and/or Immediate (if applicable): Any injury of a serious nature is reported to you immediately by phone, noted in your child’s daily journal, documented in your child’s file, and a report sent to local licensing (this latter action is required by law). Minor falls/bumps/scrapes do not constitute a serious injury, but I still notate these in your child’s daily journal if a mark is left or it caused them major distress. Also, any health issues or bodily marks I notice at drop-off or throughout the day are also noted in the daily journal as well as a phone call (or text, if you prefer) to check with you on these issues if they cause concern.
Daily: Private, Opt-in Facebook Group showing pictures and videos of activities and projects that I take throughout the day. (I never use pictures for public promotional or advertising uses. The Facebook group is a closed (invite only) page for private, family use only.)
Daily: Written overview of child’s eating, behavior/mood, & overall day. Any special notices for you or finished work/pictures by your child is in her/his student binder.
Weekly Lesson Plans with Student’s Work Summaries: Because of our teaching and learning styles (both structured and the Montessori/Waldorf/Reggio Emilia approaches), you will receive a weekly update (sent out on Friday) that outlines how each week’s lesson plan was worked, which may be different from the initial monthly curriculum plan sent to you. Adaptations and differences are explained and your registration packet outlines how the academic program is both teacher and learner directed. You will also receive pictures or samples of your child’s work and a formal assessment (explained below) of how your child worked them based on personal and standard objectives.
Monthly: Newsletter, Monthly Learning Theme and Sample Curricula (lesson plans), Special Activities, Lunch and Snacks Menu, and Announcements: Each month I give an overview of that month’s learning theme with a sample of the lesson plans and objectives for each subject. Special activities for celebrations/holidays, family field trips, or special learning days (see calendar) are also provided and available any time through email and in person (flyers).
Semi-Annual Parent-Teacher Conference: Twice a year, in April and October, families have a private meeting with teachers and caretakers that is conducted outside of regular operating hours and is private. These are typically done on a Friday afternoon, but we can work to accommodate a time that enables all parents/guardians to be present. Meetings are about 20 minutes minimum, but a full hour is reserved for you so there is no rush to discuss concerns, questions, and goals for your child. You will be given formal 6-month assessments that show your child’s development per (1) the State of California’s academic objective standards and (2) prior meeting goals and standards established by your family and teachers at the initial or prior conference. This is a formal assessment, buy we are always available to speak with you about your child’s development and progress at any time.
(If applicable) “Outside” annual IEP conferences: If your child has an IEP (Individual Education Plan) from the public school district or a medical professional, we are available to attend, if it is your desire, the annual IEP meeting.
Language Assistance: If English is not your primary language or you struggle with fluency, we can help you connect with an interpreter for meetings and translation services for parent communications. Google Translate is also available for every page on this site, but we cannot 100% confirm accurate translation of intent or meaning, so please let us know if you are using this service as your primary source of communication so we can verify the accuracy in your language preference.
Assessments (what and how your child is doing):
Every week you are provided with the lesson plan details and examples of your child’s work through a variety of ways such as photos or a model display (e.g. of a group project), worksheets, art or craft items, or some other visual aide annotated by me detailing what was done, his or her comprehension of the topic, and where the quality of work falls within his/her personal and age-standards, the latter being based on California’s Common Core standards for preschool.
There are no standardized tests or grades as those methods do not properly assess your child’s abilities, development, or comprehension. A test, especially if it is timed, only depicts a quick sample of the accuracy of a child’s response to the test questions based on the standardization of question and answer options, which while meant to be a statistical sampling of a subject base compared to a norm, does not provide adequate subject context or consideration for learning diversity needs.
Instead, a continuous progress assessment using the “authentic assessment” method is what is used to assess the development of objective competency. Each child’s real performance is assessed daily through teacher observation and various assessment tools in multiple learning styles (auditory, visually, orally, and through literacy) which will specifically and clearly communicate how your child is learning and what learning challenges he/she is facing. To help children with their personal, social, and academic learning goals, we adapt multiple learning and teaching styles to various lessons for a “best-fit” that develops along with your child and keep working on a learning objective until they have mastered it. They never fall behind because each lesson and monthly theme is adapted to individual needs and rates of progress.
Please see our page on academic objectives for more details.