A Variety of Early Learning Options to Consider
To meet the needs of children and their families, Groton Community School offers both Half-Day and Full-Day options for our Preschool programs. Children in our Half-Day Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten programs may also participate in the Extended Day Program to extend their day at school before or after class.
Half Day Preschool Programs
Tuesday/ Thursday Half-Day Preschool
(For children ages 2 years 9 months to 4 years old in the fall)
This two-day program provides a comfortable time frame for children who are older twos or three years of age at the start of the school year, especially if they are just beginning their preschool experience. Preschool children participate in a class with 14 to 16 children and two teachers. Goals for young preschool children are similar to toddler goals but more refined. Classes for young preschoolers set the stage for cognitive development, with exposure to many curriculum areas. In addition to promoting creativity, self-esteem, gross motor development, and physical life skills, young preschoolers are encouraged in their verbal self-expression, small motor skills, and ability to share and negotiate. Separation remains an issue for many young children beginning preschool, and teachers and families work as a team to help children feel comfortable at the start of the school year.
Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday Half-Day Preschool
(For children ages 3, 4, and 5 years old in the fall)
We have a number of classes to accommodate three-, four-, and young five-year-old children who may be ready for three days of school. Class size varies according to room size, with 13 to 16 children accompanied by two teachers. Some Monday/Wednesday/Friday classes are geared toward three-year-old children and their age-appropriate goals (see above). Older classes focus on goals for four- and young five-year-old children, such as becoming more independent overall, dressing oneself, following directions, focusing longer, and cooperating more readily in group activities. Four-year-olds and young five-year-olds begin to develop a concept of numbers, an awareness of the relationships between sounds, symbols, words, and meanings, as well as an interest in the alphabet and writing.
The goals for our Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten programs for older fours and young fives are similar in their expectations for children and curriculum areas. Each program plans activities around themes related to the children’s interests and developmental levels. Our three-day Preschool and five-day Pre-K programs both offer activities that make use of a rich array of cognitive skills, hands-on discovery, and opportunities for verbal and printed communication. It is not necessary to attend a five-day Pre-K Class to be prepared for Kindergarten, and many children who attend GCS proceed directly from our three-day Preschool program to a Kindergarten program the following year. For some children, three days of school with other enriching activities is a good fit, while other children benefit from the consistency of five days at school.
What Our Families Say:
“Our experience with GCS this year has been nothing short of amazing. The teachers are all so caring and knowledgeable, and you can see how much they adore these children by how they interact with them. Not only do our child’s teachers know her, but all of the other teachers and staff know her as well. It feels like a big family! Our daughter has grown and thrived in so many ways this year, and we certainly credit GCS for their part. They don’t just teach the ABC’s and 123’s. They are fostering character traits and life skills like respect, kindness, dispute resolution and manners; all the same things we work on at home. I continue to be amazed by the quality of this school!”
Full Day Preschool Program
Two, Three, or Five Full-Days
(For children 2 years 9 months to 4 years old in the fall)
Our Full-Day Program is a mixed-age class for children who are 2 years 9 months and older. Full-day care is provided between the hours of 7:30 AM and 5:30 PM. For children who attend school full time, this class provides the advantage of a self-contained, family-type grouping with teachers whose hours overlap for the major portion of the day for added continuity. Curriculum goals in our Full-Day Program are consistent with our Half-Day Programs and incorporate age appropriate activities for each child. The number of participating families varies (depending on the numbers of children attending two, three, or five days per week), but the total class size is limited to fifteen children with at least two staff members. Children who have attended our Full-Day Program often enroll in a morning Preschool, Pre-K or Kindergarten Class when they are age-appropriate, using the Extended Day Program for additional hours.
What Our Families Say:
“When I hear the quote ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ I immediately think of GCS. My three boys had their first school experience in the Aqua Room and I cannot imagine a more nurturing environment for them. The Aqua Room teachers have truly been an extension of our family and will always hold a special place in our hearts.”
“We couldn’t be happier with our son’s first school experience. The loving, nurturing, creative, fun and highly educational environment provided in the full day program at GCS has been nothing less than perfect for our family! Our son has flourished in his time in the Aqua Room and we highly recommend the Aqua Room and GCS to anyone!”
“When we first looked into enrollment at GCS, we were told there was only space in the Full-Day Program. We decided to give it a try and never looked back! This program is unique and truly provided our daughter with a “family” while she was at school. The Full Day teachers taught our daughter so many important skills and exposed her to new things every day! We would highly recommend the Full-Day program at GCS!”