Choosing a quality preschool is a careful consideration families will take to find a learning environment for their child enabling them to reach their full potential. Here are some questions you will want to consider when choosing a preschool program.
Can I make an appointment to visit the program and spend time in the classroom?
Families are welcome to take supervised tours of the Rockwood School District’s preschool program!
What should I look for in the preschool classroom?
A good environment for children provides many different types of learning opportunities. Classrooms should be well supplied with art, math, science, literacy, block, and pretend play materials. The children should be comfortable and engaged in what they are doing, not wandering around aimlessly. The classroom walls are decorated with the children’s artwork and documentation of their learning experiences.
How are the teachers interacting with the children?
Young children learn best in environments that are emotionally safe and supportive. Look at how the teachers relate to the children. The teachers should be facilitating interactions for children to develop social competence and intellectual growth. They should be sensitive and responsive to the children’s needs and requests, and involved with the children’s activities and play.
Is there a curriculum and how well is it implemented by teachers?
The RSD preschool curriculum is aligned with District and State standards. The curriculum covers seven domains that focus on the whole child; approaches to learning, social/emotional, fine & gross motor, math, science, representation, and language/literacy skills. Each day, the children have occasions to participate in whole group class activities, small groups, and individual interactions with the teacher. Look for teachers demonstrating their understanding of the varying rates at which children learn and how they differentiate the curriculum to meet the learning needs for each child in the classroom.
What are the qualifications of the teachers and support staff members?
The RSD Early Childhood teachers are certified in Early Childhood and/or Early Childhood Special Education. Many of the teachers have more than one college degree. Professional development is ongoing throughout the school year for our staff. All staff members are trained in First Aid and CPR. Background screenings are also completed prior to being hired.
- How large are the class sizes?
The RSD preschool classes have 14 – 18 children. Each class has a minimum of one teacher and one assistant. Staff–to-child ratios are 1 adult per 7 or 9 children.
Are teachers assessing children’s developmental and learning needs?
All children learn and develop at different rates. Pay attention to how the teacher takes assessment and tracks your child’s learning growth. The RSD preschool teachers keep on-going assessment data on the children and develop individual plans for working with each child. Progress reports are shared with the families at family/teacher conferences. Early Childhood screenings are provided along with access to Early Childhood Special Education for children who qualify with varying learning needs.
- Is there effective administration and program monitoring in place?
The Rockwood Early Childhood Leadership Team is focused on the needs and desires of the children, families, and staff. Continuous monitoring is conducted by the Rockwood School District to ensure program quality.