Waverly’s preschool program focuses on experiential learning, play, and social-emotional growth, consistent with developmentally appropriate practice. Each school year, the preschool teaching team develops a theme that fosters the children’s curiosity, imagination, creativity, and love of learning. Within the theme, children explore concepts of science, math, the arts, and language. As the teachers learn the needs and interests of the children, the teachers adjust their plans and allow the curriculum to emerge. This allows the children to be co-constructors of their own knowledge. The teachers value and respect each child as an individual and create an environment where each learns how to be a positive member of the preschool community. The children learn to identify their emotions, express themselves in appropriate ways, and understand the perspectives and feelings of others. Time outdoors in unstructured but supported play is an essential part of early childhood education; Waverly preschoolers spend about half of the day outside. The preschool’s emphasis on learning through play and supporting the social-emotional development of children provides children with a solid foundation as they enter elementary school.
Waverly’s preschool program is licensed by the California Department of Social Services. The program is designed for children ages 3 years and nine months to 5; younger children usually attend preschool for two years. The program is limited to 24 students and staffed by gifted and experienced early childhood educators, including a director/teacher and three full-time teachers. The preschool is located on the elementary school campus.