The AM program is often a child’s first school experience away from home, and offers a gentle introduction to the joys of learning, practicing routines, and becoming part of a social group.
The program is designed to be a nurturing space for children, and its teachers thoughtfully create a safe, consistent, age-appropriate, and fun learning environment.
The Nursery building consists of a main classroom, an art room, and a yard. Each day, children have plenty of uninterrupted time to play freely in all classroom areas, and to interact with nature, art materials, classroom materials, and peers and teachers. Indoor activities include block building, books, dramatic play, music, movement, yoga, puzzles, and writing opportunities. In the art room, daily activities include open-ended art projects, easel painting, clay, play dough, and other sensory experiences.
We have an optional Circle Time near the end of the program to come together and connect as a large group. Teachers help to facilitate children’s play interactions and model how to use language to enter in to play, express wants and needs with friends, and negotiate and problem-solve their way through conflicts. The classroom culture is one of inclusion and children are given many opportunities to build empathy for others and feel confident in themselves as a valued member of a community.
Children in the AM nursery begin building self-regulation through attending a daily circle time and through following classroom expectations. The program also fosters the building of self-help skills through following daily routines and rituals, taking ownership of belongings and a cubby space, and building hand washing and toileting skills. Teachers guide children in building a sense of self, competency, and confidence through age-appropriate learning opportunities.
Children are placed into our one AM Nursery class based on age: All 24 children in this class are between 2.5 and 3.5 years old when they begin with us in September. 4 teachers make up the AM Nursery teaching team. All children in this class attend 5 days a week from 9am to 12pm.
In addition to the AM Nursery program, childcare options are available daily for between one additional hour one day a week or as many as 7.5 additional hours five days a week. (school is open 7:30-6) Typically parents make all childcare commitments at the beginning of the year and hold that routine through the year but we do have some flexibility.
There is a core program schedule switch from the first year (the AM Nursery year) to the second year at Parker School. While 9-12 are the daily hours for AM Nursery, 1-4 are the daily hours for PM Nursery (year two).