Opinions on this PS & K program - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-10-2011, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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How does this sound for a Preschool & Kindergarten program?  I X'd out specifics & posted anon in case it isn't ok to reveal the actual program here.  This is a highly regarded place in our area with ties to the Salesian Sisters.  It also has a wonderful summer camp program open to anyone.  Family members have attended & sent children & love it.  I am torn between this & pursuing a Montessori school in the area but the Montessori is not accredited & is very expensive.  I am also torn over how much "academic" I want.  I believe the below program is more disciplined & classroom oriented than a typical program.  


It isn't a true "religious" school.  They do morning prayers in assembly with the Pledge & then in the course of normal learning, morals & values are incorporated.  The teachers are not affiliated with the Church, but the administration is partially affiliated with the Church.  It's been around over 30 years.  


I keep debating inside-do I want DD to have this kind of learning experience as she approached "real" school or not?  What are the pros & cons?  Is there a competitive edge or is 4/5 too young for this?  



XXX Center seeks to serve the needs of the children of XXX County and its surrounding areas and their families. In keeping with the philosophy of St. John Bosco, patron of educators and friend of youth, through environment and instruction, we strive for the complete human and Christian formation of the children, fostering in them the values and attitudes of the Gospel which will help them grow into the responsible adults that God would have them be.

A program of well-rounded educational possibliities is offered to develop the child's skills in all areas. Learning materials and experiences are devised to be developmentally appropriate, meaningful and concrete. Mathematical ability is advanced through use, discovery and problem solving. Science and Social Studies are based on the child's interest in the natural and social world around him/her. Physical Education and Health are part of the child's daily routine. The child's creative expression is cultivated through art, music and role-playing. The promotion of prosocial behavior, facilitation of social skills, encouragement of individual choices, development of the child's conscience and suitable religious experiences are continually incorporated into the curriculum through age-appropriate activities and experiences.

Every effort is directed toward cultivating the formation and growth of a child who knows that he or she is loved by God and others, builds a positive self-image, begins to understand the difference between acceptale and unacceptable behavior, and acquires sensitivity to the rights and dignity of others.

XXX Center is affiliated with XXX and operates under the auspices of the Paterson Diocese with its recognition and approval.

Here are some practical questions and answers regarding the XXX Learning Center:

Does my child have to be enrolled in the school in order to attend the morning and after school care?


What are the hours?

School hours are 8:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Before and After School Care are provided. Morning Care is from 7:00 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. After School Care is from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m

What is the cutoff age?

The cutoff age is based on the County determmination of October 1st of the respective year. This means your child has to be three by the first of October to enroll in the three year program and so on.

Do we have to provide lunch and snacks?

You will need to provide lunch 5 days a week. You will also need to provide a snack for each day.

Is there bus service?

No. The parents bring their children to school where they are escorted by a parent pal to their classroom.

Are the teachers qualified?

All our teachers are certified.

Does my child have to be Catholic to attend?

No. Every effort is directed toward cultivating the formation and growth of a child who knows that he or she is loved by God and others, builds a positive self-image, begins to understand the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, and acquires sensitivity to the rights and dignity of others.

What is your release policy?

Children will only be released to parent(s)/guardian(s) or persons authorized by them.

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#2 of 8 Old 10-11-2011, 03:46 AM
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I'm an education specialist and former teacher and have no clue about what they actually DO, what the curriculum looks like, and what their methodology is. It's all a bunch of gobbledy gook. I would visit the program and see what it's really like.

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#3 of 8 Old 10-11-2011, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

It's all a bunch of gobbledy gook. I would visit the program and see what it's really like.




I wouldn't put my children in a religious based program for a religion we didn't practice. At all. Ever. Esp for preschool.


I would also ask to see discipline policies and ask what are their most common discipline issues.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 8 Old 10-11-2011, 09:11 AM
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I agree with the others, I would visit a few different preschools so you have something to compare it to and can make your decision based on what you have seen. Take your DD too and see if she is happier in one place or another.

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#5 of 8 Old 10-11-2011, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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ooops-Sorry.  This was just the "About Us" section of their site.  The site goes on to give more info on each class, their day etc.  I have been there since my brothers both attended over 20 years ago & have a cousin who is thrilled with it for her boys.  I also have a friend whose boys are there & is very happy.


The problem is this...in the area, which is very rural, there is only 1 other dedicated preschool which we had actually enrolled DD in, went to the orientation for & was prepared for her to attend in 3 weeks BUT at the orientation, the head teacher & owner acted really crazy, started revealing all kinds of personal info about her life etc.  I checked with the friend whose girls went there & she told me she heard that the teacher/owner had recently been through a bunch of crazy stuff & had started acted strange with other parents too.  Getting way too personal & such.  I was never happy that the program was only 2.5 hours/day to begin with, but her behavior made me uneasy so we withdraw our names/registration there.  


All the other preschools are actually daycare centers with some preschool.  That's not what I was really looking for.  And then there are a few montessori programs but again, they are very expensive.  


The religion it is affiliated with is the one we are raising our children in.  


I will be going there next week to get the tour & sit down & talk to them more.  I will ask about the discipline policy & common issues. 


Again, the teachers are not religious.  They are certified teachers.  It's just some of the administration is tied to the church.  

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#6 of 8 Old 10-16-2011, 05:37 PM
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So what does the actual program look like? 

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#7 of 8 Old 10-17-2011, 02:51 PM
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I think if it has a good reputation, it is definately worth looking at.  My kids both attended a church-based pre-school.  We were very happy with it.  I never would have picked it if several friends hadn't recommended it.  I wasn't thrilled about the religious aspect (though it is a similar denomination to ours), nor was I very excited about the facility (older).  My kids have been there for 3 years now.  My oldest was in 2 other places before this, and we didn't like them as much.  They did the same thing as you describe, morning prayers with the pledge in the morning.  They also say grace at lunchtime.  The student to teacher ratio is much smaller than most places in town, the staff is wonderful, and staff turnover is low.  My oldest daughter learned how to read there her last year before Kindergarten (she was 5).  This place was also much more affordable than a lot of other places in town. 


Anyway, I think pre-schools affiliated with churches can be a great experience for young children.  Let us know how it works out!  :)

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#8 of 8 Old 10-18-2011, 06:08 AM
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The strong religious wording in the "About Us" and the longish day for a preschool (8:30-2:00 - is it daily?) would turn me off.  I am not you, however, and it may work for you and be in line with what you want.  A visit is in order.

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