Preschool

Click to open the Preschool Handbook.

Click to open the Preschool Calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions About Early Childhood Programs

Q: Does SJA offer a part-time program for my three-, four-, or five-year-old?

A: Yes. St. Joan of Arc Preschool is designed as a half-day program meeting the needs of children ages three, four and five.  The curriculum is designed to develop the child at an age appropriate pace academically, while meeting social skills for a pre-kindergartener.  St. Joan of Arc offers the following programs:

Caterpillars Class (age 3 by August 1)
This Preschool program is offered Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Butterflies Class (age 4 by August 1)
This PreSchool program is offered Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm.

Class sizes are limited and registration will be taken on a first come, first served basis.

Q: Does SJA offer a full-time PreK program?

A: Yes, St. Joan of Arc offers a Transitional Kindergarten program (age 4 by August 1) offered from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Monday—Friday).  Registration for this program is provided by the School Office 283-1518.  An after school care program is available through N.Y.O. (Neighborhood Youth Outreach) for an additional fee.  You must pre-register for the after school program through NYO Director, Carolyn Holder 283-6710.

SJA PreSchool Programs:  our Approach

Preschool Expectations and Explorations

Listed below are expectations and explorations for the three- to five-year-old. Many of these are introductions to true expectations of a kindergartener.  By beginning these activities in an early childhood program, the success of the kindergartener is enhanced.

Big Muscle/Free Play

  • development of large and small muscles

Pre-Reading

  • learning to listen
    • sitting quietly
    • taking his/her turn talking
    • following and remembering rules
  • enjoying literature
  • telling of own experiences
  • distinguishing between likes/dislikes and similarities/differences
  • recognizing letters of the alphabet
  • introduction to beginning letter sounds
  • rhyming words
  • classifying objects
  • sequencing actions

Health and Safety/Manners

  • encouraging good health habits/promoting good safety habits
  • promoting good manners/respecting others

Social Studies

  • exploring the family, school, community and world

Math

  • estimating
  • sequencing
  • patterning
  • graphing
  • counting forwards and backwards
  • recognizing and naming numerals
  • recognizing colors and shapes

Science

  • exploring plants, animals, and the world around us
  • combining math and science through cooking

Art

  • use of fine motor skills
  • expressing self through paint, paper, chalk, clay, etc.

Music

  • enjoying tapes, songs, and rhymes
  • reinforcing language skills

SJA Preschool Programs:  Our Curriculum

Throughout the preschool year, the class will follow a curriculum covering various topics.  They will study these topics through free exploration, art, music, stories, and centers.  The following is a general list of topics to be covered with the children.  These topics may change at the teacher’s discretion if the class as a whole may want to explore areas not listed.

  • Alphabet and Numbers
  • Colors and Shapes
  • My Family and Home
  • Real Bears and Teddy Bears
  • Native Americans and Pilgrims
  • Our Community and Its Helpers
  • Our Senses
  • Nursery Rhymes
  • The Seasons

Holidays

Johnny Appleseed, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, Multicultural Life and Celebrations

Science

Our Body, Plants, Air, Magnets, Weather, Habitats, Environment, Ecology, Dinosaurs, Farm Animals, Zoo Animals

Music

Rhythm, Expression, Listening

Motor Skills

Daily use of large and small motor equipment (parachute, bean bags, rhythm sticks, etc.) and encourage the children to develop active movement

Christian Education

A Christian education develops personal worth while helping children work and play happily with others. This also encourages loving others, and increases self-discipline. We begin each day with prayer, pray before snack and meals, and end the day with prayer.

Emotional Development

This is the most important aspect of the program.  By example and  through day-to-day activities we stress the importance of fundamental Christian values.  Listening, cooperating, sharing, and following directions and simple rules are vital in the development and growth of the children.  We want each child to feel secure with adults and his/her peers, to feel self-confidence and to begin a path toward independence.

SJA Preschool Programs:  Our Daily Activities

Circle time

Circle time is a group gathering during which we share our ideas, plans and observations.  Circle activities are designed to stimulate thinking, enrich social skills, and expand attention spans.

Gross-motor activities

These activities give the children the opportunity to use their muscles – as well as their imaginations – as they engage in fun, healthy exercises, such as running, jumping, and climbing.

Fine-motor activities

Small motor activities help improve small-muscle development and hand-eye coordination.  Some common items found in the fine-motor/manipulative area include puzzles, beads and laces, pegboards, crayons, and scissors.

Art activities

Art promotes children to creatively express their thoughts and feelings.  They help reinforce fine-motor skills and concept development in areas such as colors, shapes, and size relationships.

Dramatic-play activities

Dramatic play helps children express themselves, practice life skills, improve social skills, increase self-esteem, build vocabulary, solve problems.  And dramatic play is just plain fun!

Music activities

Music promotes children’s listening skills, creative expression, and social skills.  In music, children can explore sound, volume, tempo, and rhythm.

Science activities

Science offers children many hands-on opportunities for observation, exploration, investigation, making predictions, and experimentation.

Sand and water activities

Manipulation of sand and water allows children to experiment with textures and the properties of different substances.  These activities also promote the development of other skills, such as math, science, and language.

Block play

These activities give children experience with many different concepts, such as shape and size discrimination, spatial relationships, number skills, balance, organization, cause and effect, and classification.  Cooperative play skills, problem solving, and creativity are also promoted in block play.

Storytime

Storytime is designed to help children develop an appreciation and enjoyment of literature.  Reading activities enhance children’s vocabulary and comprehension skills, and also expand their knowledge base.