We think of school for young children as an integral living organism, as a place of shared lives and relationships among many adults and many children. We think of school as a sort of construction of motion, continuously adjusting itself. -Loris Malaguzzi
Ages: 2.5 to 5
Hours: 8:30 - 4:45, M-F
Classroom Size: 12-15 children
Teacher to Student Ratio: 1:4
Meals: Lunch brought from home
Snacks: 2 organic snacks per day
Nap: Children bring nap mats for a rest period
Potty-training: Not required
Allergy policy: Nut-sensitive
Field-trips: Every semester
Open all calendar year
Environment & Teacher Ratios
The SLCC classroom is a unique and intimate environment located on a quiet residential street where children feel at home and safe enough to take social-emotional risks with their peers and teachers. The classroom lends itself to the best of both worlds: an intimate home-like environment and high-quality, research-backed early education.
We offer hands-on, collaborative, and messy explorations in both our indoor and outdoor classrooms. Children spend equal parts of their day exploring indoor materials and mingling with nature outside. The class experience is intimate and personal with 3 teachers and 12 children during our Regular Day programming. Our Extended Day programming has 2 teachers staffed at all times.
SLCC values a mixed-age learning environment where children gain collaborative opportunities to learn from and model prosocial, motor, and cognitive skills for each other. From these exchanges, the children cultivate a sense of community and care for each other and their school. Our mixed-age classroom is designed to foster continuity of care, where our youngest children begin and end their preschool years with the same educators and peers in the same classroom environment. This builds strength in peer-to-peer and teacher-to-student relationships, socio-emotional safety, confidence, and risk-taking. As the years progress, the teachers gain deeper understanding of their students’ developmental needs and design individual learning goals for each child based on their well-developed relationship.
Additionally, we value a strong parent partnership as a school community. At SLCC, families have regular opportunities to volunteer in the classroom, share their family cultures during their child's Culture Share, and have the resources they need for implementing the best early childhood practices at home after attending our quarterly Parent Roundtables. Previous roundtables have featured guest speakers including Janet Landsbury, Jane Katch, Rachael Katz, and many other parent education and developmental psychology experts.
In an effort to bring our families and children together, SLCC hosts various family picnics, potlucks, and gatherings throughout the school year on campus and at our nearby parks.
Our doors are always open to help support our parent community. Our priority is to make your child's first years of education a success and full of joy and creativity.
A Typical Day at SLCC
Children are greeted in the morning with open-ended provocations for inquiry inspired by the children's ongoing investigations and developing skills. Teachers skillfully guide and scaffold the children's explorations based on each child's development. The class then gathers for a morning meeting to greet each other, discuss any salient wonders, and plan for upcoming projects.
Concurrently, a morning meeting might involve the use of other languages, mindful meditation, yoga, and music. The children spend equal parts of their day investigating the many natural wonders outside and developing small-group projects inside the classroom’s various micro-environments. As educators, we understand that children's learning environments require tactile, active, and multi-faceted materials. Thus, our micro-environments, both inside and outdoors, provide various mediums for stimulating creativity, artistic exploration, sensory experiences, design thinking, literacy, mathematics, and scientific theory. Take a look at our Daily Flow for more details on the events of the day.
Extended Day Enrichment
Our afternoons are dedicated to enhancing the children's school experiences with specialized enrichment opportunities that vary throughout the week and are informed by the children's interests and developmental needs. Our Story & Art Workshop, Atelier di Cucina, and Discovery Lab programs are offered every week.
Atelier Di Cucina translates from the Italian language to "kitchen workshop". Our specialist facilitates a weekly cooking appreciation experience every Wednesday. Children are introduced to the various fine-motor skills of cutting, pouring, mixing, and the myriad other techniques required to cook and bake. Additionally, the Atelier Di Cucina entices our senses and provides rich and meaningful tactile, olfactory, and sensorial experiences for our children. We learn the value of growing our own food, harvesting our ingredients, and communing in the kitchen as a collaborative group.
Story & Art Workshop is a framework for learning developed at the Portland Children's Museum to support language and literacy. SLCC is thrilled to incorporate this framework for literacy on Monday afternoons. Research suggests the use of materials such as clay, paint, drama, or building blocks can play an integral role in language development and strongly support children to see themselves as storytellers and authors. We invite the Extended Day children to explore the classroom in search of their stories. We wonder together: Where do stories live? What stories do the materials inspire? When using the materials, what memories are awakened? We set up spaces and materials to inspire and entice the children. As the child continues to play and explore his story, he may consider more details, the sequence may become stronger, and the language the child uses to tell the story becomes more clear, elaborate, and powerful. The story comes to life! We then document their stories in their individual story journals and reflect on them at the end of each workshop. As we equip your children for the next chapter of their learning careers through Story Workshop, we strengthen their confidence, quest for literacy, fine-motor skills, imagination, and creative faculties.
Design Lab is offered on Thursdays. SLCC’S Design Lab is modeled after the Human-Centered Design Thinking educational framework at IDEO.ORG along with the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Think, Make, Try practicum for early education. Our lab encourages children to employ creative faculties while creating and exchanging ideas in order to design and test desired outcomes based on the user’s needs. Through active exploration and construction of the children’s own ideas, we strengthen confidence, self-agency, and resilience. Our lab is teacher-facilitated and features real-world tools including a laser cutting printer, vinyl cutter, industrial sewing machine, and jewelry makers’ bench.
8:30-9:30 Early Arrivals & Morning Provocations
9:30-9:45 Morning Meeting
9:45-10:30 Project-Time & Small-Groups
10:30-11:00 Story-time, Wash-up & Snack
11:00-12:00 Outdoor Explorations
12-12:30 Wash-up & Lunch
12:30-12:40 Movement & Mindful Meditation
12:45-1:45 Rest & Quiet Choices
1:30-2:00 Open Snack
2:00-3:30 Outdoor Explorations
2:30 Regular Day Pick-up & Goodbyes
2:30-4:45 Extended Day Enrichment Programs
3:30-4:00 Wash-up & Snack
4:00-4:30 Enrichment Project & Small-Groups
4:30-4:45 Story-Time & Goodbyes
Story Workshop Mondays 4-4:30
Atelier di Cucina Wednesdays 4-4:30
Design Lab Thursdays 2:30-3:15
Making Learning Visible
Unique to the Reggio Emilia approach to learning in early childhood would be our use of observations and documentation. These tools have the potential to serve many purposes during the children’s learning experience. Loris Malaguzzi, the founder of Reggio Emilia, pointed out that through documentation children “become even more curious, interested, and confident as they contemplate the meaning of what they have achieved.”
When we make learning visible, we honor the children and give them a voice through the collection and iteration of their artwork, dialogue, play, ideas, and curiosities. When their learning is documented, they may be inspired to revisit their experiences and dig deeper into their ideas. Displaying their work efforts, ideas, and learning in a beautiful and respectful way supports our value in children to be capable, thoughtful, and creative. It conveys to children that their efforts are taken seriously, which can inspire them to continue their efforts and encourages them to work in a joyful and dedicated way.
Documentation is an essential tool for communicating as a team at SLCC both to families and amongst each other. Read one of our Teacher Reflections below on the topic.
We are inspired to amplify the school's efforts to be a more eco-friendly community. SLCC implements the following materials and cleaning protocols to help do our part in reducing our waste and carbon footprint while also creating an environment free of toxic chemicals found in everyday products:
Toxin-free and paper-free bamboo toilet paper
Toxin-free and paper-free bamboo facial tissue
Individual organic cotton hand towels for our bathrooms
Organic, biodegradable bamboo wet wipes for sticky clean-up
Honest disinfectant pods made with clean ingredients and a reusable spray bottle for disinfecting classroom materials and campus
Toxin-free Baby Organics hand sanitizer
Refillable, organic Dr. Bronner's soap
Biodegradable garbage bags
Our snack menus are modeled after the crechés in France. We provide fresh, seasonal, organic, and whole foods that incorporate herbs, spices, and new flavors to help inspire a rich palate. We do not serve preserved or packaged snacks. An example of our weekly snack menu is shown to the left.
School Year Calendar
July 10 Summer Camp Session I (3 weeks)
July 31 Summer Camp Session II (4 weeks)
Aug 28-Sept 8 Fall Break
Sept 8 SLCC Start of Year Family Playdate
Sept 11 First Day of Fall Semester
Oct 9 Indigenous Peoples Day Holiday
Oct 31 SLCC Halloween Parade
Nov 10 Veterans Day Holiday
Nov 20-24 Thanksgiving Break
Dec 14 SLCC Winter Potluck
Dec 18-29 Winter Break
Jan 2 First Day of Winter Semester
Jan 15 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday
Feb 9 Lunar New Year Potluck Lunch
Feb 19 Presidents’ Day Holiday
Mar 31 Priority Enrollment Deadline
April 8-12 Spring Break
April 15 First Day of Spring Semester
April 22 SLCC Earth Day Picnic Fieldtrip
May 10 Mothers’ Day Breakfast
May 27 Memorial Day Holiday
June 14 Fathers’ Day Breakfast
June 20 Last Day of School
June 21 Graduation & Picnic at SLCC
June 24-July 5 Summer Break
*School will be closed during all noted breaks and any dates marked as a holiday.