At County Christian Preschool we acknowledge that teaching your child is a high calling from God. The work we do is vital for laying a foundation by which a young child can come to know God in a personal way. “(Teaching in Christian Weekday Early Education). Our caring and professional staff is well prepared to meet the unique needs of preschoolers and lay foundations in the following areas: Spiritual, Social, Emotional, Cognitive and Physical.
The following information will provide you with details concerning our program and answer many questions you may have concerning our philosophy of Christian education.
1. How is the preschool’s philosophy implemented in the curriculum?
The County Christian School preschool (CCS) philosophy is based on Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, in favor with God and man.” Our mission is to authentically reveal the character of Christ spiritually, academically, physically, and socially through Christian education.
CCS concurs with the Pensacola Christian College?s ABeka curriculum philosophy , “The Christian school is not a school merely for the sake of academics, but for the sake of fulfilling the church?s God-ordained role in carrying out the Christian education mandate (Deuteronomy 6:7, Proverbs 22:6, 2 Timothy 3:15-17).” As such, CCS has adopted numbers, language development (reading, phonics, & vocabulary), writing, social sciences and art from this curriculum.
CCS also incorporates centers-based learning through the use of the Wee Learn curriculum. This curriculum?s philosophy is to “….allow children to grow and develop as Jesus did – in „wisdom and statute and in favor with God and man? (Luke 2:52)… by laying a foundation for understanding God, Jesus, the Bible, the church, self, others and the natural world.” These centers include Art, Book, Block, Home-living, Nature and Science, Puzzles and Manipulatives, and Computer.
2. How does the curriculum assist children in understanding biblical concepts?
Pensacola Christian College?s ABeka curriculum and the Wee Learn curriculum are Bible based programs that give biblical references for each step of the learning process. Both curriculums offer experiences and materials that encourage the understanding and development of biblical awareness.
3. Explain how the curriculum meets the:
a. Spiritual needs of the child
Both curriculums are Christ-centered and emphasize Christianity – whether it be through vocabulary, art projects, bible verses or bible lessons. Many of the students who are in the preschool program today do not come from Christian homes, thus this is their first exposure to Christ. The curriculum introduces new ideas to the children and the teachers guide understanding and acceptance. The students also participate in Chapel once and week and daily classroom Bible lessons. The gospel is shared with the students through all of these activities.
b. Social needs of the child
The Wee Learn curriculum is centered around student activities. Many of these activities are done through groups, therefore students are socializing, learning to share and problem solve while working as a team. Students have the opportunity to talk about experiences through Show and Tell, teacher directed questions, and cooperative groups. Even at four years old, the students can discuss a question with a shoulder partner and present findings to the entire group. Students are encouraged to use their social skills during recess which is usually shared by multiple classes.
c. Emotional needs of the child
CCS follows the Wee Learn direction - “The most powerful avenue of learning for preschoolers comes as they experience the giving and receiving of love….Teachers ensure that children have a positive sense of self through teaching them they were created by God and that they are unique and special to Him (Genesis 1:27, Psalms 139:13-17). Teachers give unconditional love (Matthew 19:14), show students respect (1Peter 2:17), listen, provide limits, give opportunities to succeed, develop problem solving skills, celebrate accomplishments, give encouragement, and build self- esteem.”
Students are challenged with academics through the ABeka curriculum and praised for great effort. Student?s seatwork or art work are posted throughout the classroom and students are shown appreciation for their efforts.
The teachers also adhere to a daily routine that provides emotional security to each student.
d. Cognitive needs of the child
As previously stated, the students of CCS are academically and theologically challenged through the ABeka curriculum and Wee Learn curriculum. The 4 year old classroom teachers work independently with student on reading. This allows the student to progress at his/her own pace. The seatwork provided to each student daily is worked either independently or with the entire class. Both strategies challenge young minds in all subjects. Many classes have students memorize Bible verses, prayers and songs as well. This increases student intelligence in Christianity as well as academically.
e. Physical needs of the child
Students are active and engaged during the day at CCS. They participate in circle time where direct instruction, Spanish, pledges, games and cooperative learning takes place. Students move from circle time to seatwork at their tables to activities outside the classroom (e.g. chapel.) Age appropriate toys and games are supplied in each classroom and are used during centers and at the beginning and end of the day. Each daily schedule includes recess which is either free play or organized physical activities lead by the teacher outside on the playground or inside in the Kids Zone or gymnasium. Organized activities include games with balls, tricycles, parachutes, races, or hula hoops. Teachers may also take their class to the soccer and baseball fields for organized activities as well.
State regulated naps are adhered to for all full time students. All preschool classes have nap time between 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.. Each child is provided with a cot and brings his/her own bedding. All cots are wiped with disinfectant wipes to prevent the spread of germs.
CCS provides morning and afternoon snacks and lunch (for full day students.) Bathroom breaks are also incorporated several times during the day.
Entrance doors are locked and controlled by the school receptionist. Fire drills and lock downs are practiced randomly throughout the year.
4. Describe how the curriculum acknowledges differences in children and shows God’s love to people of each race, color and sex
CCS explores the diversity of other cultures each year through a variety of methods including:
Celebrations – On International Day each year, CCS decorates flags, tastes ethnic food, and dresses in traditional costumes of different countries while the students travel around the world within the school. Each class chooses a country often based on the children represented in the classroom. Parents are invited into the class to discuss their native cultures and traditions, to read stories from their homelands, and to bring in food for the students to taste.
Our weekly/monthly themes – Each year the CCS program incorporates “Christmas Around the World” into the curriculum. During this week traditional Christmas customs practiced in other cultures are discussed.
In February CCS Pre-School?s theme is “Black History”. Time is spent celebrating the accomplishments of African-Americans. The school organizes a performance of African-American music and history, which the entire community is invited to attend and enjoy with us.
“Global Trax” - Through this program teachers and children randomly pick countries to study for a week or two. The teacher may decorate bulletin boards with the country?s flag, read books written by authors of this country, or make foods from this country in class. The children and the teachers learn something about that culture.
Spanish is also taught by a Spanish instructor twice per week. This allows the children to hear, learn and comprehend another language other than their own (in some cases) and English.
5. Explain how the daily schedule includes a balance and variety of curriculum activity.
CCS recognizes that children do not all have the same learning style. Teachers are taught how recognize a child?s learning style and encouraged to develop different lessons (centers-based & large group-based) that provide children with a variety of activities from which to learn. CCS Pre-school students learn through motion, discussion, visual aids, songs, games, chants.
Typical Daily Preschool Schedule (varies from classroom to classroom)
8-8:30am Arrival/Morning play
8:30 Morning Circle/Prayer & Pledges
9:30-10:00 Playground/Gross Motor Room
10-10:30 Specials (Chapel, Spanish, Music/Movement)
10:30-11:30 Learning Centers
12--12:30 Lunch (part-day students dismissal)
12:30-12:45 Clean up/Bathroom
1pm Rest Time
2:45-3:30 Wake up/Bathroom/Snack (3:15 dismissal)
3:30-6:30 Aftercare activities –outdoor play & learning centers
(On-going full day dismissal)
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:21)
6. Describe how transition activities are planned and implemented.
Children learn best when a regular daily schedule is taught and followed. They are most comfortable when they know what to expect after each activity. Classroom teachers incorporate quiet time as well as active learning time into each day. These quiet times allow our students to transition from one activity to another and to prepare themselves for the next activity. Teachers utilize music and movement, games and rhymes, hand motions and exercises to create peaceful and beneficial transitions between activities. These transitional actions are learned through the A Beka & Wee Learn curriculums, through continuing education, our supplemental materials and through our own experiences.
7. Describe and give examples of how developmentally appropriate materials and equipment are used.
Both curriculums that are used at CCS Preschool are created for the age to which they are taught. The materials provided by both curriculums enhance the academic development for each student. Using phonics and numbers flash cards, coins sets, blend ladders, social science charts and Bible verses throughout the day reinforces the academic and Christian lesson plans.
8. Describe how the curriculum is designated to meet individual needs. How are written observations utilized in lesson planning?
Written observations at CCS include Wee Learn Assessments, Pensacola Christian College Oral Evaluations, anecdotal records (social, academic and emotional observations) and formal Progress Reports. Each child?s development is assessed several times throughout the school year. These results are discussed with the parents and the preschool director and adjustment to lesson plans are made according to the needs of the student.
9. How are media programs used in the preschool? What are the selection criteria for these?
Each classroom has access to televisions with DVD/VCR players; to overhead projectors; and to movie projectors on a large screen. Teachers are allowed to use developmentally appropriate media materials to advance a Christian perspective on a lesson. Recreational television time is limited to one hour per week, and all materials must be pre-approved by the pre-school director.
10. How are receptive and expressive language experiences provided throughout the day?
Students are encouraged to participate verbally throughout the school day. Teachers engage students through praise and worship, music, games, anticipatory sets, open-ended questions during teacher directed instruction and cooperative learning.
Students also are encouraged to interact with each other during free time and learning centers which aids in the development of social skills, problem solving skills, and open communication.
11. How do the snacks and meals served in the preschool meet the applicable codes and nutritional needs of the children?
CCS Preschool meets and/or exceeds the minimum standards for religiously exempt childcare centers as set forth by the Dept. of Social Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The certificate of compliance is in the teachers? workroom.
The School House Grill provides meals and snacks for the preschool. The School House Grill follows the U.S.D.A terms of menu rotation and is in compliance with all state regulations regarding food handling and preparation. Parents have the option of choosing the regular menu with chicken and turkey products or the vegetarian option. Special care is given for students with food allergies; parents need to meet with the Director to develop an individualized plan. A copy of the School House Grill license is kept on file at the preschool. Parents can view and download monthly menus by visiting their website located at www.schoolhousegrill.com. All food is consumed in the classrooms. Each class follows special rules for keeping the place clean throughout the day.
Additional information is sent home in the weekly newsletter or daily report. Special themes are planned in the lesson plans during the school year such as staying healthy, healthy habits etc. When planning special events and holiday parties, the teachers request healthy snacks to be provided along with special treats.
Accreditation and Exempt Status
County Christian Preschool was founded in 1980 as a ministry of Christian Fellowship Church. In 1994, County Christian Preschool earned accreditation through the Association of Christian Schools International (1994-2014). The Virginia Council for Private Education has approved this Virginia State Board of Education. We encourage our staff, first and foremost, to provide Christian love and comfort. We then emphasize that our children learn age appropriate materials based on a biblical foundation. County Christian Preschool nurtures each child?s individual love of learning in order to foster a spirit of independence as well as academic excellence. We are devoted to developing our students into godly boys and girls in partnership with their parents.
County Christian Preschool is a Religiously Exempt Center with the Commonwealth of Virginia and is committed to on-going self-monitoring for compliance with state licensing requirements.