Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten Programs
For children ages 3-5.
These programs are offered at our Academy Hills Campus, Cold Spring, DuFief, Galway and Stone Mill locations.
Our programs are play-based and experiential (see program description section). Physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth are stimulated through hands-on, real life experiences. Developmentally appropriate practice is the foundation of the curriculum and daily schedule planning. Phonological awareness, science and math activities are important aspects of the program and are integrated throughout the day. Our staff support children so that they feel safe and secure, give them responsibility, model empathy and respect for others, and encourage them to explore and discover the world around them. Teachers have at least a baccalaureate in Early Childhood Education or a related field or the equivalent; Assistant Teachers are Office of Child Care senior staff qualified; Aides, as is true with all staff, have orientation prior to starting and are required to take continued training annually. Teacher biographies are distributed at the beginning of each school year and are available from the director.
Academy Child Development Center at Academy Hills, Cold Spring, DuFief, Galway and Stone Mill Centers offers MSDE Nursery for 3 and 4 year olds. Children must be 3 or 4 years of age on or before September 1 of the school year to be age-eligible for admission to the nursery school program during that school year. Children must be 5 years old on or before September 1st to be eligible for our MSDE Kindergarten. If multi-age classes were to be offered, each child would be presented with the appropriate nursery school curriculum according to his/ her own ability.
Part-day sessions may be included in the full day programs. Average class size is twenty children with at least one teacher and an assistant. Full day and extended day programs operate according to the Academy calendar. Refer to Academy’s scheduled closings. Part-day sessions are approximately 3.5 or 6 hours and include a lunch period and outdoor play. Part- day programs are open during the school year for at least 170 to 180 days and follow the MCPS kindergarten calendar (no class on late openings, early closing, holidays, inclement weather days, teacher in-service days, kdg. field trips, conference days, orientation, etc.).
Academy Child Development Center, Inc. was founded in 1981 on an integrated, theme-based curriculum which is developmentally designed to enhance physical, emotional, cognitive, and social growth. Students are encouraged to explore, experiment, and experience developmentally appropriate activities that incorporate national and state standards. Play and self-selection of activities in guided settings are important components of our IDEAL curriculum.
To achieve our IDEAL curriculum Academy uses the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) approved curriculum standards for infants —2nd grade). The teachers use the Core Knowledge Foundation Curriculum or The Investigator’s Club. Children under 3 years of age will receive instruction based on the Creative Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers and The MSDE Healthy Beginnings standards.
Our programs are play based and experiential. Physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth is stimulated through hands-on, real life experiences. Developmentally appropriate practice is the foundation of the curriculum and daily schedule planning. The content areas are Personal and Social Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematical Thinking, Scientific Thinking, Social Studies, The Arts (includes music, drama, dance, visual arts), Physical Development (fine and gross motor) and Health/Nutrition. Phonological awareness, vocabulary and comprehension development through reading aloud from theme-related children’s literature, writing, and creative learning spaces will be evident and experienced by students.
Teacher-guided and child-selected learning centers will be available for students to explore, reinforce, practice, and experience new skills. Also, being theme-related these interactive learning centers provide opportunities for individualized learning styles, interest levels, and social-emotional development skills of children.
“Play” is probably the most important means of learning. There will be times during the day when children will have the opportunity to self-select activities within the learning environment (inside and outdoors). Getting along with others, decision making and problem solving skills are all necessary for becoming a successful student, adult, employee, employer, and life-long learner.
Our staff supports children so that they feel safe and secure, give them responsibility, model empathy and respect for others, and encourage them to explore and discover the world around them. Lead Teachers have a baccalaureate in Early Childhood Education or other related field or the equivalent; Child Care Teachers are approved and qualified by the MSDE Office of Child Care.
Instructional assistants, as is true with all staff, have orientation and mentor support prior to starting.
All are required to take continued training annually. Teacher biographies are distributed at the beginning of each school year and if there are staff additions.