Curriculum Philosophy of A Child’s
A Child’s Garden is a fully inclusive program that accepts
children of all abilities, of all backgrounds and all socio-economic levels. The program is play-based, incorporating best
early childhood practices and quality standards from the National Association
for the Education of Young Children and the New Mexico Department of Children,
Youth and Families. All children learn differently and at different rates.
Children are active learners, acquiring knowledge and
learning through their daily experiences at home and in the classroom. Each
child is an individual, with unique strengths, interests, personality and
approach to learning. Early childhood learning emphasizes cooperative play in
an atmosphere of acceptance and respect. The environment is sensitive to the
child’s individual needs.
An atmosphere of mutual respect among staff and families is
important for all who interact with children. When staff members recognize and
value the beliefs, customs and traditions of each family, the entire community
benefits. Staff members work as partners with families in planning and setting
goals for their children.
ACG Inclusion Philosophy
ACG welcomes children and families of all backgrounds and
abilities to the program. Children with identified special needs are included
as much as possible with their typically developing peers in all activities.
Identified special needs are defined as a developmental delay, a diagnosed
condition, a social, emotional or behavioral concern, a medically defined
allergic response, an extenuating family issue. ACG staff members collaborate
with organizations and members of the community with training to address
specific situations, including contracting with a social worker on a regular
basis. As much as possible, children receive services on site, in order that
staff members are aware of the identified skills and techniques most helpful
for a child’s development. ACG staff
members suggest referrals for developmental screenings when observations provides
evidence that a child could benefit from specific developmental encouragement
other than what is provided in an ACG classroom.
Children of all abilities learn from each other in a
mutually beneficial experience.
ACG believes that all children deserve an opportunity to
develop, learn and grow with their peers.
Staff members utilize all possible resources in order to encourage
children and their families to remain in the program with children of differing
abilities. If, after careful
consultation with staff, family and collaborating support services, the staff
feels that ACG is not the best placement for an enrolled child, regardless of
ability, the administration reserves the right to disenroll.
THE HOME - SCHOOL CONNECTION
Participation Much of the success
of the program at ACG is a direct result of the high degree of family
involvement and participation. Although
we are not a parent co-operative, we count on a higher-than-average amount of
support from our families for the success of our high quality early childhood
program. The following information
defines some of the ways your involvement and cooperation can help the
Fund Raising Tuition does not cover the full cost of
operating our school. First Presbyterian
Church does not charge rent and makes additional in-kind contributions such as
providing utilities and other support services.
Tuition is kept as reasonable as possible so that families with
different income levels can attend.
Fundraisers are used to raise the remaining money needed to maintain a
Success of the fund raising and other activities at ACG
depends upon the involvement of ALL FAMILIES.
We cannot accomplish our goals (which means your goals in choosing this
preschool) if this does not happen. One
family might make valuable contributions on Work Day while another family might
be able to bid generously at the Spring Auction. There is an effort to provide each family the
opportunity to be involved in the ways time and finances will allow.
Some of the activities are community events which are
non-fund raising ways of helping meet school goals (ex. Open House and Work
Day). Other events combine a sense of
community with the fund raising component (ex. Goblins in the Garden, An
Evening in the Garden Dinner/Auction, and The Giving Campaign).
Home Visits At the beginning of the school year the
teacher will contact each family to set up a time for a brief (about one-half
hour maximum) visit. Home visits are not
mandatory but are beneficial for the teacher/child connection. It is simply a time for the teacher to begin
to get to know the child in his/her home environment. The teacher(s) will visit with your child in
order to assist the child to feel comfortable about coming (or returning) to
school. (Please don’t feel that you need
to engage in a flurry of housework in preparation.) Teachers may ask for a
family snapshot that can be displayed in the classroom.
Open classrooms at
ACG There will be a designated
time prior to the beginning of fall classes for children to spend some time in
the classroom with a family member (ordinarily this is the immediate days prior
to the official start of the school year).
This is an opportunity to become familiar with the environment and the
teacher(s). Families with children
joining the class during the school year will be offered a similar opportunity.