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Heart's Leap School Julia Morgan

2638 College Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704

(510) 549-1422


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At Hearts Leap, we believe that learning is an active process that is best fostered through the natural course of play.

It is through play that various aspects of the child's development (social, emotional, cognitive and physical) come together.

It is through play that the child organizes experiences and gives meaning to his or her world.

The remarkable Emergent Curriculum developed in Reggio Emilia, Italy has inspired our innovative play-based program.

A Typical Day

When children arrive with parents/guardians in the morning, several table activities (art, manipulatives, etc..) are set up as an option for play. In addition to these table activities, the room is also open for exploration.

All classrooms begin their day with a morning circle (song and discussion time).

Outdoor play, cooking, yoga class or small group time are all examples of activities that go on before lunch time.

After lunch and nap/rest time, children are once again given the choice of table activities or free play.

For children who spend a long day at school - there is a teacher-instructed music time and snack.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We offer an Open House - Parent-Teacher Conferences (2 x a year) - Parent Roundtable Discussions (by classroom) - Bi-Monthly Newsletter and Calendar - Day to day communication with parents

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

For the Two's Program, the first week of school parents are invited to stay with their children for the entire length of the school day (during the first week the school days are abbreviated). In all other classrooms, parents are invited to stay for a longer morning. In addition, teachers are on hand to make the separation as comfortable as possible.