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Hilltop Pre-School

9685 Warner Avenue
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

(714) 963-9838


Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Our Philosophy of nursery school education begins with a school climate of unqualified love, warmth, acceptance, and understanding that each child is a unique individual. The philosophy at Hilltop is based on the belief that self-esteem is the foundation upon which all learning rests. Young children develop it naturally when they believe in themselves, their abilities, and their worth. It happens in an environment where they are allowed to make choices, decisions, and sometimes mistakes. Learning always involves feelings. Young children must be allowed to freely express their emotions in a safe and validating environment if they are to learn and grow emotionally, as well as develop a healthy sense of self. If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, and learn to trust and share their feelings. If they are taken seriously, they will develop the ability to respect others. If their emotional needs are met, they will have the ability to develop empathy. This philosophy is the basis for all the curriculum at Hilltop and is the cornerstone for how we interact with the children.
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

8:20-8:30 Working parents arrive at school with their children. For safety reasons,
park in the street directly in front of Hilltop along the fence, except on streetsweeping
days (1ST & 3RD Wednesdays of each month, park in the lot on
these days). Select work area for the day and begin to set up.
8:35 Conference with the Teacher for lesson plans as they impact set-up. Help
others when you're done, if possible, without leaving children unattended.
9:00 Director or Teacher will open doors; working parents are in assigned areas.
Children are greeted, enter the classroom, place personal belongings in
cubby and then transition to morning gathering. Please assist the children
and refrain from chatting with other parents.
Make sure your area is supervised. If you must leave, have someone cover
for you.
10:15 Lunchbox time - Help children with hand washing. All working parents are
needed for the start of lunch to help with drinks and tricky food packaging.
Encourage socializing, manners and allowing children to clean up after
10:30 Story time - All working parents should be present.
10:45 Free choice indoor/outdoor time - If there are inside activities, inside parents
should remain inside. If all children are outside, all but one working parent
should be outside with the children. In this case, the one parent remaining
inside can start clean up (clear art activities, wash dishes, set up snack bins
for the next day).
11:55 Outside clean-up - All but one working parent are needed. Encourage
children to put away sand toys, wheel in the trikes, clean out the water table
contents (but don't drain water yet), and any other items that need putting
away. One outside parent should station themselves at the trike shed to
make sure everything gets put away. An outside parent should also make
sure lunch tables are cleaned prior to snack.
12:05 Snack - One parent should be stationed at the snack tables once children
start gathering there. Once snack is being served, all parents are needed at
the snack tables. Encourage socializing, manners, and allowing children to
serve and clean up after themselves. The housekeeper (or other designated
parent) can clear snack dishes to the in-between sink to be washed later. In
the event one child has severe allergies, one parent provides hand wipes to
children prior to them leaving the tables.
12:20 Good-bye song – All parents (working and otherwise) should join the circle.
12:30 Children depart.
12:30 - 1:00 Working parent clean-up - This is when the bulk of the cleaning takes place.
The following tasks should always be completed after 12:30 p.m.:
· Trash emptying (so they're empty for the next day)
· Bathroom cleaning (because the cleaning agents are hazardous and the
bathrooms often get used)
· Sink/drinking fountain cleaning (because the cleaning agents are
hazardous and the sinks and fountains get used)
· Draining the water from the water table (because children can slip in the
B. Pre-K Program
9:00 Director or Teacher opens doors and children arrive
Children Place Belongings in Cubbies and sign-in.
As the children enter the classroom each morning, we encourage
them to sign-in. We provide a variety of creative methods and
techniques with which to do this. This promotes their sense of
responsibility, belonging, and early recognition of letters and names.
We would like this activity to be the child's effort. You are more than
welcome to observe but we want this to be a stress free time for your
9:20 Morning Gathering
9:35 Free choice of activities in the classroom. We provide a variety of
classroom activities:
? creative art (painting, drawing, collage, construction)
? language and literacy enrichment (journal writing, creative story
writing and dictation, word recognition)
? living center and dramatic play
? science experiments
? blocks and construction
10:30 Lunchbox Time
For lunch we encourage the children to find a healthy food to eat
before their treats. If you plan to take your child to lunch after school,
or prefer your child to eat a cooked meal at home, please send in a
light, healthy snack so they are able to join their friends at the lunch
table. Children are to wash hands prior to lunch and will wipe hands
prior to goodbye song.
10:45 Group Time
Our daily group time will include various activities such as stories,
songs, finger plays and music. As the year progresses, we'll
introduce our "Mystery Box" where the children can bring something
from home, place it in the box, and have their classmates guess what
the item is.
11:10 Outdoor Play
11:55 Outdoor Clean-up
12:05 Snack
Our snack menu is posted in the classroom in case you would like to
see it. The menus are carefully planned to give your child a wellbalanced
snack every day. "Cooking Days" are planned within the
calendar; we often receive good ideas from the children!
12:20 Good-bye song.
12:30 Children depart."
Excerpted from the preschool's website