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Montecito School

1468 Grant Road
Los Altos, CA 94024

(650) 968-5957


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Philosophy & Approach

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Human development clearly indicates that there are universal, predictable sequences of growth that occur during the first nine years of life. That is to say, all children learn certain skills and knowledge at particular stages. The timing for the learning is unique -- based on a child's individual personality, background, and interest.

Our preschool program is developmentally appropriate; it is based on the developmental research and each child's individual needs.

At Montecito School, Inc., we believe that children need to be children. We are not an academically oriented preschool. Our hope is that our children will find school a warm, happy place where they feel self confident and successful. Our curriculum emphasis social skills, large and small motor development, eye hand coordination, auditory and visual perception skills, following directions, and enhancing attention span. Our experience has been that with these skills appropriately developed, academic achievement is assured.

We plan a portion of each day that is free with many choices and only safety rules: play safely, be kind to others, and be careful with our toys and our school. Free time occurs at bike time, outdoor playtime, and free choice time in the classroom. We also plan structured times such as circle which is a large group time. Circle is teacher directed and includes a wide variety of activities including music, movement, stories, fingerplays, games, calendar, etc. These activities are planned to be developmentally appropriate and enjoyable. Most children look forward to and enjoy circle time. Circle is for everyone and even if a child would rather paint or play with the blocks, he comes to circle. This is rarely an issue but, when it is, we feel that this minor frustration is a positive step in preparation for life. It is important to learn that we cannot always do as we choose. Other structured times of the day are small group time and, to a lesser degree, snack time which is a time for quiet relaxation and socialization. We do all kinds of math and reading readiness activities every day in a play oriented, non-pressured way. Children take from the program what they are ready to absorb. We recognize that children who consistently gravitate to trucks, blocks, and housekeeping areas are satisfying a need for exploration, social interaction with role playing, all very valid early childhood needs. However, we encourage them to participate in other activities as well.
Excerpted from the preschool's website

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • 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