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happytogether Preschool

1300 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

(510) 547-2424


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An exciting, nurturing program for older 2 - 5 year olds emphasizing principles of self-expression, connection and well-being. htP is located on the Oakland/Piedmont border.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

At happytogether Preschool (htP), our curriculum is determined through a collaborative process between children and teachers. Through play, interactions with teachers and peers, and facilitated group discussions, themes among the children's interests emerge. We then develop units which further the children's understanding and engagement with these themes. We also introduce themes based on seasonal events such as examining life cycles in the Spring and holiday rituals in Winter.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught Emotional Literacy Spanish Language Jewish Cultural Traditions

From the Director:

Emotional Literacy We develop children's emotional literacy in two ways: 1) nurturing connected, caring relationships based on self-expression and empathy (among both children and teachers). 2) a curricular emphasis on activities which have been demonstrated to ­increase happiness and compassion. Spanish Language The world is abundant with diverse cultures and we bring a taste of this richness to our students. Through the daily use of songs, rhymes, stories and games, we introduce children to Spanish language in playful ways. Jewish Cultural Traditions In honor of our close association with Kehilla Community Synagogue, and the many cultural traditions of Judaism, we are regularly joined by a teacher from Kehilla's education program. Together, we engage in fun art and cooking activities, reading stories and celebrations of Jewish holidays.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

happytogether Preschool (htP) offers an emergent, play-based program. We develop children's capacity for creativity, well-being, and connection through our emphasis on emotional literacy. Children's worldview is expanded by immersing ourselves in Spanish language activities and Jewish cultural traditions.

Our guiding principles are inspired by Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication, and our approach is grounded in the latest scientific research from such institutions as UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.

A Typical Day

Whole group inside play

Group 1 outside, Group 2 inside play (incl. Spanish bilingual story time)

Group 2 outside, Group 1 inside play (incl. Spanish bilingual story time)

Whole group inside play/get ready for rest time.

Whole group story time.

Some children nap, while others play outside.

Children get picked up from school

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parents check the Family Bulletin Board for information, fliers, upcoming events, Notification of Parents' Rights, etc... The board is located above the parent sign in/sign out binder in the classroom. Also, there are parent/guardian folders with your child's name, also by the sign in/sign out binder. We ask that these be checked daily. We put bills and notices in your family folders, and we will expect your check payments for tuition, fees, forms, etc... to be put in your family folder.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • 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:

  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We recommend that parents spend some time in the classroom to help your child get comfortable. Due to space limitations of our classroom, we request that parents stay in a designated chair while spending time with their child. A staff member can show you where an unobtrusive place to sit might be. Some children take longer to adjust; in those cases, we recommend an incremental approach which we can explain to parents.