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Skyline Preschool

12540 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619

(510) 530-0884


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Make New Friends, Connect with Nature, Learn through Play! For over 30 years, Skyline Preschool has provided children with a creative, stimulating, and nurturing environment in which to learn and grow. We feel that children learn best through play and discovery. We foster a child’s natural inclination to explore their world, ask questions, make connections, talk with other children and adults, and become independent. Creativity is encouraged through music, art, storytelling, dance and play. Children spend quality time on our beautiful pine forested playground riding bikes and trikes, gardening, playing in our large sand area, exploring water play, and making new friends!

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • 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
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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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • 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 Dance is taught by a professional dance instructor once a week. Laura of Happy Feet teaches routines, provides props such as scarves, bean bags and hula hoops, and teaches some basic tumbling. Our class is split into 2 groups for each 30min dance class.

From the Director:

We are a play based curriculum and work off of themes. Curriculum is usually chosen by the staff according to the needs of the children. Centers related to the curriculum are set up for the child to explore. Teacher led activities are also available. Example- Rainforest Theme Activities include: children cut lines on a green leaf that we made into a palm tree (fine motor skills, experience using scissors) sponge painting leaves for trees in the classroom(art, fine motor skills, collaboration) coloring an S is for Sloth coloring page and talking about what other words start with S at circle time (pre-literacy activity) Read Eric Carles' book Slowly, slowly, slowly said the sloth. (pre-literacy, science) We also asked the children to share what they do slowly. (going to bed and waking up were most common!) (encouraging language, making connections) Poison dart frog race- we lined up some toy frogs with a piece of construction paper broken into spaces in front of each one. Each child chose a frog and rolled a die to see how many spaces he/she could move her frog. Then we talked about 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place frogs at the end of the race. (counting activity, learning how to take turns, pre-math vocabulary) painting with watercolors on a coffee filter to make flowers for bromeliads (art, creativity, science) put out a table with poison dart frog toys, rocks, some water in a container, some leaves for children to play with (exploration through play, creativity and imagination) We sang songs about a boa constrictor, green anaconda, "In the Jungle" .. and more. (music)

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We are a mixed age classroom so the children have a large range of cognitive and social skills. We find that different ages will approach our projects in different ways and that we can adjust our activities to make them more challenging.
For example, in the frog game I described above, I used one die for younger children and 2 dice for older children.

Younger children tend to spend less time on our open ended art projects, while older children will put more thought, planning and time into their project.

We also work to ensure children are prepared for kindergarten. Each teacher works with a small group of children who will be graduating from our program. We begin with a workbook to see if/where they will need additional attention and work from there.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We feel a program designed for children should foster the child's natural inclination to explore materials, ask questions, talk with other children and adults and to become independent. This should occur in a safe and nurturing environment. We recognize individual differences and strive to help the child feel success and self-worth.

We provide activities that are designed to improve physical coordination, language skills, social skills, and foster creativity. We screen all books and strive to present the best in children's literature.

A Typical Day

7:00-9:30 - children are arriving and areas are open for free play.
9:30-9:45-clean-up time
9:45-10:15 - circle time
Wed- Spanish class at 9:30 (children split into 2 groups)
Thurs-dance class at 9:45 (children split into 2 groups)
10:15-10:40 - snack
10:40-12:00 - outside time
12:00-12:40 - lunch
12:40-1:30 -
outside time and morning children are picked up
1:30-2:00- story time
2:00-2:45- rest time (lights are out for this time, children that are sleeping wake up from 3:30-4)
3:00 - snack followed by free play inside or finishing up projects
4:00 Outside time, children are picked up for standard day
4:31 After care
5:00 3rd snack for children in after care

All children are picked up by 6:00P.M. Of course this schedule is dependent on what interesting things we discover on our days journey!

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent conferences are held in Feb, although a parent may request a conference at any time. We are happy to connect with parents daily at pick-up time about their child's day.
There is a monthly calendar and newsletter as well as some e-mail reminders regarding upcoming events.
Parents get to know each other at our back to school potluck, parent workday, and Porcupine Soccer(a parent lead soccer league for Skyline children).
We also provide a parent directory to make it easy to contact other families for play-dates and parties.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • 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
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

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

Handling Separation: From the Director

We encourage the parents and child to visit our school before they enter. Parents are welcome to accompany their child to school and stay for a short while the first few days of school. Parents are welcome to call and inquire about their child at anytime. Child is encouraged to bring a favorite stuffed toy from home or a picture of their family if they wish. Another opportunity to visit the school early on is to attend the Spring Fling in May of every year.