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St. Mary's Preschool

635 22nd Street
Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 923-9600

3 parents took the survey TAKE THE SURVEY

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We believe that children flourish in the company of interested, responsible adults who understand their development and teach them accordingly. Such teachers exercise reasonable control that sets limits on behavior without frightening or humiliation children. Effective teachers take time to converse with each child and listen to each child's ideas.

The most important thing that happens in our program is the positive development of each children's self-esteem. Our curriculum also fosters each child's development of independence and responsibility. We want our children to feel good about themselves!

All children deserve the opportunity to make the most of themselves and their abilities. Children need opportunities to develop large and small muscle skills, to develop problem-solving skills, and to learn to get along with other people including their peers. They also need to have their creative abilities and emotional growth supported, and their language skills developed. We believe that play is the natural medium used by young children to learn. When children play, they put their ideas into action. They learn to communicate effectively. Play fosters imagination and encourages children to generate creative ideas.

Our learning activities are developmentally appropriate and are matched with the age of the child. Our curriculum is ethnically diverse, non-sexist, and anti-bias as demonstrated by use of appropriate materials: toys, books, and pictures. Our curriculum also includes multi-lingual lessons based upon the languages our children speak. For example, we may count to 10 in English, Spanish and Vietnamese during circle time when children who speak those languages are part of our class.

Parents are welcome to visit our classroom at all times during school hours. We welcome parent's participation and ideas.

A Typical Day

Our daily Preschool curriculum includes:
indoor and outdoor free play times (weather permitting)
large group(circle)time
small group time
lunch/snack time
story time.

Our classroom provides children with ongoing opportunities to create art and music, to dance, to 'cook,' to dress up, to care for dolls, to read books with teachers, to write, to cut and paste, to learn about mathematics, to solve problems, to learn on computers, and to explore our science table. Health and safety units help children to establish positive health habits.

Outdoors, children can climb, slide, play in sand, run, play with balls, paint, work at our outdoor table, or care for plants.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

2 Parent/Director group meetings per year. Ongoing individual meetings. Children assessed upon entry and at end of school year. Parents given written assessment reports. Parents complete 2 parent surveys per year.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • 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

Handling Separation: From the Director

Parents encouraged to stay at school for a few days.