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Horizon Prep Preschool (Rancho Santa Fe)

6365 El Apajo
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

(858) 756-5599


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Montessori

From the Director:

We are a Christian school with a Montessori emphasis. Our program is a balanced program that incorporates a developmental and academic (montessori) approach to early education, meeting the needs of each individual child and the group as a whole.

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
  • Montessori pre-language and language materials. Phonics based literacy program.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Number recognition, numerals in assiciation to quantity, manipulatives, hands on experiences, counting, tracing, writing numbers (when developmentally ready) etc
Time & space more

More Information

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

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Gardening, hands on science experiments
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Music class once per a week, in addition to daily music in the classroom. An insturment lab (teaching each of the 4 families of the orcestra) are taught 4 times per year with a concert performed by the San Diego Symphony in the spring.
Visual arts more

More Information

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

More Information

  • 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
  • Unstructured play time as well as organized play time.
Other subjects taught Subjects taught are: Bible, Life skills, sensorial, math, language, cultural subjects, art, spanish, music, PE, and science.

From the Director:

All of the subjects above are taught in our school The answer choices, however, are not applicable. With a Montessori base to our program, these different subjects are initially teacher taught/directed, while the child is being encouraged to take part in them. We are not a station based school, or strictly playbased. I would say that the answer to the 10 questions above is that the teacher presents the lesson and the children are encouraged to participate. Songs and poems are taught at group time. The cultural subjects are also presented to the class as a whole. The academic portions of math, language, science, literacy are taught to a child individually or in small groups, depending on their indivicual development.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Because we have a Montessori base to our curriculum, children are taught and encouraged to learn within their developmental framework. Children are assessed during their first few weeks of school in order to give the teacher an understanding of what their needs are. The teacher teaches to the needs of the individual child (thus being able to challange the children who excell and encourage the children who might be developmentally behind) and also to the group as a whole.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our purpose is to provide a quality, balanced program that will benefit, not only your child, but your family and our community as well. Our program is Christ centered and as we focus on the spiritual, relational, physical, academic, and emotional needs of each child, our goal is to further the development of the whole child. We are committed to providing an environment that encourages respect and a love for self, others and God. We strive to develop a love of learning in each child. We want your child to love coming to school at Horizon Prep! Every teacher on our staff is committed to making this the best possible school experience for your child and your family. Our teachers provide a loving, nurturing and safe environment for your child, which in turn creates a place where your child can grow spiritually, emotionally and academically.
(excerpted from website)

A Typical Day

8:30 Children arrive
8:45 Welcome circle
9:00 Outside play
9:25 Morning circle (Bible, calendar, monthly unit of study, new "work"/art presentations
9:45 Work time (includes individual and small group lessons with teacher, snack time, individual work time.
11:00 Music and Movement Circle
11:30 Lunch
12:00 Playground
12:30 Half day dismissal
12:30-12:40 transition time, enrichment classes
12:40-1:00 Quiet/rest time
1:00 Special area classes (art, spanish, music, pe or science)
2:00 Snack and outside play
2:30 Full day dismissal

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We have several ways that we communicate with parents. Teachers send out a monthly and weekly newsletter to the families in their class.
The school puts out a school wide weekly publication with all of the happenings of the school for the week.
The school also puts out a monthly, more indepth, publication for parents, with articles from the headmaster, the Vice Principal and the Director of Early Education.
We have several open houses each year.
We have a parenting series called "staying a step ahead", twice a month, where we bring in professionals from the community to speak to the parents on pertinent topics (seperation anxiety, nutrition, safety etc)
Every Parent belongs to PTF (Parent/Teacher Fellowship). We have a PTF breakfast with guest speakers 3-4 times per year.
Each room has a designated room mom who communicates school news to the other parents in the class and also organizes class parties and events with the classroom teacher.
We have parent/teacher conferences in the Fall and in the Spring. Parents get a progress report at this time and a final copy at the end of the school year.

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
  • 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
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We bring in a professional psychologist to speak with the parents on the topic of seperation anxiety.
For children with moderate anxiety when seperating from parent, we slowly transition them into school.
They will come to school for an hour, then 1 1/2 hours, 2 1/2 hours, 3 hours and then stay for the entire morning.
We ease them into the schedule.
In some more extreme cases, we have the parent stay until the child is comfortable having the parent go.
We also give more support in the classroom by way of the Director, assistant director or a floater stepping in.