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St Mark's United Methodist Nursery School

3502 Clairemont Drive
San Diego, CA 92117

(858) 273-1489


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Teachers base their curriculum on a month-long theme and then plan for literature, music, science, snack/cooking, writing, dramatic play, and art activities to support that theme.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Teachers track all children through early assessments, parent conferences, mid-year progress reports, and year-end evaluations; parents are kept aware of progress and goals and strategies are set together to help each child reach potential.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Young children must find pleasure, success balances with challenges, and pride in things done independently. The child must feel valued by others. We plan an environment where children are free to explore, investigate and experiment so they can learn new ideas, concepts and work out feelings and relationships. We help children realize their potential while teaching them to accept the limits of life. We believe that children learn by becoming involved, so we create an environment in which they can learn through guided play.

A Typical Day

A schedule that includes group times for greeting, sharing, literature, and music/singing/rhythms; snack time to share food that is often prepared by the class; indoor play periods with a focus on a science or art activity which supports the monthly theme; outdoor play for large motor activities; free choice with all learning centers indoors and out; nap or rest in the afternoon depending on length of day; option for dance, tumbling or Spanish after lunch.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent conferences twice a year unless indicated more often, progress reports, daily communication "What we did today" boards, open house twice/year, monthly newsletters. If a teacher is concerned about a child's progress or behavior, a note or phone call will be made and followed up with a conference to create a plan for the child.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • 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
  • 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

Most children have played in the center during a visit or two. Parents are encouraged to stay for a short while, then allow the teachers to help the child and create a bond that will help the child feel secure at school. We always believe it is better for a parent to return early and to prolong saying good-bye.