Back to San Francisco Preschools

Centro Las Olas

3739 26th St
San Francisco, CA 94110-4308

(415) 821-6527


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Co-op, Reggio-Emilia

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Individual children's needs are considered in staff meetings and met within the context of the group.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

A rich environment in Spanish for wondering, communicating, relating and growing!
A rich environment
We believe that childhood is not only a preparation for adulthood. It is a part of the life of a human being. Children have the right to days full of interests, of friendship, of worthwhile work and gentle rest. They don’t have to be happy every minute – but we owe them lives which make them happy with themselves and their world. In the school we work to find a balance of excitement and calm, of routine and surprise. We create a beautiful, provocative and friendly environment where the children can spend their days.
In Spanish
We want our children to be bilingual – to speak, listen, write and read in Spanish and English. We believe that the best way to support them in this, here in San Francisco, is to give them a preschool environment in Spanish. Very soon they will feel the pressure to speak more and more English, and they need a strong base in Spanish to continue thinking in both languages.
For wondering
Children are always asking questions: Why? When? How does it work? We remember that the art of asking questions is a key part of human intelligence. We welcome children’s questions so that they can be clarified, investigated, and shared with others.
A teacher from Reggio Emilia, Italy once said that “To communicate is to learn.” When children learn to communicate their ideas and to listen to the ideas of others, they become citizens of the world. Communication happens in many ways – by speaking and writing, yes, but also by dancing, painting and singing. There are also many subjects on which it is worthwhile to communicate – from frogs to fairytales, feelings to dinosaurs. In all these ways, we share our ideas with the children and listen to their ideas as well.
Relating with others is a goal we all share. Like us, children want to build deep relationships with their peers and the adults in their world. At school, we value the whole network of relationships that makes up our community. We take time to talk about what it means to be a friend or a member of someone’s family. We continually seek out ways to show the children that they are loved, that they have friends, and that it is worth the trouble it takes to share, collaborate and negotiate with others.
And growing
We know that children need many things: healthy food, time in the fresh air, clear limits, interesting things to think about. We the adults of the school have come together to give our children an environment where they can find all this and more, so that they may grow each day stronger, healthier and happier.

A Typical Day

8:30 staff and parent/teachers for the day arrive to set up
9:00 children arrive. Open play while children say goodbye to parents. Some children help to prepare snack.
10:20Wash hands and eat snack.
10:30-11:45 The meat of the day. Children play and explore the activities available inside and outside. Some children engage in special projects in the art room. Other children help to prepare a healthy lunch. Reading, writing, dramatic play, blocks, art projects, large motor play, and manipulatives are also available.
11:45 Clean up
12:00Circle time. Songs, stories, and sharing about the events of the day.
12:20 Wash hands and eat lunch.
12:50 Clean up from lunch and get ready to go home.
1:00 Time to say goodbye until tomorrow.
1:30 Staff and day’s parent-teachers finish cleaning and lock up.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We have daily conversations with individual parents and conferences are offered twice a year. We also have monthly participating parents' meetings and bimonthly all parents' meetings in which we discuss classroom events and child development topics.

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
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We discuss and create a transition plan with each family. We encourage parents to spend time helping their children feel comfortable at school.