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Eureka Learning Center

464 Diamond Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

(415) 648-0380

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

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
  • Environmental print; books and listening tapes
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Concrete materials to classify & sort; things to measure; one to one correspondence; opportunity to recognize patterns; things to weigh; etc...
Time & space more

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

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Lots of physical knowledge activities; cooking projects; opportunity for problem solving
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Music specialist; stereo and diverse collection of music CD's
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Clay and modeling materials
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
  • Neighborhood walks and field trips
Other subjects taught Strong emphasis on social and emotional development.

From the Director:

Children learn through exploration and play. Teachers function as facilitators. Through careful observation and assessment, experiences are expanded and new opportunities provided. New topics for conceptual development are regularly introduced based on an emergent approach (child interest), developmental appropriateness, and teacher input.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Teachers take a highly individualized approach. As a team, we work with parents, observe, share perspectives, and plan accordingly to insure each child's needs are met.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Eu-re-ka (yoo reO ka), interj. to find, discover. Children are natural learners. They are born with a curiosity which encourages them to question, explore and discover the world around them. Eureka Learning Center offers children an opportunity to do this. The program emphasizes the emotional growth of children by offering a warm and flexible environment which can facilitate the development of social and cognitive competence and accommodate individual needs. Parent services are provided in an effort to strengthen families and to establish a mutual support system with parents for the child. Unlike most schools, Eureka Learning Center limits its class size in an attempt to create a home-oriented, warm atmosphere conducive to nurturing children who need full-time care. With the addition of a Kindergarten class, children can remain one extra year before going into elementary school. By offering a variety of after school Enrichment classes for older preschoolers and school-age children , Eureka Learning Center is able to foster long term continuity and consistency with children. Often, preschoolers and kindergartners will graduate to elementary school and return for after-school classes. By serving this age range, it allows siblings to share a common experience and it provides an opportunity to work with the whole family. Eureka Learning Center emphasizes the importance of Parent Services through support and education. Workshops and field trips are a normal outgrowth of the program.

A Typical Day

8:00 Early Arrivals set-up for Preschool Program. Areas for independent play are open and available. Children help teachers with set-up.
9:00 Arrival. School officially begins. All areas available for independent activity (dramatic play, manipulatives, art, outdoors, blocks, library, science exploration). Teacher-directed activities available in main area (e.g., cooking projects) and in art area.
10:00-10:30 Snack. Children rotate at snack table, and help with clean-up. Back to activities in all areas.
11:00 Clean Art Area and supplies. Children help. Teachers take rotating 15 minute breaks.
11:15 General Clean-up. Everyone participates. Main room Teacher sets up lunches. Children move to outdoors.
11:40 Circle Time. Music, movement, stories, sharing, group discussions.
12:00 Lunch Time.
12:30 Nap Time for children under 4 years old. 4 year olds have time to be outdoors. Lunch clean-up: floors, tables, dishes.
1:30 Rest Time for 4 year olds.
2:00 Nappers and resters up. Activities indoors and out available.
2:30 Clean-up. Everyone participates.
2:40 Snack.
2:45 Story Time.
3:00 Good-by Time; assist children with clothes and articles.

Eureka Learning Center approaches education through activities which allow children to learn through exploration and personal discovery. It is the Teacher's role to facilitate, nurture, and support the children with appropriate and professional guidance. Teachers work as a team on behalf of the children through weekly planning, strategy and themes.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Activities include Back-to-School Night at start of school year, 'Daily Boards' as you enter the classroom with information for that day, written weekly news bulletins, informal on-going parent/teacher communication, formal scheduled parent/teacher conferences, parent education workshops. We consider our relationship with parents to be one of trust and communication, working in partnership on behalf of the child. We generate a sense of community and belonging as parents strive to make the best decisions for their child. Our role provides professional expertise in support of parenting. Our knowledge of schools and the application process allows us to collaborate with parents to ensure all appropriate options are considered. Our role is supportive to help reduce stress and ensure an effective strategy is utilized.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • 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

Handling Separation: From the Director

Written orientation on separation is provided with the enrollment materials given to parents. Emphasis on preparation before school begins, opportunity for child to visit program prior to starting. Individual approach for each child. More gradual for some, parents can stay to create time to build trust and comfort.