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Holy Family Day Home

229 Dolores Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

(415) 565-0504


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

"Educational Philosophy 1. To foster joy and love in the child's heart for learning and school. 2. To recognize play as our main device in teaching our children, because it is an essential part of growth and expression. 3. To recognize each child as an individual and encourage cooperation and sharing. 4. To encourage problem solving and patience through independent thinking. 5. To provide non-sexist and multi-ethnic images and literature, and to avoid stereotyped judgments and aspirations. 6. To encourage love and respect for other life forms that shares our earth. 7. To encourage self-esteem for a strong, confident, and wise child. 8. To work in partnership with the child's parents to promote the growth and development of the child." Excerpted from Holy Family Day Home's website, 2006.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space
Sci. reasoning/physical world
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
Other subjects taught Central to our Dolores Street Pre-school and Kindergarten Program is our belief that children's self-esteem is based on pride in their culture, appreciation of their feelings, celebration of their uniqueness and the experience of success. Excerpted from Holy Family Day Home's website, 2006.

From the Director:

"Educational Goals and Objectives Our goal is that each child will grow to his/her fullest capacity - physically, socially, cognitively, emotionally and aesthetically. Our specific growth objectives are: Physical:  through activities that enhance gross and fine motor skills  to provide health and safety education  offer health screenings and services  by providing nutritionally sound meals and snacks. Social:  to facilitate growth by interaction with peers and caring adults outside the home  by providing field trips and exposure to new situations  by creating a learning environment which promotes self-worth and encourages self-reliance  through celebrating diversity and appreciating individual differences. Cognitive:  by providing developmentally appropriate language, math, science, and small motor activities  by using challenging and stimulating toys and games  through encouragement of natural curiosity. Emotional:  by encouraging sharing and cooperation  through helping children understand, express and deal with their emotions  by helping children gain independence, self-control and a strong sense of self-esteem. Aesthetic:  by providing music, drama and art activities  through awareness of the beauty of the indoor and outdoor environment  by fostering creativity." Extracted from Holy Family Day Home's website, 2006

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

"There are many other aspects of the program that enrich the experience for our children and help them learn and grow. A mental health counselor regularly visits each classroom to support teachers in identifying and assisting children with special needs. We have a newly established arts program with an artist-in-residence from the community who works with teachers to integrate developmentally appropriate art projects for each learning level. This program provides children much-needed therapeutic self-expression and enhances their ability to learn." Extracted from Holy Family Day Home's website, 2006

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Holy Family Day Home is a developmentally appropriate program of teacher and child-initiated activities that meets the needs of the whole child. Central to our program is the belief that children's self-esteem is based on pride in their culture, appreciation of their feelings, celebration of their uniqueness, and experiences with success. We also believe that the family is the primary influence on the child's growth and development. The cooperative efforts of parent and staff working together as a team are essential. The Day Home operates on a team philosophy in which we work with parents to maximize the potential of every child." Extracted from Holy Family Day Home's website, 2006

A Typical Day

The children enjoy a rich and varied day filled with educational activities that prepare them to become learners, an essential building block without which they would not succeed in the years ahead. The morning program includes activities that provide children with the opportunity to develop learning skills through play activities. The children practice their gross motor skills and develop strong muscles and bones in our extensive yard with age-appropriate outdoor equipment. Lunch is also served in the classrooms. After lunch, the children are taught hygiene and personal care by washing their face and hands and brushing their teeth. Naptime follows and children rest quietly with a book and/or their favorite stuffed animal. At the end of their day, the children are provided with a snack and participate in group activities where they acquire social skills and learn conflict resolution strategies. Excerpted from Holy Family Day Home's website, 2006.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

"We partner with parents and guardians to encourage healthier families, build a foundation for lifelong achievement and open doors to a rewarding future. We have developed an effective response and communication team to work with families. Our Case Manager, two Intake Coordinators, Social Worker, Mental Health Consultant, two Site Supervisors, Community Health Worker, as well as our Reception and Kitchen staff work to provide day-to-day support, services and referral information for further community assistance. Coming Home Family Support Center services can include:  Counseling services  Assistance in the form of vouchers or gift cards that may be used at Safeway, Goodwill, or Target Stores  Our excellent Kitchen staff also supplements on-site breakfast and lunch food service with nutritious take-home items  Clothes and other household goods (often from generous donors)  Annual hearing, vision and dental screenings at no cost to the children or their families All of this effort is focused on our firm belief that healthier, stronger, more competent families mean healthier, stronger, more competent learners. That is the goal of Coming Home Family Support Center." Extracted from Holy Family Day Home's website, 2006

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school