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Mandala Early Learning Center

1050 S. Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 920-9005


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Reggio-Emilia

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
  • Multilingual books
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Games and manipulatives
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Parachute play, water play, exploring substances and the way they move
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Nature area, optical toys to examine and discuss
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Professional musicians who perform for circle time
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Wood scraps, things to make from beautiful recyclables, sculpture projects, mobiles
Physical activity more

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  • 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
  • We have several great parks nearby
Other subjects taught Nature, Spanish, Environmental topics,

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Program Goals
To provide the highest quality childcare/early learning care available for our families.

To provide a joyful, safe, nurturing and consistent child centered program, with a focus on developing a social emotional foundation, from which to build future skills.

To provide developmentally appropriate activities for the social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth of each child at his/her own level.

To provide a supportive environment which fosters autonomy and self-help skills.

To provide opportunities for parents to be leading partners throughout the child's experience in the program.

Extracted from the Mandala Early Learning Center web site.

A Typical Day

7:00 – 8:30 am Calm welcoming activities

8:30 - 9:45 Circle into outside playtime

9:45- 10:00 Breakfast snack

10:00 – 11:30 Music / Art / Science activity

11:30 – 12:15 Circle – then prepare for Lunch time / prepare for nap / potty chair practice for those who need it

12:15 – 12:30 Quiet, gentle activities….story time, getting ready for quiet nap time

12:30 – 2:30 Quiet time (nap optional)

2:30 – 3:00 Wake up/ snack time/ story time

3:00 – 4:00 Group outside time
Emphasis on language and movement, cooperative play, social/emotional dev.

4:00 – 5:15 Art activity, center choice time…
5:15 -7:00 Calm routine for pick up time / snack

Home-School Connection

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
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year