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The Katherine Michiels School

1335 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Phone:
(415) 821-1434

Website:

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

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
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
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.
  • Art work on the walls
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
Other subjects taught Environmental awareness; zero waste lunch; composting; Spanish. Additionally, exciting extracurricular opportunities, including piano, dance, Capoeira and soccer, support a belief in the necessity of music and physical activity in shaping a child's developmental learning. Aerobic activity and team sports foster collaboration and communication skills while encouraging attitudes of lifelong fitness. Music lessons inspire both technical agility and self-expression. Excerpted from Katherine Michiels Preschool's website, 2006.

From the Director:

'Untimed' Curriculum - calm, gradual transition of classes, meals and outdoor times keeps kids and teachers in the moment instead of watching the clock. Pumpkin (preschool) children move freely between activity rooms called learning stations, embarking on projects and uncovering new ideas on their own initiative. This approach allows children the flexibility to decide where to go and how long to stay, and teaches them to be responsible for their decisions and actions. Teachers guide and support children through this process. If a child has not been to a particular station in a month, a teacher will give a special invitation to a child to visit another station. This ensures that all children develop the skills emphasized in each focus area. Excerpted from Katherine Michiels Preschool's website, 2006.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The KMS approach places a strong emphasis on social and emotional development, encouraging children to take responsibility for themselves and to respect others. Allowing children the freedom to establish a strong sense of self, discover a love of learning, develop a respect for others and the environment, and explore the world with a creative imagination: these are the essential elements of the KMS mission. KMS takes a hands-on, child-directed approach to learning. Many of our beliefs and philosophies are based on the work of noted developmental psychologists Jean Piaget, Erik Erickson, Rudolf Dreikurs, and Alfred Adler. Other educational programs that have inspired and influenced us include the High Scope Educational Research Foundation of Ypsilanti, Michigan; the Bev Boss Workshops and model school in Sacramento, California; and the approach of Reggio Emilia's schools in Northern Italy as described in the book, The Hundred Languages of Children. KMS will provide a complete bibliography for interested parents."

Excerpted from Katherine Michiels Preschool website, 2006.

A Typical Day

"Like all 2- to 5-year-old preschoolers, KMS Pumpkins adhere to a schedule for meals, snacks, circle time and other meeting periods throughout the day. But here, a fluid daily schedule encourages children to make positive choices in their learning. Pumpkin children move freely between activity rooms called learning stations, embarking on projects and uncovering new ideas on their own initiative. This approach allows children the flexibility to decide where to go and how long to stay, and teaches them to be responsible for their decisions and actions. Teachers guide and support children through this process."

Excerpted from Katherine Michiels Preschool's website, 2006.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We put priority on understanding the importance of the children developing the relationship between school and home, and we work hard to cultivate collaboration between the two, building a community around the school (Dewey). Interactive 'team' homework assignments - designed to utilize parent input and build the school at home'. KMS Spring Show - annual display of student talent, initiative and self-confidence. Open house visits.

Excerpted from Katherine Michiels Preschool's website, 2006.

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