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The Neighborhood School

363 10th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118-2214

(415) 750-3925


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

The Neighborhood School is designed for a mixed ages, mixed abilities group to experience a multitude of activities of varying kinds during the day. Some activities are directed by the teacher, such as a project or music class. Some are created by the teacher but the child is encouraged to act autonomously, such as the teacher setting up learning stations and the child directing her own play. We provide each child with balanced opportunities to grow and develop individually.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • 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
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • 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
  • Music Class
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Daily art projects
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
  • 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
  • Pal-ersize & Movement Class
Other subjects taught We offer a weekly music class, a weekly movement class, a bi-monthly Pal-ersize class, and monthly sensory and cooking classes that are all part of the program and included in tuition. We also offer individual skills classes for children with special needs and small group peer interactive games for all learners.

From the Director:

We have a thematic curriculum that runs roughly on a monthly basis. A curriculum is distributed each week highlighting the week's activities. A daily handwritten form is presented each day the child attends school and relays exactly what happened during that day. The children work daily on mostly art based projects that work on pre-academic skills that are appropriate for their developmental age. The idea is to present materials and directions to the child and allow their creativity to shine. Parent/teacher conference are held twice a year to discuss the child's developmental progress and related goals.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The Neighborhood School is an inclusive program, meaning that we serve both typically developing children and those with special needs in the same setting. Our teachers are specially trained in both developmentally appropriate classroom practices as well as working effectively with all abilities. We believe that by creating an accepting and sensitive environment for all learners, we can raise the awareness level in our community that inclusion is beneficial for all and we should strive toward creating more inclusive preschool settings.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At the Neighborhood School we believe that all children learn through the active exploration of their environment. The indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to provide children with a wide variety of opportunities to develop their individual skills. Our staff act as facilitators while children participate in an interactive learning style that encourages both independence and cooperation. Children of all abilities are welcome and the staff is specially trained to work with all types of needs.

A Typical Day

7:30 - 8:30 Drop-off/ Indoor Learning Stations
8:45 - 9:15 Breakfast
9:30 - 9:45 Circle - Music & Movement
9:45 - 10:45 Projects
10:45 - 11:45 Outdoor Play
11:45 - 12:00 Circle - Storytime
12:00 - 12:30 Lunch
12:45 - 2:45 Nap
3:00 - 3:30 Snack
3:30 "School Day" Pick-up
3:30 - 4:00 Circle - Share
4:00 - 5:00 Outdoor Play
5:00 - 6:00 Indoor Leaning Stations
6:00 School Closed

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

The Neighborhood School believes that having a strong school-family-child relationship helps to raise a well-grounded person and build a strong community. To help foster this connection, we have many ways of communicating with families. A few examples: each child goes home with a daily report describing their day, twice a year we have parent/teacher conferences with developmental assessments provided, and we embrace an open communication policy via phone, email or in person. The school also hosts a myriad of activities throughout the year, including: education nights, holiday gatherings, parent celebrations, fundraisers, parents' night out and more.

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
  • 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

Handling Separation: From the Director

Each child and family handle separations differently. We work individually with the family to come up with a plan for the first few drop-offs. Every family, including the child, is encouraged to visit the school at least once before starting. From there it depends on the needs of the child and family.