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utopia St Thomas More Preschool

50 Thomas More Way
San Francisco, CA 94132

(415) 317-6269


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

We feel that no one curriculum approach has all the elements of providing the ideal learning approach, therefore we take and blend from several different approaches to learning that focus on the interest of the child.

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 and movement, yoga
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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  • 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 "if it's not in the hand it's not in the brain" I learned this concept over 25 years ago and have found it very helpful in my work with children. Our program offer lots of opportunities for sensory exploration. We offer either a cooking or science project weekly to promote this hands on approach.

From the Director:

Children benefit from having clearly defined, well equipped interest areas that help promote independence and encourage decision making skills. The materials are placed at the child's level where they are able to make choices for themselves.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We support individualism through recognizing the individualistic nature of children, with respect to their development abilities, styles of learning, and the individual pace in which learning takes place. We think it essential to the teaching and the development of the children to take into consideration.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The highest goal and most fundamental objective of our practices is the individual development of a child. We understand the development of a child to ideally come about through the process by which we encourage and inspire each child to develop to their full potential physically, socially, emotionally, and creatively, as well as to develop an awareness and respect, not only for themselves and their family, but also for others. We place a considerable amount of value in creating an ideal environment , celebrating diversity, supporting individualism,and the creating of a collaborative relationship between the parents and teachers.

A Typical Day

Children learn through their interactions with people and materials in their environment. Therefore we will maintain a balance between teacher-directed and child initiated learning: responding to each child's individual learning style and building on their specific interests. Emphasis is placed on the process rather than the end product.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent /Teacher conferences are held at least twice per year. The parent-teacher conference is a time to learn more about your child's adjustment, growth and development, as well as ways you can support your child's learning and readiness for kindergarten. In order to plan a classroom curriculum that benefits your individual child, parents and teachers will work together to identify your child's particular strengths and interests.Teachers will also be available to meet with you more often to discuss your child's progress or address any concerns that may arise. We encourage ongoing communication.

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

Handling Separation: From the Director

We encourage new families to visit with their children at least twice to help both the child and their parents feel comfortable and at ease