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San Jose Parent Participating Nursery School

2180 Radio Avenue
San Jose, CA 95125

(408) 265-3202


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

The mission of San Jose Parents Participating Nursery School is to nurture the development of the whole child. Our program supports learning through play, discovery and hands-on experiences. Building a child's self-esteem is central to our program. We provide a child-centered curriculum that focuses on the needs, abilities and interests of the young child. Our inclusive approach allows a child to work at his own pace, free of comparisons to other children. By nurturing the social and emotional development of our students, we create an atmosphere of trust and respect.. Learning occurs when a child feels safe and secure. Children who leave their first classrooms with healthy self-esteems, thirsts for knowledge and respect for their teachers are on the road to being successful, life-long learners.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • A fully equipped writer's area, environmental print,
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • games and a variety of manipulatives including a sensory table
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
  • field trips to the planetarium and nature preserves, frequent experiment stations
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Weekly music and movement specialist
Visual arts more

More Information

  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

More Information

  • 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 The development of social and emotional competence is an important part of curriculum.

From the Director:

Many of our curricular areas are teacher led via small group time activities and available through free play.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We focus on the individual and not on making comparisons.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We in the San Jose Parents Participating Nursery School believe in the individuality of both children and parents.

We recognize that our children's needs change daily and one of our goals is to encourage parents to understand those needs, accept them, and respond to them. Each parent's response is unique, so both parents and children benefit from a variety of shared experiences.

Building the children's self-esteem is central to our philosophy. Feeling good about oneself is basic to a child's social and academic success. Self-esteem gained in the preschool years is a firm foundation for later social, emotional and intellectual well-being.

Directors, parents, and children realize that making mistakes is an acceptable part of the growing process. The parents and Directors set limits of behavior within which the children feel secure and yet free to make as many choices as possible. Gentle persuasion and encouragement are utilized to introduce children to new experiences. No child is forced into a situation with which he or she is not ready to cope.

We offer the time and opportunity to be part of a group, contribute to it and be aware of the other member's feelings. There are always caring adults available to help each child express difficult feelings such as anger, frustration, and hurt.

Although we are not structured as some other schools, structure does exist within the station system we use. With such a system, we are able to provide a variety of areas in the school, with adults available who will encourage creative use of the materials and equipment within that area. Our program and attitudes are always flexible. We realize that there is not always only one right way to approach a problem. We feel free to try many ways.

The physical skills and coordination of our children are developed by encouraging them to participate in a variety of both large and small muscle activities.

To assure the implementation of our philosophy, we employ caring directors who organize the program, offer behavioral guidelines, and facilitate communication between and among children and parents.

Parent education includes meetings and conferences dealing with child development, family and community life, and nursery school activities. Parents can feel free to discuss common problems and exchange ideas. A supportive atmosphere helps parents deal with problems that naturally arise when raising children.

Our school is owned, operated and maintained by the members. In order for our school to function smoothly, we expect every family to cooperate by sharing their time and talents for the benefit of all.

The San Jose Parents Participating Nursery School has always functioned on the basic principle of the uniqueness of each child and adult. Rather than stifle that uniqueness by requiring conformity for its own sake, we choose to nurture individuality as the real treasure that it is.

A Typical Day

In the Four Day Program
Beginning Chat time -
greeting song in ASL, day of the year (number and patterning activity), Star of the Week (different child each week), Animal Sharing different child takes home stuff each day and shares adventures, read book aloud

Free Play offered with activities at various centers including science/math, art, paints, bikes, sand pond, kitchen

Together Time -
Songs, chants, discussions in large group

Meeting Time - Separate into small groups for group activities such as graphing, acting out stories or flannel boards, music and movement, story

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We are a parent co-op open house parent education classes newsletters parent-teacher meetings general meetings of all parents

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
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

encourage parents to remain at school as long as necessary for the child to be comfortable