Back to Santa Clara Preschools

Mission College CDC

3000 Mission College Boulevard, MS#6
Santa Clara, CA 95054

(408) 855-5173


2 parents took the survey TAKE THE SURVEY

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Our curriculum is individualized to meet each child's developmental needs as well as the development of the group as a whole. We do developmental assessments of each child every 3-6 months, depending on their age. These assessments are used as a part of the design for future curriculum planning.

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
  • various writing materials, different types of paper and much more
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • various manipulatives, peg boards, stringing beads, counting objects, etc.
Time & space more

More Information

  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • large motor materials to create larger spaces, other building toys uch as tree blocks, etc.
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • various science curriculum materials and experiments
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • music tapes and CD's to dance and listen to, etc.
Visual arts more

More Information

  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • collage materials, copies of artwork
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
  • walking fieldtrips and other explorations of the college campus
Other subjects taught We are a diverse center with a diverse staff. We have English, Spanish and Vietnamese in every classroom, and where possible, try to support other families home languages as well. We believe it is critical to support primary home language development for children for whom English is a second language. This has an added richness of exposing all children in the classrooms to other languages. We currently have 20 languages spoken among our families and 15 among our staff.

From the Director:

A program where learning opportunities are carefully planned for children and provided in a variety of ways. The child has choices about how to approach learning and what questions to ask. This approach encourages critical thinking and problem solving skills that become internalized in children.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Each child is an individual and has individual needs. We assess each child's developmental growth in all domains and design curriculum to meet the individual as well as the group needs. Each child will develop in their own way. A child who is very proficient at reading and language activities may need curriculum support in another developmental domain, such as social and emotional awareness, for example. Additionally, there are some developmental milestones that happen at similar times for one age group. For example, all infants will explore ideas of object permanence in the last part of their first year. Curriculum is designed to meet those group needs as well.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our Preschool is a stimulating and exciting learning environment where the teachers are invested in creating classrooms that are socially, emotionally and physically safe and abundant with opportunities for discovery.

We recognize that children are individuals with different needs. We believe they learn best in a diverse and respectful environment that uses their interests to help them discover knowledge.

Our learning centers in the classrooms include: science, art, music, dramatic play, reading, writing, blocks and manipulatives.

The classroom is a language rich environment to help motivate and support early academic experiences for children. Curriculum is developed around both the individual and the group.

Each child has a primary teacher who works closely with the child's family. Our classrooms provide continuity of teaching that allows for more meaningful relationships between teachers, children and families. Children stay with the same teachers and children while they are in the Preschool and Pre-K Programs.

MCCDC is designated as a Santa Clara County Model Inclusion site. Inclusion offers typically developing children and children with special needs an opportunity to learn in an authentic environment rich with diversity. We meet the needs of each individual child and their families.

We enroll children into classrooms by their Kindergarten entry date in order to ensure that they will be able to stay with their like-age peers throughout their enrollment at our center.

A Typical Day

There are three meals during the day: breakfast, lunch and snack. The hot lunches and the other meals for the yonger age groups, are prepared on site and are menu based. The older children help to prepare their own breakfasts and snacks.

There is a large group time in the older classrooms in the morning where the group of children sit with their teacher and listen to books, discuss ideas and thoughts and follow a teacher led group time.

The activities that are set up during the AM are refective of the children's developmental goals and provide choices for them to explore.

Teachers also watch for the children's ideas to surface. For example, a group of children who discover bugs in the grass might be supported by a teacher who gets bug jars and helps the children to catch the bugs, ask questions, count and compare them, among other activities. They may pull books, songs or flannel stories for the group time about bugs and follow the children's interests.

This emergent approach to curriculum helps children to learn that their ideas are important. This is the foundation needed for later exploration and discovery. Where would we be if Sir isaac Newton did not realize that his ideas were important and worth exploring? Additionally, the emergent approach, in action, keeps the children engaged while the teachers weave in foundational concepts such as counting, one-to-one correspondance, whole to part relationship, etc.

After lunch, the children lay down for a group nap/rest time. Children who do not sleep are offered a quiet activity to do on their mat such as reading or puzzles.

As the children wake up from their rest time, there are a variety of activities offered for them to do, similar to the activities in the morning, continuing themes and developmental learning opportunities.

As the day winds down, teachers talk with parents and read quietly with children or facilitate activities.

Some days, children also take nature walks on the Mission College campus to explore what is available for them to see and touch and learn about.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We conference with parents two to four times during the school year to discuss their children's development. We also do home visits and have regular parent meetings and newsletters. Teachers communicate with parents on a daily basis as well.We help parents to understand what to expect from a Kindergarten classroom. We also help parents to understand how to speak up on behalf of their child when needed. We recognize that different Kindergartens will meet different children's needs.

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
  • 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:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We enroll children on a staggered schedule to prevent having all of the new children starting on the same day. We also assign primary teachers/caregivers to assist parents and children with separation.