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Sandy Hill Nursery School

1036 Solana Drive
Solana Beach, CA 92075

(858) 481-1378


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Co-op

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Unique because it is alternative education at the nursery school level

more than a school
extended family
a network of people who share a common philosophy of education

Because of the setting

a natural playground
hands-on laboratory for nature and science exploration
fits in beautifully with our child-centered program which allows for exploration

Because we have a child-centered program � philosophy

letting children be children
allowing children the time and space and freedom to learn at their own pace and in their own style
without adult goals
letting children create and define their own experience
offering experiences which are appropriate for each developmental level
room for individual styles � individually reinforced positively
open-ended activities � environment

Goals for the program

1. For children to grow in a holistic way � socially, emotionally, physically, cognitively: "whole child"

2. For children to become self-motivated learners

3. For children to discover and develop their own creativity


4. Focus on emotional growth

to help children acknowledge and deal constructively with their feelings � positive and negative

5. Focus on social growth

to help children learn to communicate effectively with adults and peers
to respect their own needs and those of others and learn to negotiate
(excerpted from website)

A Typical Day

~9:00-10:30: Child-directed play with adult facilitated activities and projects
~10:30-11:00: "Circle Time" and snack time. We provide an all organic cracker, fruit and water snack.
~11:00-11:15: Bathroom time in which every child is encouraged to "try." Teachers lead the children in song and games.
~11:15-12:00: Large playground play
12:00-12:30: Lunch
12:30-3:00: Extended Day Care (EDC)

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Our teacher's offer two [formal] parent/teacher conferences each school year. However, being a part of a parent cooperative school provide parents the luxury of developing relationships with the teachers and the other parents.
We have an open door policy so parents should never hesitate to speak with their teacher about their own child.

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


Separation is Handled through:

  • Parents in classroom early on