"Mission Philosophy: High Meadows School provides an excellent education that is developmentally appropriate for children, grounded in awareness of and respect for our natural environment and human diversity. We are committed to an interdisciplinary approach of exploration and discovery, enabling children to meet the challenges of the future by becoming creative problem solvers. We foster a socially responsive community based on trust, dignity, and respect in which all members are active participants.
Through its inquiry-based academic curriculum and its co-curricular enrichment programs, High Meadows inspires children to:
Critical thinking implies analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of information. High Meadows students are taught to look at a problem from multiple perspectives, recognize causes and consequences and support their opinions with evidence. The foundation for this skill is established in preschool where children are encouraged to brainstorm a list of questions they have about an area of study, and then are prompted to explore various ways of researching the issue. As children progress through the school, they consider more complex issues, which requires them to use increasingly advanced critical skills.
At High Meadows, the classrooms and the curriculum are designed to facilitate a hands-on, multi-sensory experience that promotes learning through discovery. Thematic units are woven throughout the arts, language, math, science, technology and social sciences. For example, a study of oceans might include mathematics to chart rainfall on a graph; language and technology skills to research a chosen topic and record findings; science to learn about food chains by chanting a song; and the arts to study anatomy of fish by creating a model of a fish. Because the High Meadows \"classroom\" extends beyond the walls of the building into a 40-acre classroom, complete with meadows and children’s gardens, an ocean study could also include creating a water garden to observe a water habitat.
High Meadows recognizes that for children to succeed in a global environment, they need to complement their education with the international educational skills that allow them to understand and respect other cultures, languages and beliefs. High Meadows creative approach to International Studies is reflected in the curriculum at all grade levels. For example, preschoolers have corresponded with international pen-pals; the 2nd/3rd graders studied Japan and created a scale model of an authentic, furnished Japanese home; and Middle Years students each selected a country and then hosted a model United Nations Assembly, debating their positions on issues such as the environment, poverty and women’s rights.
High Meadows fosters a socially responsive community based on trust, dignity and respect in which all members are active participants. Children are involved in a comprehensive character education program in which they explore valued character traits. Beginning in kindergarten, children participate in classroom meetings in which they create classroom rules, discuss problems or conflicts, and devise solutions. High Meadows also participates in community service projects at all grade levels and has actively supported organizations such as North Fulton Community Charities, the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, Plant a Row for the Hungry, Save Hyde Farm, Care International, and the Heifer Project."
Excerpted from the preschool's website
"High Meadows Preschool Sample Daily Schedule
The times described are general and subject to change based on the daily circumstances. Our curriculum is child-driven and therefore we may continue a given activity past the designated time if the children are really engaged in the learning process. We strive to be both flexible and spontaneous. We don’t want to miss a wonderful learning opportunity simply to adhere to a schedule.
As the children arrive, both teachers greet them as they begin their day. They are learning to put their belongings in their lockers in the hall and put their folders in their cubby. Activities are set up in our various learning centers. This is the time to greet friends and look around and explore the opportunities for the day.
9:15-9:40 Circle Time
This is our large group time. We focus on our listening and speaking skills, taking turns talking and sharing information. We usually recite a finger rhyme, sing a song or talk about a special event. We do our calendar math and weather activities each morning and perhaps read a story related to the current unit of study. We remind children of curriculum support classes and special events occurring that day. Finally, we explain what activities are in each center and encourage the children to choose a center.
9:45-11:00 Centers, Free Play & Snack
During centers children make choices, engage in problem solving, resolve conflicts, cooperate with others, share materials and ideas, and have a lot of fun. Some of the choices include math manipulatives, language and writing, art, blocks, housekeeping and water/sand/rice table. Children and teachers have snack together as a group. This is also the time when we utilize parent volunteers in the classroom.
As teachers we use center time to get to know the children as individuals, play games with small groups, provide structured inquiry opportunities around the current unit of study, and assess each child’s abilities. We also work one-on-one with children on a regular basis.
For 30 minutes each week children go to P.E. with Mrs. Allen, nature with John Dovic, music with ( ). Children also ride ponies under the guidance of Susan Brown and visit the library with Ms. Williams. Our preschool children also have Spanish and music once a week.
11:00-11:20 Clean Up and Circle Time
Clean up is a community event in preschool. Every child participates in putting away materials and cleaning the classroom. The children learn the value of working together to accomplish a task. During circle we recap the morning’s activities and talk about the things we learned and enjoyed. We usually have another story and review the finger rhyme from the morning circle. On rainy days we may listen to music, sing or dance.
11:20-11:50 Outdoor Play
Unless the weather is really stormy or extremely cold, we will go outdoors. We go into our “backyard” where the children run and play and exercise their imaginative creativity. The children play in the sandbox, slide and climb on the playground equipment, and generally have a wonderful time and use up lots of energy!
12:00 Carpool – Lunch for Full Day Children
At lunch the children sit and eat together. We share stories with one another and enjoy the company of our friends. As children finish their lunches they pack up their things, select a book and prepare to rest on their mat.
12:30-1:15 Rest Time
When everyone has completed lunch we put the books away and turn off the lights. The children are encouraged to relax. Classical music or books on tape provide a relaxed and calm atmosphere for the children. Sometimes teachers read softly to the group or older children look at books.
We generally have a short circle to give those that fell asleep time to wake up. (Yes, many of them do fall asleep!) During this circle we plan for the afternoon. We try to give the children a few choices for what they would like to do. We may read a story or discuss a new activity or project.
1:30-2:00 Outdoor Play
This is the same as the above outdoor play description, but there are very few children on the playground. The children seem to play together in larger groups and focus more on the social interactions involved in play.
2:00-3:00 Group Activities
We rely heavily on small group activities during this period of our day. We do a variety of special projects such as woodworking, group art projects, book making, and music and movement activities. There is some free play but most of the time is spent working in small groups of four or five children or even the whole group together. This is a special time for the children to learn to communicate with one another, cooperate together on projects, share ideas and make joint plans.
3:00-3:15 Prepare for Departure and Carpool"
Excerpted from the preschool's website