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The Compass School

1128 Compass Court
Naperville, IL 60540

Phone:
(630) 983-9190

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

Projects involve research and exploration by various methods to answer questions posed by the children, teacher or both. Projects may be worked on over a course of days or weeks, depending on the ideas and questions the participants generate. Projects may involve a small or large group of children. Children may choose to work on a particular project today, but tomorrow, may join a group working on a different project. Several projects may be occurring at the same time, and each will be in various stages of discovery. These projects offer each child an opportunity to tap into experiences that are of a particular interest to that child. Individual interests are explored with a group who shares those questions and curiosity.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

All teachers at The Compass School have experience and/or training in working with children. All teachers have received specialized training in the project approach to learning, the emergent curriculum, the RIE philosophy of infant/toddler interaction, and in The Compass School’s philosophy of promoting
respect for children.

Continuing staff development is arranged for all staff of The Compass School. These workshops, lectures and required readings are seen as a continuation of the staff’s learning journey. This standard is a reflection of The Compass School’s commitment to learning as a collaborative effort.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Current research reveals that the human brain has an inborn desire to search for meaning through patterns and relationships. Children and adults learn best in environments that are intellectually and emotionally challenging without fear of ridicule or failure.

At The Compass School we follow a child-led project approach. The project is an investigation of topics and concepts over a period of time. Project work provides the kind of complex experiences rich in challenge, choice and meaning that respects the inquisitive mind of the child and the way children learn. The investigation follows a path created by the questions, interests and imaginations of children in contrast to a predetermined direction planned by the teacher.

The curriculum is a blend of a respectful environment, rich and provocative materials being readily available in the environment, and of teachers supporting the child’s choices of learning.

We highly value communication between the school and family and offer a variety of tools to facilitate continuous interaction including daily logs, highlights, lesson plans, newsletters, weekly take home journals and portfolios of your child's work.

Every detail inside and outside of The Compass School is created with children as the focus. Specialty classrooms are equipped with authentic materials to make the learning experience more “real-life”. A large and varied playground and landscaping are each designed to promote the learning process.

All teachers at The Compass School have experience and/or training in working with children. All teachers have received specialized training in the project approach to learning, the emergent curriculum, the RIE philosophy of infant/toddler interaction, and in The Compass School’s philosophy of promoting respect for children.

A Typical Day

The school is open from 6:30am-6:30pm.

A morning snack is provided between 8:30 and 9:30.

The morning’s activities may involve indoor or outdoor involvement. Some projects may involve participation of other age groups, which promotes a sense of mentoring and cooperation. Throughout the day, teachers act as facilitators, followers and partners in the learning journey.

Lunchtime is between 11:30 and 12:00, with lunch being catered.

Rest time or naps are an option after lunch for those children who want to participate. Naps are not required (for preschoolers), although some “quiet time” is necessary. When the child is ready to begin play/work again, opportunities are provided for this to occur/continue.

Work on projects, participation in specialty rooms and outdoor activity are included in the afternoon time. An afternoon snack is provided as an energy boost between 2:30 and 3:30, and is seen as a time for continued socialization.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Daily highlights are emailed, posted and dictated on our voicemail system so that every parent receives an overview of their child's day. Daily logs, portfolios and weekly take home journals also help bridge the gap between work and home.

Parents are encouraged to participate in school events, drop into classrooms to play with or read to their child and his/her class, or to visit a classroom to present or use a special talent to enrich an ongoing project.

Twice a year parents are invited to have a conference with their child's teacher to discuss their development, progress and goals.

Open House events are held 2-3 times a year and are a great way to meet other Compass parents, interact with the staff, and have fun together as a family.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school

Separation

Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We encourage parents to discuss their concerns about their child's separation anxiety with the Director to come up with the best program to meet the unique needs of their child. This may involve a gradual transition into the program via shortened weeks or days, parental involvement in the classroom at the start of the day, or a few short play visits prior to the start of their actual enrollment.