"At Nonotuck Community School we serve children between the ages of fifteen months and five years. These children develop from toddlers who are just beginning to use language and experiment with interpersonal relationships, to school aged children who are able to empathize with one another, seek out social contacts, and use words freely to express their experiences and feelings. They make the transition from being primarily dependent on adults to meet their needs to being independent children who make and follow through on plans,explore the worlds of other people, and participate in the larger community.
We believe that at each developmental level the child is an avid explorer, eager to experience the world. We emphasize the development of the whole child. We work to provide a safe environment that will develop a positive self-image, independence, and an understanding of one's needs in relation to others. We foster a sense of responsibility for one's actions, and above all, the confidence, skills, and curiosity to actively explore, question, problem solve, and communicate.
Our curriculum is child centered. It is jointly negotiated between the children and the teachers, and it emerges from the children's interests as well as from the teacher's observations and understanding of the "hidden questions" that children are working to answer through their play. We offer a variety of experiences and materials to help children master a wide range of skills and concepts. We emphasize the concept of community and teach children to celebrate their connections to one another in Nonotuck's diverse community.
Our goal is to provide ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social/emotional, and physical development throughout the school day. The rooms at Nonotuck are flexible learning environments that are tailored to reflect the interests of each group. The teachers work to design a space that is rich in opportunities for children to explore and create. We work to foster a meaningful relationship with the natural world by allowing the children to care for the many plants and animals in our classrooms. The children also help tend our gardens and participate in daily outdoor adventures. We support the children's exploration of scientific and mathematical concepts by providing many opportunities for them to form theories and test them. We offer classroom activities that promote a love of books, reading, and the arts. Children are encouraged to express themselves through music, dance, and other artistic activities.
As a parent cooperative, we value the strong commitment Nonotuck's families have to our school. We welcome a high level of parent involvement in our classroom activities and encourage families to visit whenever they can.
Excerpted from the preschool's website