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W. Roxbury YMCA Small Fry Nursery

15 Bellevue Ave.
West Roxbury, MA 02132

(617) 323-3200


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Teacher-Led

From the Director:

We realize that all children learn at different rates. It is out intention to meet all guidelines set forth by the state to prepare our students for their next school year. Because our classes are small, individual attention can be given to those who need additional help (i.e., with numbers, numbers, concepts, confidence, etc.).

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
  • Alphabet booklets, weekly readers
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Counting games, abacus
Time & space more

More Information

  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Sequencing games
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Scales, measuring cups, shells, rocks, bubbles
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Musicians invited to programs and parent musicians come in to play
Visual arts more

More Information

  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
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
  • All classes have structured gym and swim classes each week.
Other subjects taught Swimming classes are offered at the indoor pool on premises as well as gym class in the full size gymnasium. Musician comes in monthly for all 8 classes.

From the Director:

To make learning fun, hands on and appropriate for age.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Small Fry Nursery school is part of the YMCA. The goal/philosophy of all YMCA childcare programs is to help children grow spirtually, mentally and physically. To accomplish this goal, all YMCA programs address seven specific objectives:

Grow Personally
Clarify Values
Improve Personal and Family Relationships
Appreciate Diversity
Become Better Leaders and Supporters
Develop Specific Skills
Enjoy the Nursery School Experience and Have Fun

A Typical Day

Free play - choice time for manipulatives, sandbar, paint, gross motor, fine motor, books, etc.
Art project
Circle time - daily theme
Books that teachers read
Finger play, puzzles, manipulatives
For older classes - language arts, letters, numbers, science and math.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent Night prior to school starting which is open to all parents to meet the staff, go over parent handbooks, answer questions, explain curriculum, etc.
Progress reports in January.
End of the Day - ask parents to stay if there is an issue.
Phone calls at home if parents work.
Daily conferencing for parent meetings if necessary since the time is built into our schedule for discussions with parents.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

1st day - parent stays with child for 1 hour.
2nd &/or 3rd day - abbreviated day
Following days - abbreviated if it helps a child, constant phone contact or meetings, anything to help the children adjust.