"The philosophy of Turtle Creek Learning Academy is based on the values and beliefs of what constitutes a quality child development program. A quality child development program provides a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment which facilitates the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of young children. It also responds to the needs of the student families served and creates a sense of belonging and responsibility among parents, children, staff and community resources to support, respect, and cherish the development of each child that the program serves.
This is accomplished through a program which incorporates play/socialization and skill reinforcement through multidisciplinary thematic approach within a developmental framework. Teachers facilitate and maintain an environment which provides a variety of experiences, materials, and activities consistent with a developmental approach to a child's growth. Teachers plan with an understanding that children learn by playing. Children have opportunities throughout the day to freely select activities from stimulating high-interest centers and to participate in monitored play where teachers actively engage children in discussion, posing questions and ideas to enhance thinking and problem solving skills. When teachers introduce skills/concepts (i.e. math and reading readiness, science), the activities honor the playfulness and innate curiosity of children who learn best ?by doing.? Teachers also promote literacy through a language rich environment which is achieved through carefully planned quality literature, interesting reading and writing centers, and open communication which is valued and encouraged. Hands-on-activities, music, movement and art experiences help children to progress along the developmental continuum. New Jersey's Core Curriculum Standards for Preschools and Kindergarten are consulted for content expectations, thematic ideas, and valuable assessments.
Finally, staff understands that the best atmosphere for optimum learning and happiness is created by building a welcoming and loving sense of community within the classroom, the school, and among families. Staff creates opportunities and structures activities for children that encourage empowerment, confidence, cooperation and respect for self and others, particularly in light of the increasing diversity in today's classrooms. Staff is sensitive to the challenges facing parents and works in tandem with them. All staff understands that conducting themselves with utmost professionalism is the key to creating a community of teachers who deeply value each other. Staff shares, cares, and supports each other in their continued professional development. All teachers and administrators conduct themselves with an understanding that the initial learning and school experiences create attitudes in children and families about learning, about themselves and about school, which can last a lifetime.
Excerpted from the preschool's website