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Grace Church

254 Hicks Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

(718) 624-4030


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We believe that children must gently learn to separate from their families as they gain trust in their environment at school. Therefore, after separation is achieved, children learn to trust their teachers, make friends and learn to love learning, how to problem solve and keep their curiosity flourishing.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • An innovative curriculum where learning areas are combined in a project (cooking and stories and literacy based art)
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • rods, graphs and charts
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • LEGO, LASSY building materials
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Books and exhibits from sources such as the Boston Children's Museum
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Singing and chanting and fingerplays
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • 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
  • Movement/aerobic/gymnastic classes
Other subjects taught Celebration of many diverse traditions and cultures.

From the Director:

Curriculum is well planned and well rounded. Often books and cooking are combined with a project. Multi-cultural aspects of urban life are highlighted and celebrated. Children are taught in a multi-sensory, experiential environment.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We emphasize socialization skills and multi-sensory experiential learning at each child's individual pace. It is our belief that since nursery school is the first real step out of the home and into a school environment, staff awareness of the unique needs of each family unit and the individual children we serve is of paramount importance.

A Typical Day

9-10 work period 10:15 cleanup 10:20 toileting and snack 10:30 meeting and singing and stories 11:15 outdoor time *specialists in music and movement (4-k) * specialist in French (K)

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We communicate constantly through: 1. Beginning of the year meeting on curriculum 2. Parent coffees once a month 3. Pot luck suppers (1 per class) 4. Two parent/teacher conferences per year 5. Phone numbers of staff printed in the directory 6. Newsletter published every 4-6 weeks 7. Informal conferences as needed. This is done at the beginning of the kindergarten year and is ongoing. ERB's for kindergarteners are given on site for our children with an examiner known to them.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • 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
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Very carefully and gently. Home visits, shortened days and parents in the classroom until the child relaxes and feels ready to let the parent go.