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Maple Street School

21 Lincoln Road
Brooklyn, NY 11225

(718) 282-4345


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

We are a developmental interactive school (Bank Street). Our goals is for children to learn, through hands-on activities. Many are chosen by children, some by teachers. All are centered on children being inspired, exploring, building relationships, and loving learning

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

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  • Puzzles
  • manipulatives, cooking
Time & space more

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

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • sand and water tables
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • music classes
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • clay, playdough
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
Other subjects taught We have a small greenhouse and do some simple planting. We are right next door to and often go to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Prospect Park, The Audubon Center, and the Prospect Park Zoo. We love storytelling. We are currently implementing in a Train curriculum through a grant from NYSAEYC. (We rent from the subway, we are above ground, but we do have trainspotting) We also are implementing this winter a Literacy though Music and Storytelling program funded by Target.

From the Director:

We are a homemade school, creating from what inspires all of us, and the resources around us, pedagogy, materials, parent resources, community resources. We have circle time, choice time, outdoor play, story time and music. Observation and reflection are also important to us.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At the Maple Street School, we believe children's work is their play. Children construct their knowledge about the world through interaction with the people and materials in it. We value the development of a child's mind, body and spirit and we respond to the individual needs of each child. We facilitate each child's social, emotional, cognitive and physical development through child-initiated activities. At the Maple Street School, we are dedicated to stimulating the innate curiosity of each child and supporting emotional growth and expression. We encourage students to express personal feelings honestly and to deal respectfully with the feelings of others. We believe preschool is an extension of home, a place where each child is nurtured in a warm, caring atmosphere. The Maple Street School is a supportive environment where teachers help students feel safe to take risks that lead to true growth

A Typical Day

Everyday is extraordinary. That is what's great about being three. We do begin the day with tabletop activities and parent good-bye rituals, such as reading a story. We then have circle time where we talk about the day's plan, and we sing and jump in the circle. After that some groups go outdoors while others have choice time. During choice time, we do projects such as collages, self portraits, watercolors etc. with small groups. We encourage, but do not require children to participate. During outdoor time we go to the playgroud, the duck pond, and on walks. After outdoor and choice time, we have a story or two, some songs/rhymes, and lunch. Our morning children leave at 12:30pm. Afternoon children then rest on cots or mats. After nap, we welcome our afternoon children in a circle. We have choice time with some of the same and some different choices, and often go outside again in the afternoon. We then have a light snack, and end the day with a good-bye circle. Our day is structure, but flexible. If a child finds a spider and wants to study it, we support and encourage this.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We communicate often face to face, phone calls, and e-mails. We have conferences two times a year as well. We have a curriculum night at the beginning of the year, a school's night to prepare for kindergarten, publishing parties, and many days where parents come in and help or celebrate our learning with us. We have a School's Night and a support group. We connect families with alumni to hear about their journey.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

We have a phase-in period of three days. The parent or caregiver stays with the child the first day. The second day, the parent leaves for a short period, and returns when the child is doing well. The third day the parent leaves for two hours. We also encourage families to practice separation before starting school through playgroups or group childcare. We meet with families whose children (or the parents) are having difficulty after three days to make a plan.