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La Escuelita

302 West 91st Street
New York, NY 10024

(212) 877-1100


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

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
  • Listening center, writing center (including varied writing utensils, paper, white boards, etc)
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • blocks, manipulatives (puzzles, peg boards, sorting, cubes, etc.)
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
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Teachers visit the park regularly to investigate the environment with the students, as it relates to the unit; they also visit museums, pet stores, grocery stores, etc.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • students learn dances from Spanish-speaking countries as well as other dances from around the world
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Students also utilize art materials to create play materials for the dramatic play area (for example building and decorating a cardboard spaceship during a unit on "space").
Physical activity more

More Information

  • 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
  • Classes include: yoga, dance, movement class, futbol ("soccer"), baseball, etc.
Other subjects taught Incorporated into our curriculum are social studies, current events, cultural awareness, as well as home - school connections. Students also have yoga, dance or sports, and movement weekly.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Teachers focus on each child as an individual learner. Extensive developmental progress reports are given to parents twice a year to indicate where students are in their development in various areas including communication, social-emotional development, literacy, mathematics, etc.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

La Escuelita has three core values that drive the school in creating a warm community with the common goal of providing developmentally appropriate dual language educational experiences. The first value is that bilingualism is an asset, and one that is best acquired at an early age. The second value is a respect for diversity that extends to racial, religious, socio-economic, linguistic diversity as well as diversity of family structure. La Escuelita promotes respectful, open communication among the staff, students and families in order to create an environment of equality for all members of its diverse community. La Escuelita's third core value is an emphasis on a play based curriculum but with the recognition that some concepts are best learned during more teacher-directed activities.

A Typical Day

Children have roughly 30 - 50 minutes of centers time to select areas to play (centers and materials reflect concepts the teachers wish to teach and are thematic-based). Circle time follows, then snack, movement or music, park/sports (for older students), lunch (for older students), rest time (for older students) and English Circle time (for 3s and 4s).

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

- Curriculum night (each class has own).
- Parent night (two per year to discuss school-wide topics).
- 2 Parent Conferences per year.
- 1 Written Summary at end of year.
- Unit Letter which include goals, school activities, home activities, vocabulary, song sheets.
- Musical CD at beginning of every unit (units last 3 - 8 weeks).
- Phone calls and e-mails to parents regularly.
- Emails to inform parents of community activities.
- Written and electronic communication (weekly).
- Jennifer Woodruff meets with all 3's parents in the Spring then begins to meet individually with each family to support them in their search and applications.

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

Separation is handled individually and parents are given feedback and guidance to assist their child in the process.