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Sunshine School

2 Dutcher Ave
Pawling, NY 12564

(845) 855-9238


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

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

From the Director:

We are "hands on". The children learn through discovery, but each activity offered has an educational basis. We meet each child as his/her level and individualize the program as much as possible. Sunshine School provides a positive approach to learning and tries to instill a love of school that will continue for many years.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • 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
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
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
Other subjects taught Spanish, etiquette

From the Director:

Children participate in all activities at their levels of capability. Teachers guide in social situations when necessary. The children have free choice within a structured environment.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Sunshine School has an experienced staff who enjoy working with small children. They model good behavior in teaching the children to talk to both adults and children with respect. I am proud of my staff and often receive positive comments from parents and other visitors to the school.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Our goal is to provide a quality pre-school education for young children.
We do this by addressing both the social and the intellectual development
of the child. Emphasis is placed on learning the socials skills necessary
to function in a group. We also emphasize the intellectual development of
the child by encouraging a "hands-on" approach to learning.
When children have acquired the basic social skills and developed an
intellectual curiosity about learning, they have the necessary
foundation for success as they move on in their academic career.
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

3 year old children join in free play upon arrival for a designated period of time (depending on weather), clean up, have snack, story, play outside and are dismissed. They can also stay for lunch and have an extended day until 1 or a full day from 9-3. The day also may include music activity, flannel board stories , movement activities, etc. Our 4 year olds begin with a group learning activity and then participate in free play activities and follow a similar routine to the 3's. Free play includes art, cooking, cutting, gluing, etc. for both groups. The children may stay for extended day until 1 and participate in enrichment or until 3 for more activities. 4 year olds also have a formal library program, movement ed program, Spanish program and Music program. We take field trips with both the 3 and 4 year olds and have visitors with special skills come to the school.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We have several open houses per year; parent teacher conferences once a year; report cards once a year; back to school night; flyers with information about programs in the community. The teachers provide their home numbers so parents can reach them with concerns about their children. We have a website with a link to the monthly newsletter and a calendar of information for the month. There are also bulletin boards with information about field trips, and important dates. Parents can request to speak to a teacher any time they are at school.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Teachers and teacher assistants help the children to separate as easily as possible. We provide refreshments for the first week of school so that parents can be nearby to reassure their child. We will hold and comfort a child if necessary. We also allow parents to stay with the children until they are comfortable if necessary.