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La Petite Academy (Wm. Cannon)

322 W William Cannon Dr
Austin, TX 78745

(512) 447-8141


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Each day, your preschooler will engage in various hands-on activities designed to introduce him to the current learning objectives in a meaningful, personal way. He'll explore, and discover solutions working by himself, with a friend or in small groups. The preschool curriculum features 26 two-week units. Each unit has its own theme. Throughout each unit, our goal is to make the theme come alive for your child, so that he is always completely engaged in his day. These themes have been carefully designed to help prepare your preschooler for his next step in the La Petite Academy Journey - our Pre-Kindergarten Program. The curriculum also suggests activities and literature to use for each theme. View our Preschool Theme List. Preschool teachers choose from over 200 learning activities tied to specific Learning Objectives. Teachers choose from these activities based on which of the more than 70 objectives your child needs more focus on. In covering the Learning Objectives your child will be involved in activities that promote Language & Communication Development, Cognitive Development, Creativity and the Arts, Physical Development, and Personal & Social Development. Assessments and Lesson Planning The Learning Objectives are introduced and repeated throughout the curriculum. Teachers track your child's developmental progress towards the Objectives in two ways. They perform ongoing assessments by observing your early preschooler within the Learning Centers and other daily activities and taking notes on his progress on a day-to-day basis. These assessments are not the traditional 'tests' or one-on-one assessments that elementary school children might experience. We believe it is more accurate and feasible to observe early preschoolers' behavior and skills within a typical daily activity and context. They regularly monitor each child's journal entries and the work stored during the entire school year in his portfolio. Teachers use the assessment results to build their weekly lesson plans, which help them keep track of the activities that they have chosen to do with the children, as well as the materials and literature that they need. Important Features Literacy The Academy's Preschool Program has a strong focus on emergent literacy, and the curriculum is paired with over 200 age-appropriate books throughout the year. Each book has been hand-selected based on the illustrations, the vocabulary, its focus on the current theme and its unique ability to engage the children. In addition, our literature selections emphasize diversity among ethnicities, geographies, cultures and holidays. Look over our recommended literature list for the Art Adventurers unit. Journals Your child can draw or write in his personal journal within the Writing Center every day. Each day, the teacher introduces a new journaling topic, such as 'Who is your favorite artist?' The children can journal about the topic, or anything else on their minds. By the time children reach preschool, they are beginning to journal on more topics than they did in early preschool. You'll be amazed at how your child's drawings change from the beginning to the end of the school year, as he begins to learn how to communicate through print. Through journaling, your child is working on important learning objectives, such as: printing the letters within his name drawing pictures with five to six varying details suggesting ideas for creative interpretation dictating writing to express thoughts The teachers label and date the journal entries based on what your child said about his drawing - this way both the teacher and you know what your child's intentions were. You are welcome to look through your preschooler's journal as often as you like. Your preschool teacher will take you through the journal during your semi-annual parent-teacher conferences. At the end of the year, we hope you'll take your child's completed journals home as a keepsake of his preschool school year. Portfolios During each unit, several items that your child worked on are labeled, dated, and stored in his portfolio. This way your child's teacher can monitor his progress and share this with you during parent teacher conferences. At the end of the year, you can also take the portfolio home as another keepsake. Kids of Character An important and unique feature of our curriculum is La Petite Academy's Kids of Character component. Kids of Character was first introduced in 2001 in response to the aftermath of the September 11th tragedy, and has helped children of all ages learn about important topics such as tolerance, perseverance, honesty, teamwork and self-discipline. Each month a different trait is featured, and your child will learn and discuss the trait through various group activities

Day in the Life

General School Mission

La Petite Academy's Preschool Program's ultimate goal is to prepare your child to successfully enter kindergarten in two years, and to become a successful lifetime learner. In the short term, our preschool teachers are focusing on preparing your child for the next level of curriculum at La Petite Academy, which is our Pre-Kindergarten Program. Throughout the three-year preschool curriculum, which encompasses Early Preschool, Preschool and then Pre-Kindergarten, your child will acquire a full breadth of developmental skills necessary to successfully enter kindergarten eager and ready to learn.

A Typical Day

What Your Preschooler's Day is Like
It won't take very long before your child is walking into her preschool classroom like she owns the place! In fact, most preschoolers enter the classroom and go straight to their favorite Learning Center activity from the previous day.

Morning Circle Time
Once all the children have arrived, our day begins with Morning Circle Time. Here, your preschooler will sing songs, help the teacher determine today's weather, participate in a charting activity entitled "I Spy," determine their daily schedule and talk about what center activities and journal topics are available for the day.

Each Circle Time has a daily discussion topic. For example during the unit 'Art Adventures,' the teacher may bring in different kinds of colorful fruit and show the children how to make paint from the fruit. The class could discuss how, long ago, artists created paint from fruits or plants.

Preschoolers learn math and language skills during Morning Circle Time, but just as important, they improve their ability to concentrate on a larger group activity for more than a few minutes, participate in changing daily discussions, and experiment with different language and body movements to communicate with their teacher and peers.

Learning Centers
Next, your child will participate in a Learning Center Activity of her choice. For example, during the 'Art Adventures' unit, a Reading & Listening Center Activity is to listen to a recording of 'Harold the Purple Crayon,' a book by Crockett Johnson, and create a purple crayon drawing. A Writing Center activity introduces the children to the wonderful art of Georges Seurat by having them imitate Seurat's artistic style of Pointillism. In the Math Center, the children might experiment with their own well-measured recipes to create their own play dough.

Throughout the unit, there are over 75 Learning Center activities for the teacher to introduce. Every activity that is done throughout the day is tied to a specific Learning Objective.

Once your child has completed her initial Learning Center activity, she can choose another activity. The preschool teacher works with the children in small groups to extend the Learning Center experience. For example, during the Reading & Listening Center activity, the teacher might review the book and ask the children to talk about their purple crayon creations. In the Math Center, the teacher will gently encourage children to further their investigations by adding more materials to their play dough, and making sure that children are reinforcing important cognitive vocabulary words such as 'more,' 'less,' 'the same,' etc.

Later in the day, the children will come back to the Learning Center to finish a project they started in the morning, work on their journals, or pick up a whole new game to play and learn.

After Center Time, the children typically go outside to exercise, burn off some energy, and develop their gross motor skills. Believe it or not, our teachers perform assessments outside, too.

Learn more about our Learning Centers.

Literacy and Language Enrichment
Literacy and Language Enrichment Activities are designed to foster a love for reading. Your child will gather with the rest of the class to read a story, sing a song and/or act out a favorite book. For example, within the 'Art Adventures' unit, one Literacy and Language Enrichment activity is to read the book 'In the Garden with Van Gogh' by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober. When the class finishes the book, the teacher uses the Starry Night painting to build a visual display with the children - they draw a chart with stars, a tree, a sock, a moon, etc. and use the chart to search for the items within the painting. After the children find the item, they record the information on the chart paper.

La Petite Academy believes in using quality children's literature to help make your child a lifetime reader. You will enjoy many of the theme-related books that your preschool teacher shares with your child.

Music and Movement
Just wait until your preschooler teaches you her Music and Movement song. This is a great time during the day for your child to get active, learn fun, new songs, and expand her vocabulary. During the Artistic Treasures unit, the children sing a song to the tune of 'Wheels on the Bus' called 'The Brush in your Hand' - during the song they learn about all the different ways you can work with paint brushes to create beautiful art.

The Home Stretch
After Music and Movement, our day comes to a close with more outside play and afternoon Circle Time. During afternoon Circle Time, the children will review what they have learned, share their favorite center project and look ahead to tomorrow.

Your Ride Home
The 'Car Talk' will give you a snapshot of what your child did that day. We urge you to use the Car Talk information as a going-home routine to reinforce learning, and build self-esteem and enjoyable communications with your child. It's a great way to avoid the 'I don't know'-response when you ask her what she learned today.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

One of the keys to ensuring the best Academy experience possible for your child and yourself is great communication. We hope you'll speak to us often about what your child is doing at home. For our part, the Academy has many ways to keep you updated on what he does while he's here and what is happening at the Academy.

Every day, our preschool teachers provide each family with a Car Talk, which gives you clues as to how to interact with your child and learn about his day at school. This interactive exercise provides insight into what your child is learning at La Petite Academy, while extending their learning experience into the home.

To help build a relationship with your child, our teachers welcome the opportunity to chat with you on a daily basis about what happened at school and what exciting things might be happening at home.

View a Car Talk sample.

Each week your preschool teacher provides you with a written overview of the literature from that week, the learning objectives that were covered, and the particular activities and learning centers that your child enjoyed.

Look at a preschool weekly summary.

Each Unit
At the beginning of each unit, you will receive a letter that details the theme, the literature and objectives that will be covered, and a Family Involvement Activity to help you extend the learning at home.

The Family Involvement Activity ties to the activities that are taking place in your classroom, and include a variety of options for your family. There are take-home sheets, invitations to join the class for snack-time, opportunities for parents to provide the class with family recipes, etc. The activities provided are quick, inexpensive and easy.

View a sample theme newsletter.

Each month you receive a newsletter that describes the months Kids of Character trait and activities.

Check out a sample Kids of Character newsletter.

Per Quarter
We hold parent/teacher conferences during 1st and 4th quarters to go over your child's progress reports and assessment results, your child's work and interactions in the classroom. In addition, you will receive progress reports during the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

Look at our Preschool Individual Learning Objective Summary.

Journals and Portfolios
Journals & Portfolios are always available for the parents to review. We've found that parents really look forward to seeing the drawings and notes from their preschoolers.

Artwork Displays
The best way for you to quickly learn about what your child has been doing is to look around his classroom. Our classrooms proudly display the wonderful work that the children have completed, and each display is labeled with the date and name of the activity. It's a great way for you to provide immediate feedback to your child.

Family Communications Centers
The Family Communications Center within your child's classroom is the place to find the lesson plan, menu, daily schedule, and any current newsletters from the classroom. This is an easy place for you to go to glance at the highlights of your child's day.

Take Home Folders
Each child at La Petite Academy has a folder, which includes items for you to take home, such as the newsletters, artwork, notes from the teacher, etc.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school