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Westminster Presbyterian Day School

3208 Exposition
Austin, TX 78703

Phone:
(512) 459-5062

Website:

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Westminster is a cooperative, half-day program for toddlers through 4 year old children located in central Austin. This is an accredited 4 star program founded in 1977 and staff by experienced teachers.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Co-op

From the Director:

Westminster embraces the concept of learning through play. Each teacher creates lesson plans with that in mind. Concepts are taught through a thematic approach and include topics in language, math, science and social studies. The staff practices Emergent Curriculum so the children’s interests are an important part of the learning process. Children are encouraged to express their creativity and explore new ideas.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • 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
  • 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
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
  • Tricycles
  • 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 Yoga and Spanish are offered to the 4s classes during the optional extended day program on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

From the Director:

Westminster is a cooperative school founded in 19777 with family participation as the cornerstone. This participation not only strengthens our program for the children but also provides support for the whole family. We give children time to be children and we value this special time of life. We do not rush children through their milestones but give them the opportunity to grow and learn at their own pace while maintaining high expectations for their development.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our staff is comprised of teachers with college degrees and many years of experience. Many have children that have gone through our program. They are skilled at bringing out the best in each child.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Westminster Presbyterian Day School (Westminster) is a cooperative preschool for children ages one through five. Founded in 1977, the school provides a setting that supprts the close relationship between the child, family and staff. It is committed to an appreciation of childhood as a unique and valuable stage of life. Westminster provides a nurturing environment for children that fosters:
-Time for uninterrupted play
-Intellectual independence
-Critical and independent reasoning
-Discovery of their world
-A love of learning
-Self-discipline through consistent application of limits
-Social interaction and respect for others

A Typical Day

9:00 - 9:45 Free Choice plan and discovery time using centers that include art, manipulatives, blocks, science, writing, dramatic play, books, and music.

9:45 - 10:00 Group time including songs, finger plays, stories, poetry & pre-math activities (matching, counting, patterning, etc.)

10:00 - 10:15 Snack focusing on nutrition and whole foods.

10:15 - 11:00 Outdoor play using 2 separate areas. Playground: sand, climbing structures, swings, grassy area & garden. Slab: wheel toys, trikes, balls, hoops, chalk etc.

11:15 - 11:45 Each child brings their own healthy lunch.

11:45 - 12:00 Art/Sensory Integration options that focus on fine motor and developmental goals, or story time using books, puppets, and flannel boards.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parents bring their children to school each day and make a personal connection with the teacher. Teachers send frequent emails to parents about class activities and make phone calls to check on each child as needed. Weekly email reminders and monthly newsletters communicate school wide information along with helpful bulletin board updates.

Families are invited to picnics, school socials, committee meetings, parent education events, and parent orientation nights. Parents spend a day helping the teacher in the classroom every 4 - 6 weeks as part of the cooperative structure of the school.

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

Separation is Handled through:

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

Handling Separation: From the Director

Every effort is made to help the child feel welcome and comfortable in this school environment. Teachers, director and parents work together to make it a positive experience.