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Smart Start Early Childhood Education Center

109 Natches Trace Drive
Coppell, TX 75019

(972) 459-5956


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

"Smart Start's Early Childhood teachers implement a responsive, emergent and negotiated curriculum and assessment system that focuses on the development of the whole child. We are inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach and its use of collaboration among teachers, parents and children on documentation analysis, interpretation, direction and play. Teachers guide children on the development of theories through encounters with materials, the real world, conversations, group discussions and symbolic representations in multiple forms: art, music, movement, dance, drama, constructions, foreign language and writing." -- Excerpted from school literature

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

"Children will be supported in terms of both their actual development and their potential." -- Excerpted from school literature

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"Every child is a unique person, with their own interests, learning style, growth timetable, and culture. When given the time, space, and opportunity to interact in a meaningful environment, a child can construct new ideas and link them to existing knowledge."

-- Excerpted from school literature

A Typical Day

"Students at Smart Start are not put on a time schedule. Instead they will follow a daily routine which is not structured around specific time limits. A daily routine provides repetition and continuity necessary for the young child’s feeling of security. Our setup provides students with less interruption. Teachers choose to complete activities and transition to other activities based on the students’ needs, circumstances, and interests.

"The routine may vary from room to room, but includes the essential periods of time: a time for sharing, clarifying, and evaluating; large blocks of time where each child can choose his or her own activities from a variety of learning areas; and times that are quiet and active.

"Meeting Time: Students greet each other, talk about important events, sing, learn about new materials and plan their day.

"Work Time (Centers and Projects): Students work in small groups or individually, and develop ideas through encounters with materials set up in center, conversations, group discussions, and symbolic representations in multiple forms: art, music, movement, manipulatives, dance, drama, constructions and writing.

"Snack: Students eat snacks in the classroom or may go to the kitchen and participate in a cooking project snack.

"Group Time: Students share and review their work time activities.

"Outdoor/Indoor Play: Students play outside if weather permits. If weather does not permit, they are taken into the multipurpose room for active play and/or out onto their covered patios.

"Lunch: Students may eat in the classroom or outside.

"Story Time: The teacher reads stories to children and guides students on specific areas of reading development.

"Rest: Students are required by law to receive a rest time. All students will be given a sufficient amount of quiet time to fall asleep. Children who do not fall asleep will be allowed to work on quiet activities.

"Class Journal: Students come together, review, and dictate the day’s events in a classroom journal. Each journal is posted outside each classroom for parents to read before entering the class.

"Prepare Student To Go Home"

-- Excerpted from school literature

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

"Teachers use a variety of techniques to document children’s development. Teachers may use photographs, tape recorders, and anecdotal records of the children. The teacher creates a display item (such as a book or poster) that shows the steps, thoughts and procedure that went into the creating the children’s project. Other documentation or the same documentation can be placed into the children’s portfolios. The purpose of a portfolio is to show a child's progress, improve instruction, give children the opportunity to see their own progress, and develop a plan for improving themselves. The following will be placed in each child’s portfolio:

1. An early childhood narrative report which includes a description of each child's development and goals for the child--written by the teacher and the family. These will be written at least twice a year.
2. Anecdotal notes, photographs, and any other evidence showing significant aspects of the child’s development.
3. Documents that support the health and care of each child (i.e. Child Development & Interest Survey).
4. Evaluation and evidence of each child's development in Writing, Language, Math, Play Level, and Self Concept will be collected at least once a year. As the child progresses through the school, his/her portfolio stays with his/her teacher in order to provide educational consistency and direction, and show the child’s progress.

"Portfolios will be maintained in the classroom and will not be available for checkout. Parents are invited to continually monitor their child's portfolios. During parent conferences, the parent and teacher will review the portfolio. Portfolios will be passed on to parents or sent to each child's Kindergarten teacher upon exiting the school. Portfolios may be shared with other professionals to increase the standards of early childhood education. Parent permission will be obtained before a child's personal data is published or used."

-- Excerpted from school literature

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • 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
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

"Give your child a loving goodbye so that he or she feels secure and trusts that you trust he or she will have a great and engaging day. Children pick up on cues very easily. Starting their day off right leads to greater learning throughout the morning." -- Excerpted from school literature