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St. Martin's Episcopal Children's Center

St. Martin's Episcopal Children's Center 717 Sage Road
Houston, TX 77056

Phone:
(713) 621-2944

Website:

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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Teacher led instruction includes: Literacy awareness through books, poetry, finger plays and music. In addition, pre-k's experience teacher led small groups that provide the children with math and discovery experiences.

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
  • 3-D equipment to reinforce letter recognition, utilizes Handwriting Without Tears equipment, provides art easel exposure everyday
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • Children are provided hands-on equipment for sorting, sequencing, counting, graphing and patterning
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Building blocks
  • Table top blocks, activities that support understanding of positions such as under, over, above, below
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • Children ages: young 3's-pre-k, attend
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • Every week children attend music class which introduces the children to singing and movement. In additon, a variety of music is played throughout the day in the classrooms.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Craft materials are always available for free art as well.
Physical activity more

More Information

  • 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
  • Gymnastics is provided for young 4's-pre-k and a gym is available for rainy day play.
Other subjects taught In addition to the classroom and ancillary classes, children are given exposure to school-wide events that involve musicals, plays, puppet shows, petting zoos and community helpers. Parenting classes are available for free (about 6 a year) and babysitting is provided so that parents may attend.

From the Director:

Curriculum is written based on the NAEYC guidelines of what is developmentally appropriate for children. Hands on experiences are provided to allow children to grow physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and spiritually. Structure is incorporated into the day to allow children routines, and understanding of independent play, small group and large group activities. Ancillary classes happen every week as teacher led activities. These include: music, science/discovery, gymnastics and Chapel.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Many of the activities available for children, are self directed. If a child is excelling, parents and staff work together to assess the best support for the child--such as a tutor. If a child learns differently or is 'young', the equipment provided for manipulation is adjusted to meet those needs. Referrals for additional support are made after conferencing with the Director.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The well-being of the child comes first. The St. Martin's Episcopal Children's Center is a Christian early childhood learning center established to provide children of all races, creeds and ethnic backgrounds with a stimulating environment for learning in order to assist them to acheive their highest potential.

A Typical Day

A daily schedule might look like this: Arrival Center time/ snack time (self directed activities) Outside time (or gym time--if weather dictates indoor play) Ancillary class: Music, science, gymnastics or Chapel Circle time Clean up, wash hands, lunch Nap Afternoon snack -if needed. All children in diapers are scheduled for 2 diaper changes between 9:30 and 2:30, and will recieve additional changes as needed.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Visitation week provides child/parent visitations, new parent orientations, open house for all families --in which parents recieve yearly goals, themes, daily schedules, class lists, parent handbooks and planners. On an ongoing basis, parents receive daily notes, weekly themes, monthly newsletters and have access to free parenting seminars. Formal parent conferences are held annually. Director has an open door policy allowing parents immediate access as needed.Teachers provide insight into a child's learning style and capabilities through conferences with the parents. Director is always available for hour-long meetings with parents to discuss future schools for children leaving the program.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • 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
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We provide visitation days for all new students in our toddler and two programs. Parents attend a mini school day with their child (about 3 hours). New parent orientation is required for all new families so that they may understand the policies and procedures of the school before the year begins. New children are also provided a gradual transition that allows for adjustment.