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Hopkins House - James L. & Juliette McNeil Preschool

8543 Forest Place
Alexandria, VA 22309

(571) 480-4260


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Hopkins House uses the Creative Curriculum and mixes play-based learning with structured instruction.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Based on individual child assessment, special attention is given to children to assist them to reach their full cognitive and development potential. Parents are encouraged and advised on ways to support this effort.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Through highly-qualified and experienced staff, a strong, nationally recognized curriculum, and a safe, nurturing environment, Hopkins House seeks to provide a world-class early care and education program to prepare children to excel in kindergarten and beyond.

A Typical Day

7 am: Start of the school day
8 am: Exercise and breakfast
9 am: Learning centers
11 am: Outdoor time
12 am: Lunch
2 pm: Learning centers
3 pm: Snack time
4 pm: Creative play
6 pm: End of the school day

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Class Reports are given to parents daily or weekly. The reports contain information about daily activities, instructional themes, and ways that classroom activities can be reinforced.

Parent Council meetings are held once a month and are open to all parents and/or guardians. The director attends each of these meetings as well as meeting with parents on a one on one basis.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • 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

  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We recommend that parents spend a few hours with the child during the first week, and declining time thereafter, until the child is reassured.