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Sleepy Hollow Preschool Inc

6531 Columbia Pike
Annandale, VA 22003

(703) 941-9791


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A play-based cooperative preschool since 1949.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

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

From the Director:

At Sleepy Hollow, we appreciate and respect the uniqueness of every child. We believe in identifying and encouraging each child's strengths and interests and meeting the needs of each individual child. We strive to create a program that enriches the lives of our children, families, staff and community. We value working cooperatively with families to help them promote their children's development.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • 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 Music Enrichment A music teacher comes to the school on a regular basis to present Music Enrichment programs. Music Enrichment at Sleepy Hollow promotes enjoyment and appreciation of music with an emphasis on participation. Children are exposed to the basic elements of music as well as a variety of musical styles from American and International cultures. Science Enrichment A science teacher comes to the school on a regular basis to present Science Enrichment programs. Science Enrichment at Sleepy Hollow fosters children's natural curiosity about the world around them. Topics are all age-appropriate with a hands-on emphasis.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

At Sleepy Hollow, our philosophy of early childhood education is reflected in our program that is age appropriate and individually tailored. We are a child-centered school; procedures and activities are geared to each child's interests and needs , not to the adult's convenience.

Our lead teachers and assistant teachers plan and work together to best support each child's developmental needs. Teaching teams talk daily, and meet in larger groups (at least 2x month) to share their observations.

In our preschool, teachers do not try to "teach" children or require them to absorb specific information the teacher considers important. Children are exposed to a wealthy of new ideas and experiences during the course of the year.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Our goal for all children is the development of self-confidence and self-esteem. Emphasis is placed on providing a warm and nurturing environment, giving the emotional support and encouragement that all children need to learn and to grow. In an environment where all children feel accepted and competent, they will develop their capabilities and interests at their own pace according to their individual needs.

A Typical Day

We balance the school day between outside time, "home base" time, when the child is with his teachers and classmates for stories, songs, snack, conversation and other group activities, and "open center" time. During outside play and again when activity centers are open, children are free to choose among varied activities available to them. Throughout the year, the teaching staff offers varied activities to the children -- whether outside, in home base, or in open centers -- that reflect the children's interests, passions and capabilities, and supper their growth across all developmental areas.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

The most important factor making a cooperative preschool class function well is good communication between the teaching staff and the parents. All of us share responsibility for keeping channels of communication open. You, as a parent, are always encouraged to speak to your teacher about your child and/or the class. In that way, we can ensure that we fulfill our common goal; the best possible preschool experience for each child.

It is essential for parents to meet and talk with each other and the staff on a regular basis. Opportunities for that include; Parent-Teacher Conferences and Class Coffees each held twice a year; drop-off/pick-up times for brief exchanges. While each teacher differs in their preferred means of communication, all maintain an open-door policy with parents.

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 is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Sleepy Hollow has a carefully planned orientation schedule to help children and parents adjust to school. We offer teacher-child visits before school begins, and short days the first week to help each child and parent become familiar and comfortable with new faces and surroundings.