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Alcuin School

216 W Boston
Seattle, WA 98119

(206) 286-0771


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Montessori

From the Director:

A.M.I. Montessori trained teacher provides a balance of free choice and teacher-led activities.

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
  • Hands-on literacy materials.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Many math manipulatives.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Building blocks
  • Sensorial development activities.
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Magnets, magnifying glasses, etc.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Creative dance teacher.
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
  • Use of school playground, community gym and playground.
Other subjects taught Dance lessons with Lynn Beasley. Cycle of Seasons music program.

From the Director:

Schedule is balanced between free choice periods and teacher-led activities in large group, small group and one-on-one sessions. The attractive environment is exceptionally well prepared with many kinds of activities for the children to choose from. Math and language instruction includes basic skills. Art, music, literature, science and social studies actvities encourage an exploration of the world around them through books and hands-on activities.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

A well-developed Education Plan provides a challenging and exciting curriculum, with broad range of developmentally appropriate activities that accommodate the different learning rates of each child. Instruction is not based on educational views of progressive or traditional education, but on the needs of each child. Care is taken to help each child experience genuine success and to leave Alcuin School with a sound foundation for elementary school. Alcuin School attracts children with both exceptional learning ability and those with learning difficulties.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Alcuin School mission is to create children
who are informed, self-motivated and self-disciplined and to meaningfully involve parents in their children's education. Your child's first school provides a sense of community in a safe and orderly environment, attention to character and the development of learning skills and attitudes and a focus on optimal learning.

A Typical Day

Older children spend first hour together with age-appropriate activities. Then all children come together for circle time (songs, story, etc.), followed by small group activities and a general free choice period. A whole group activity in art, social studies, literature or science activity follows, then children go to the local playground or community center gym.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Parent Involvement Plan includes three goals for parent involvement: To be informed of the what, how and why of your child's education, to be kept up-to-date on your child's progress and to participate meaningfully in your child's education. The Education Plan and Curriculum Night provide a comprehensive explanation of what the children will be doing during the school year, while parent conferences, newsletters and iPhotos and Flip videos keep parents up-top-date on their children's activities and progress. Family/school events provide opportunities for parents to meet. A bound scrapbook of the year's activities is provided to parents at the end of the year.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school

Handling Separation: From the Director

An orientation period the first few weeks provides activities that reflect both the pleasures of friends and school activities (e.g., baking cookies, drama, games, face painting) and the challenges community life. Early instruction includes the basics of early learning and social skills (e.g., listening to others, how to ask for something you want, raising your hand to speak, etc.) that allow a young child to happily participate in group activities and interact with new friends.