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New Discovery School

7219 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115

(206) 447-2377


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New Discovery School is a child-centered, play based preschool with an emphasis on social/emotional development and skills, and belonging to a community. We have a school year program and separate summer camp program.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

Children have different leaning styles and learn at different rates. Our low teacher:student ratio allows our teachers to determine learning styles and create activities and materials that meet the needs of the children.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

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  • 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
  • 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 American Sign Language, Drama, World Dance, Art, Music, Creative Movement

From the Director:

Our curriculum is a balance of theme based and emergent curriculum activities. An emphasis is placed on integrating disciplines for better understanding of the world around us. For instance, as we learn about salmon, there will be songs and stories read and written, dances, and art, and science all connected to understanding the life cycle of salmon. The same approach will be used to support and enhance the children's interests as well.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The teachers will note areas where a child might need extra assistance and give them appropriate activities to challenge them or an activity will be modified to help a child feel more successful. There is active communication between teachers and parents so that the teachers can meet the needs of each child in the best way possible.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

New Discovery School is a play-based preschool that nurtures the whole child. We foster confident, joyful learners by building a strong community of children, families, and teachers.
We offer a variety of developmentally appropriate activities that engage and challenge each child. We empower children by teaching communication and conflict-resolution skills. We inspire a sense of wonder and playfulness, and build a foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

A Typical Day

Every morning all of the children, teachers, and many parents and siblings gather in our Open Space for a morning sing along. Following our gathering, children go to their classrooms for a variety of activities.

Each class approaches its day differently depending upon the group of children and the day. Some days, a class will head to the park first thing to run and climb their wiggles out before delving into projects, while others might begin with a bite to eat and socializing before beginning their day.

During the week we have several specialists join each class. We have a movement specialist and an American Sign Language teacher. In addition, two of our teaching staff also lead groups in music/sound exploration and art.

Our Extended Day Program is available to every NDS student and can be used on a drop in basis. The afternoons include story time, rest time, and unstructured playtime. In addition, we offer optional afternoon classes such as World Dance, Drama, and Relaxation.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

The teachers will note areas where a child might need extra assistance and give them appropriate activities to challenge them or an activity will be modified to help a child feel more successful. There is active communication between teachers and parents so that the teachers can meet the needs of every child in the best way possible. There is also a secured parent website where teachers post classroom photos and activities to help parents feel connected.

In addition to the less formal means of communication through brief visits, phone calls, and email messages, we offer parent/teacher conferences during the fall and spring. The teachers also write extensive narratives about each child's progress during the year at the end of the school year.

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 is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • 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

In August, we offer a 'mini camp' for our incoming three year olds. It is a two hour class four times a week for two weeks. Children can attend one, two, or both weeks. The group is limited to six children per weekly session. This is a gentle warm-up to entering school.

During the first few weeks of school, parents are welcome to stay with their children until they are settled. The teachers will keep open communication with the parents to determine when it's time to depart. There is always an extra adult available to snuggle with and help a child settle when a transition is particularly difficult and if that's not successful, the parent might be called to return.

In general, parents are always welcome to be in our classrooms anytime during the school day.