Preschool

The St. Thomas Advantage

Play is at the heart of our active learning curriculum.

What St. Thomas has that other preschools may not:

List of 7 items.

  • An experienced leadership team

    • Our Head of School and Associate Head alone have a combined experience of 75+ years in preschool through grade 12 education in independent schools.
  • Qualified classroom and special area teachers

    • All of our classroom teachers hold degrees in education and have extensive early childhood development backgrounds. 
    • Being part of an ongoing elementary school exposes our students to the expertise of a highly specialized faculty who work directly with our preschool students teaching music, science, dance, library science, and Spanish.
  • Spacious facilities

    •  In addition to many of our newly renovated classrooms, complete with Smart boards, digital cameras, and ipads, the campus boasts a music rooms, dance studios, art studios, three science labs, a Makerspace, a library/media center, a Spanish center, a Church and chapel, a fully equipped playground with shade structures, two sports fields, a butterfly garden, a church, and an auditorium that seats more than 500 people.
    • We offer “A Center for Excellence,” designed to challenge the high achievers and provide early childhood intervention.
    • Our campus includes a multitude of flexible spaces for interesting creative, hands-on projects and activities.
  • Matriculation into excellent schools

    Our preschool students can automatically matriculate into kindergarten at STEPS, an independent school with a long-standing reputation for excellence.

    STEPS successfully feeds 100% of its graduates annually into top schools in the area. Most students are accepted into their top choice school.

    Typically one-third of our graduates attend Ransom, one-third attend Palmer Trinity, and the rest choose between Carrollton, Gulliver, Belen, and Westminster.
  • Engaged parent community

    • School functions and events are intentionally designed to include all families, Preschool through grade 5.
    • The energy of our vital parent community results in transformative connections and friendships for years to come.
    • There are exciting opportunities to serve on committees of the various events and happenings.
    • We have a well-organized Homeroom Coordinator (HRC) program for those parents that would like to become a room parent for their child’s class.
  • Extended hour options

    • The “Exploratorium” provides an early-morning drop off beginning at 7:30 a.m and engages students in creative STEAM projects and/or Read-Aloud stories.
    • The “Quest” program is a diverse and healthy afterschool enrichment and athletic program with options created specifically for younger students.
    • A rich and stimulating aftercare program is available until 6:00 p.m.
  • Investment in our professionals

    • As a school, we are committed to the on-going professional growth and development of our teachers and other professionals at all levels.
    • Our preschool faculty attend day-long in-service trainings on campus, faculty meetings with targeted professional development, as well as state and national conferences.

Our early childhood curriculum:

List of 8 items.

  • A consistent yet flexible daily routine

    • Our preschool schedules follow a consistent, yet flexible daily routine that includes large group teacher-directed activities, small group differentiated lessons, and “work time” or “plan-do-review.”
    • During “plan-do-review” children are encouraged to plan activities, carry them out, and reflect on what they did and learned.
    • Through this purposeful behavior, children acquire executive functioning skills, which includes memory, problem-solving, and self-regulation (as well as communication and conflict-resolution).
  • Active participation

    • Children learn best when they participate actively in the learning process.
  • Direct experience

    • Young children discover things through direct experience with people, objects, events, and ideas.
  • Fully engaged teachers

    • Both teachers in each classroom are as active and involved as children and these adult-child interactions help to scaffold children’s learning.
    • Teachers thoughtfully provide materials, plan activities, and talk with children in ways that both support and challenge what children are observing and thinking.
    • Activities are both child-initiated — built upon children’s natural curiosity — and developmentally appropriate, that is, matched to children’s current and emerging abilities.
  • Music and Movement

    Our preschoolers acquire skills through our movement and music programs that set St. Thomas apart from the rest. Listening to Miss Vanessa, dance teacher,  describe the routine in her class and the importance of learning how to walk in a line, follow multi-step directions, or cross the mid-line is inspiring! Miss Maria, music teacher, not only engages our students with the magic of music, but she teaches and reinforces crucial foundational skills like discriminating between sounds, following a beat, and listening for sound patterns.  
     
     
  • Sensible classroom design

    • Our classrooms are designed to create a predictable and active learning environment. 
  • STREAM

    Preschool students present their interdisciplinary 'Spring Fling' projects in Rantz Hall. Each unit of study is unique and they all capture the learning process of our youngest students beautifully. The various projects incorporate STREAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Reading, Art, and, Math) to one subject.
  • Student assessment

    • Assessment and monitoring student progress across the Junior and Senior preschool curriculum is an important part of our program.