Below, you will find questions that parents often ask when exploring our preschool and our responses to these questions. The answers that we provide here summarize our policies. We encourage you to visit our school and ask for more information about any points that interest you. Visiting families also may request our school handbook, which offers in-depth discussion about our school policies.
1. What is your approach to educating children?
We believe that children in their preschool years learn best through active engagement with the materials in their world, with each other, and with adults. We promote such engagement by offering many opportunities for good and beneficial play. We design our classrooms carefully with numerous play centers, all designed both to be fun and to encourage particular types of learning and development appropriate for that classroom. Our outdoor environments likewise encourage learning different skills and developing physical strength and muscle control appropriate for preschool-aged children. The adults’ role in the learning process is to set up the learning environment and help to guide the children in developmentally appropriate play. The children’s roles are many: selecting which centers to use for play, using words to communicate about their activities, deciding with whom to play or whether to play alone, choosing how to interact with playmates, making choices about how to use the resources at each center, prioritizing their activities, and much more. This system allows children to develop skills in ways that work best for them, and it gives each child space to learn at his or her own pace.
2. How do your incorporate worship and Christian education into your classes?
We encourage discussions about God in all aspects of our curriculum, and we celebrate God’s creation as we help children learn about it. We teach the basic concepts that preschoolers are able to grasp: that God exists; that God’s creation is a great gift; that Jesus is God’s son and that He loves us; and that every human being is precious to God.
We do not have formal chapel as a separate event, but we rather integrate worship and religious discussion into everyday activities.
As a Christian preschool, we provide a specifically Christian religious education, but we respectfully welcome students from all religious and ethnic backgrounds.
3. What themes or other organizational systems will the classes follow during the year?
Every month, the lead teacher designs a theme based on some aspect of the world that preschoolers see around them, and the classroom centers, artwork, songs, etc., celebrate and teach about that theme. We emphasize themes related to the changing natural world: the turning of the seasons, growing and planting times, animals found in each season, etc. Other months might cover other aspects of the world that preschoolers see around them: transportation, for example, or the five senses, or the ocean.
We incorporate holiday celebrations into the monthly themes and into our overall goal of celebrating God in all that we do. For example, we celebrate Thanksgiving in the context of learning about fall and the produce that grows during the fall, and (most importantly) as an opportunity to celebrate the great bounty of God’s creation.
4. How will you communicate to our family about what happens in my child’s classroom?
We communicate with parents and guardians in many different ways. Monthly, families receive a newsletter about what is happening throughout the preschool and a calendar detailing events that will take place in each child’s particular classroom. At the beginning of each week, teachers email the class about what will be happening that week. Daily, the class bulletin board will tell families about events that took place that day. In terms of each child’s individual experience, we hold formal conferences once a year, and we are glad to schedule other conferences if parents or guardians ask for them. During pick- up and drop-off, parents and teachers may briefly communicate about the child’s day or a specific issue, and parents and guardians are welcome to observe the class after the first eight weeks or so as well. Families are also free to email teachers with any questions or concerns.
5. Will my child always be in a large group,or do classrooms divide into smaller groups?
Our classes separate the children into primary care groups, each of which is led by the same teacher throughout the year so that teachers get to know the children in their groups very well. Our primary care groups eat snacks and do one activity together each day, and each child’s primary care group teacher will participate in his or her family/teacher conferences.
6. How much time will my child spend outdoors?
Outdoor exploration is an important part of our curriculum. Most days, children spend an hour outdoors: a half hour riding bikes and scooters in the courtyard and a half hour on the playground. (In rainy weather, the children have bike time indoors.) Often, classes do other outdoor activities as well (looking for leaves on our nature trail, planting vegetables in the garden, etc.)
7. How do you handle allergies?
Peace Preschool has peanut free classes and a peanut sensitive campus. Our enrollment package gives families an opportunity to communicate with us about any allergies that children my have so that we can prepare each child’s classroom to accommodate any of his or her allergy-related needs from the first day of our school year. Also, we encourage parents and guardians to communicate with their child’s teacher about any allergy-related concerns in person as the school year progresses.
8. What is your inclement weather policy?
We follow a modified version of the Wake County Public School’s inclement weather policy. If Wake County schools are cancelled, so are ours. If Wake County schools have a one-hour delay, so do we. If Wake County schools have a delay of two or more hours, we cancel our classes, since at that point the school day would be extraordinarily short.
9. Will I be allowed to observe my child’s classroom in action?
We encourage parents and guardians to both observe our classrooms and to participate in class activities when they would like to do so. We ask that families wait for 6-8 weeks at the beginning of the school year to allow children to become comfortable with their teachers and in their classes before coming into the classroom.
10. How do you handle challenges related to behavior?
One way that we minister to the children in our care is teaching them kind and respectful behavior to one another and to their teachers. We therefore model kind and respectful behavior to them as we try to help them learn to make good choices about interacting with others. We use gentle reminders, calm discussion of what results may come of good and bad choices, and redirection as some methods of behavioral training. We also plan activities in ways that help children succeed in making good choices whenever possible. We never shame, yell at, or frighten children into good behavior, and we avoid punitive time outs. We communicate respectfully with parents about problems in the classroom, and for consistent behavioral challenges, we work with families to help children learn how to make wise choices.
11. Does my child need to be toilet trained?
Children do not necessarily need to be toilet trained to attend Peace Preschool. Each child develops at his or her own pace, and we are willing to work with families to help children master successful toilet training. We change diapers every day in our 2-year-old class. If a child is still working on toilet training after his or her third birthday, parents or guardians should make sure to communicate with the child’s teachers about their training plan so that teachers can work with the family on toilet training.
12. Do your classrooms have computers?
We do not have computers in our classrooms. Our curriculum is so full already that adding responsible use of technology to the mix would be difficult to manage. Since computers are so widely available in homes, and since technology training begins so early in most elementary schools, we have opted to keep our classrooms low tech.
13. Can you accommodate children with special needs?
We sometimes can accommodate children with special needs. If you have a child who needs special accommodations, we encourage you to come visit and discuss your situation by our staff members. If, after talking with us, you and we agree that our campus and staff training can help your child grow to his or her full potential, we will be glad to welcome him or her. If after discussing the situation, we decide that Peace Preschool is not the best place to accommodate your family’s particular needs, we will be glad to direct you to preschools in the area better equipped to help your child thrive.
14. How are parents and siblings included in my child’s preschool experience?
Research shows that parental involvement is one of the leading contributors to a child’s success in school, and we want to facilitate your involvement from the start. We offer several opportunities throughout the year for parents and siblings to take part. Your child will delight to have you join in Foot/Beach Dress-Up Day, Fall Fair Day, our Thanksgiving Feast, and much more. We also welcome parent volunteers in the classrooms.
15. Why are you closed on Fridays?
Peace Preschool is closed on Fridays for several reasons. Fridays off gives our staff time to care for their families and church ministries, as well as extra time to prepare for their classes. Because Peace Preschool recognizes the many roles our staff fulfill, we have the blessing of retaining excellent teachers for many years. Being closed on Fridays also gives Peace Church one week day to utilize their facilities for other ministries and services to the community. Finally, we believe that young children do not necessarily need to be “up and out” every day of the week ~ they have their whole lives ahead to join the rest of us in that kind of commitment!
16. How do you celebrate holidays?
As a Christian preschool, we emphasis God’s love and care for His created world, especially as demonstrated through the giving of His Son as Savior. We do not celebrate Halloween, nor do we talk about Santa Claus at Christmas or the Easter bunny at Easter. Instead, we celebrate God’s bountiful provision and the changing seasons in October, the birth of the Lord Jesus at Christmas, and the resurrection of Jesus at Easter.
For Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, we have school-wide celebrations with special music, skits, artwork, and feasts. Families are invited to come celebrate with us!