Our preschool program serves children three through five years of age. We continue to encourage children to become independent thinkers and learners as they progress through our classes.

The DLM Early Childhood Express curriculum used within these classes offers “holistic, child-centered programs that nurture each child by offering carefully selected and carefully sequenced learning experiences. It provides a wealth of materials and ideas to foster the social-emotional, intellectual, and physical development of children. It also nurtures the natural curiosity and sense of self that can serve as the foundation for a lifetime of learning” (DLM Early Childhood Express, iv).

Teachers use norm-referenced checklists as part of our pretest assessment at the beginning of our academic term. We continually assess our children’s progress daily using observational checklists and communicate these findings to parents. Formative assessments include goals and objectives checklists, reading log entries, benchmark tests rating scales, and anecdotal data collected during parent/teacher conferences. Formal assessments occur three times a year.

Even though standardized assessment is useful, we place a great deal of importance on portfolio development—a process in which teachers collect samples of each child’s work and notes about their experiences in and out of school. We value listening to children’s reflections on their work. Through this assessment tool, we can keep track of children’s accomplishments, align our instruction and assessment based on individuals’ needs, and facilitate parent-teacher conferences.

Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum