Young children are avid investigators, eager to explore and invent. Spend an hour with a Pre-K student and you will field an astounding array of questions, as their own natural curiosity leads them towards inquiry. “How can we all get a fair share of these cookies?” “How can I make my block tower tall—but not fall over?” “How can a stick float on top of a puddle?”
St. Monica Early Learning Center
We are a child-directed program that gives our students 3 hours of free play time each day (2 indoor and 1 outdoor) to explore their interest, stretch their imaginations, make peer connections, practice negotiating and teamwork and exercise fine and gross motor muscles. Throughout the day, we also have several academic periods to give our students ample opportunities to explore early reading, writing, science, math, and art concepts. We believe this balance between active, free exploration, and teacher-led academics allows our students to develop a love of school, curiosity for learning, and academic drive that will reach way beyond preschool.PreK Frequently Asked Questions
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level One
We offer CGS Level One to St. Monica PreK and Kindergarten students during the Atrium school day. The atrium is a room prepared for the children in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. It is a place of prayer, work, and community. In the atrium, Jesus is the teacher. The role of the catechist is to listen to God with the children. Our Atrium is located next to the school library at our main school entrance.
During an atrium session, the catechist and the child engage in biblical and liturgical presentations. The child then works with carefully produced materials. This “hands-on” experience invites the child to contemplate and enjoy God’s presence and respond to his love.
St. Monica Catholic School Preschool is currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year. We are at full capacity for the 2020-2021 school year. As a state-licensed facility providing childcare services, we are not only allowed to operate during Covid restrictions, but the Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) encourages us to stay open.
To provide the safest environment for our children and staff, we have made some changes.
Drop Off and Pick Up
- Drop off is between 8:00-8:25 AM. We have a check-in station positioned outside the classroom door to take temperatures and greet the students.
- The students will walk into the classroom with a teacher. Currently, we are not able to invite parents into the classroom. If your child is crying or upset, their classroom teacher will take them from you and provide comfort in the classroom (this is where masks will come in handy). If you want an update, please leave your cell number for a text message from the teacher.
- The school day will end at 2:30, and we start preparing for pick up between 2:40-3:00. If you do not have a child in the K-8 school, you will want to pick up close to 2:40 to avoid traffic. If you have a child in the big school, you will pick them up first, then get your preschooler closer to 3:00.
Students in the Classroom
- Children MUST be toilet trained. They need to be able to undress, get on and off the toilet, wipe themselves, redress, and wash their hands. We do not have the staff to help with frequent bathroom accidents. Students who have frequent accidents will be asked to keep their kids at home until fully functioning in the above areas.
- Hand sanitizing stations are in each classroom to be used between washes. Handwashing with soap and water is scheduled throughout the day; upon arrival, before snack, before lunch, after recess, after a nap, before going home.
- Students will bring snacks and lunch from home. Please pack full lunch boxes! They will have the option to eat at 10, 12, and 2 daily. There is a hot lunch program option.
- Children are required to wear face masks in school. Please rest assured, your children are far more compliant at school than they can be at home. If your child currently resists or cries in a mask at home, I can promise you; they will not do that in the classroom. Please do not worry about this one. Our goal in preschool is to allow the children to PLAY. Play is the most important thing in their brain development at this stage in life. We want to make play as safe as we can. We do not want kids in the classroom playing alone 6 feet apart. We want them to interact, laugh, negotiate, cooperate, and make friends. We feel the masks are a better option than to remain 6 feet apart and try to socialize.
- Naptime mats will be head-to-toe and 2-3 feet apart. All students rest at least 30 minutes a day.
- Indoor playtime has been adjusted from 2 hours to 1 one hour. We have increased outdoor playtime. So please dress your children with layers in the rainy and cold months.
- All students will have a shoe-box full of school supplies! Crayons, pencils, color pencils, playdough, glue, glue sticks, scissors, markers, craft materials, pens, etc., limit supply sharing.
Staffing and Classroom Layout
- Single-student desks and 4 top tables with plexiglass dividers will be used.
- Single-use sensory trays will be used to provide students a tactile sensory experience.
- When playing on the floor, students can sit on sensory cushions or carpet squares.
- Toys will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day.
- The facility will be sanitized each evening by the Parish Janitorial staff; this includes daily bathrooms, floors, countertops, doors, and kitchen.
- At the end of each day, the three teachers will clean all toys and materials used: shelving, cubbies, chairs, tables, desks, phones, radios, etc.
- Masks will be sent home with families each night to be washed; teachers will wash their masks at home as well. Clean masks will be worn daily.
We feel confident that if we all work together and stay positive, this pandemic will only be a minor bump in your children’s early education. Our staff is committed to teaching your children in a clean and safe environment. We want the St. Monica Early Learning Center to be the place your children can safely make friends, explore hands-on, and feel free.
If we follow procedures, we can accomplish this. Please trust us, we can teach your children these routines, and they will love school, even if its in a mask.Request Information
Our preschool program is in the Early Learning Center, located next to the primary K-8 school. Inside our sizeable window-filled building, we have two classrooms; one for students ages 3 and 4 and the second room for students ages 4 and 5. Classroom placement depends on the child’s birthdate and social development.