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. We also have several academic periods throughout the day 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 FAQ
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level One
We offer CGS Level One to St. Monica PreK and Kindergarten students during the school day in the Atrium. 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 to respond to his love.
St. Monica Early Learning Center for 2020-21
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Monica Early Learning Center transitioned to remote learning, along with our K-8 “big school,” for the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year. The decision to close was made because we felt it was in the best interest of our whole St. Monica community. Our families needed to adjust, our teachers needed to address their own family needs, and our students needed to feel safe with their mommies and daddies.
Since then, we have made a conscience, prudent plan to be open for the 2020-2021 school year. Our staff and returning students will have acclimated to a new way of life involving face masks, social distancing, constant handwashing, and caution when sharing toys and classroom materials.
We have the following procedures in place to combat COVID-19 in our facility when we open in the fall.
- There will be a designated drop off and pick up location where parents will sign-in/out their children while temperatures are taken.
- Children will be escorted into the classroom by a teacher. Parents will say goodbye in the outdoor lobby.
- Students will continue to wash their hands upon arrival.
- Students showing symptoms of an illness, such as a fever, persistent cough, or stomach issues will be asked to remain at home until they are feeling better.
- Sensory tables have been stored away and individual-use sensory bins will be used.
- We will teach our own music, art, Spanish and P.E. classes in the Early Learning Center to allow the preschool to avoid shared classrooms.
- Students will continue to attend weekly religious classes in the Atrium. Atrium materials and the facility will be sanitized daily.
- Students will be spaced out during circle time and we will limit time spent in lines.
- Scheduled handwashing periods have been built into the daily schedule, and our bathroom facilities will be sanitized between visits.
- Food prep areas will be sanitized throughout the day.
- Brain breaks and nap times will have 2-inch thick foam mats with a vinyl surface and will be sanitized daily. All mats will be placed head to toe, far apart, and/or with shelves between kids.
- Our activity areas have furniture, equipment, and toys that can easily be sanitized between uses and are rotated throughout the day.
- We will be limiting students in classroom centers to keep kids spread out.
- We have increased our outdoor activity time and decreased our indoor activity time to allow kids space (and fresh air) to practice their social skills, communication, and free-play needs.
The staff at the St. Monica Early Learning Center are working to keep our preschool safe and healthy. We believe the best way for young children to learn is in a classroom that provides socialization and academically rich and engaging experiences.
Please be assured that we will continue to operate through the 2020-2021 school year, providing a clean, and happy environment for your child.