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Program Overview

Parents have high hopes for their children and aspirations for them to have a solid foundation for learning and growth from the very start.  For 26 years, our early childhood programs have been creating communities of young learners from infancy through pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in environments that are safe, secure, nurturing and stimulating.  Our teachers nurture and inspire creativity through play-based activities that instill learning readiness and joy.

 

We invite you to learn more about our programs designed for children aged 6 weeks – 5 years of age.

 

Infant

6 weeks – 15 months

 

This is where it all begins!  Years of research and observation have demonstrated that babies have well-defined sensory abilities.  Seeing, touching, hearing, sucking and feeling are all senses that an infant uses to learn not only about herself, but also about the world around her.  From that first sound, that first cry, your baby has begun absorbing information, exploring her surroundings and building trust.

 

Establishing trust is an essential element to a child’s sense of well-being.  Every diaper you change, every comfort-cuddle you give, and every feeding you provide are all elements that foster trust in your infant.  She learns through these daily, routine experiences that her needs will be met, that someone will comfort her, feed her and keep her safe and warm.  Just as importantly, she learns to feel good about herself and the world around her.

 

We continue to build on the trust that you and your baby have established by providing a warm, loving, infant-only environment.  It is here that our teachers/nurturers respond to your baby with genuine love, affection, and constant attention to developmental needs.

 

In addition to building trust, our infant program incorporates developmentally appropriate activities that are designed to help your child reach key milestones.  While in our care, your child will be exposed to different stimuli and learning activities that encourage intellectual and physical development.

 

Toddler

15 months – 2.9 years

 

The amazing discovery process that began in your child’s infancy flourishes in the toddler years, for now he is learning the joy of movement, the joy of speech and the joy of independence.  And, one declaration of independence your toddler is apt to demonstrate during these years may combine an element of each of his newly acquired skills.  With that first foot stomp and a loudly stated, “No!,” your toddler is experimenting with his newly discovered sense of self.  He is realizing that he is a separate person – an individual – with his own wants and needs; he is making his push for autonomy.

 

Autonomy is an important developmental component in a child’s life, for when properly guided and nurtured, it will lead to a sense of self-esteem, confidence, and pride in his newfound accomplishments.  His physical and muscular development will also contribute to his sense of autonomy and independence as he uses his muscles to climb, tumble, jump, hop and run to explore his world.

 

As your toddler’s sense of autonomy begins to develop, he will show a great interest in mastering self-help skills, such as feeding himself, dressing, pouring his own drink, washing his hands, and brushing his teeth.  He will also become more adept at stringing beads, manipulating paint brushes/scissors/crayons, throwing and kicking a ball, hopping on one foot, and climbing.  These activities are the serious work of toddlers, for it is from mastering these skills that your toddler develops his sense of accomplishment, self-esteem and pride in his newfound control.

 

Our toddler program is designed to promote your child’s development in all areas during this exciting, busy time. We provide daily activities that focus on developing cognitive and linguistic skills, as well as physical, social, and self-help skills.  And, our staff of trained teachers provides the encouragement and nurturing environment to guide your toddler through this important stage.

 

Preschool

2.9 years – 4 years

 

All the skills learned during the toddler years comes together during the preschool years.  With her increased ability to articulate her wants and needs, her better understanding of socially acceptable behavior, and her continuing discovery of how to make her body work for her, your preschooler’s confidence grows by leaps and bounds.  She is now capable of gauging responses to her actions, experiencing pride in herself and her family, demonstrating more self-control, and engaging in cooperative, group play.  But, her work is not done!  At this age, your preschooler’s brain is still in an active stage, but a fine-tuning process begins.

 

By about the age of three, there are many more brain cell connections that have been made than will be needed.  Your child’s experiences will determine which connections will become stronger, for the connections that are used the most are the connections that are strengthened.  You may notice that your preschooler has become a non-stop talking machine.  And, her physical activity may seem to dramatically increase – climbing, running, jumping, hopping.  Yet, all this movement and all this talk is reinforcing your child’s brain cell growth and promoting development of neuron connections.

 

Our preschool curriculum promotes all areas of growth by providing each child an opportunity to learn by doing.  We present a well-balanced program that allows for working and learning individually, in a small group, and as part of a whole group.  Each of the activities incorporates letters, shapes, colors, and numbers.  Throughout their day in preschool, your child will experience a wide range of activities that include any combination of cognitive skill development, fine and gross motor development, language and intellectual development and social (character) development.

 

For more information about the specific curriculum we use, see the curriculum section.   

 

Pre-kindergarten

4 years – 5 years

 

The year before your child enters kindergarten is a critical time in his life to develop early educational and social skills.  Our pre-kindergarten program is a continuation and expansion of the concepts introduced in the preschool program.  Concepts such as phonics and math become progressively more advanced.  Young children are passionate learners and our pre-kindergarten program builds in more structured learning time.  Step by inviting step, children master the foundation skills they will need to excel in their upcoming school years.

Monthly themes, weekly topics and daily activities keep the curriculum focused and fun.  Our strong, literacy-based approach teaches reading readiness through our language and literacy curriculum, journal writing, music, rhymes and stories.  Teachers use small and large groups, individual opportunities, games, music and teamwork to introduce new ideas.  Our program is presented in a manner that encourages a child’s attention and the children are offered the opportunity to choose any area within the room to explore.  These activity areas include iPads, STEM-focused centers, writing, paint easel, housekeeping, dramatic play, sensory tub, block and ramp building, fine motor manipulatives, puzzles, table games and art projects.

 

At the conclusion of their pre-kindergarten year, children are socially and academically ready to make the next step to kindergarten in either a public or private setting.

 

For more information about the specific curriculum we use, see the curriculum section.  

 

Private Kindergarten

5 years (must meet the public school cut-off criteria)

 

Springboard School Kindergarten offers an experience that public schools can’t match, including:

  • Small class-size;
  • Full-day schedule (9 am – 3 pm) that more than doubles the daily learning time from 2.5 hours in public schools to 6 hours at Springboard School Kindergarten; and
  • Individualized approach to learning.

 

Our kindergarten classrooms have no more than 13 children in each class.  This low teacher-to-child ratio ensures that your child receives individualized attention each day.

 

The Springboard School Kindergarten provides a coherent, cumulative and content-specific curriculum that follows the Core Knowledge® sequence, and recognizes that what children are able to learn, depends on what they already know as a result of previous experience and teaching.  With the Core Knowledge framework in place, our teachers use a balanced literacy approach based on Fountas & Pinnell’s work to language arts instruction, the Everyday Math curriculum and Handwriting Without Tears for handwriting.

 

We take an inquiry-based approach to science, embedding the learning through weekly theme-based explorations that build on children’s interests.  An in-depth study of spiders kicks-off our science inquiry for the year.  Children learn more about common spiders and go on spider hunts to populate a class vivarium that is used for further observation of a spider’s life.  A class favorite is our chicken-hatching program.  Each spring, the children learn first hand about the early lifecyle of chickens and witness the chicks hatching in the classroom.  Once the chickens have hatched, the children participate in the care of the young chicks until they are ready to move to their next home.

 

Our kindergarten teachers are state-certified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and hold education degrees from top colleges and universities.   Each teacher specializes in early childhood learning and development as a result of their teaching experience and education.

 

Children graduate ready for the rigors of first grade in a public or private setting.

 

Springboard School Kindergarten is currently offered at our Westford location only.

 

Kindergarten Surround

 

Most Massachusetts school districts offer half day, public kindergarten programs, which cause scheduling challenges for working parents.  Our Chelmsford and Westford programs provide kindergarten surround care to ease these scheduling concerns.  Children enrolled in this program attend a Springboard program before and after their public kindergarten session.

 

Public school busing is available to and from elementary schools, but varies according to each district.  Check with the director at your site for more specific information about the kindergarten surround program and which bus routes stop at the program.

 

Chelmsford Program

Westford Program

 

Before School / After School

 

Finding a safe and enriching environment for your child before or after public school is in session can be a challenge.  Many of our families take advantage of our before school care and after school care for children up to the age of 8.  Oftentimes, these children have been part of our early childhood programs and are very familiar with the staff and program.  Public school busing is available to and from elementary schools, but varies according to each district.  Check with the director at your site for more specific information about the before and after school care programs and which bus routes stop at the program.

 

Our Westford location also includes the Springboard After School program for children grades K – 5.  For more information on this academic and enrichment-based program, visit www.springboardafterschool.com.