Sutterville Preschool has a very rich history. A handful of mothers incorporated Sutterville as a non-profit cooperative preschool in 1952. It is now a parent participation preschool under the direction of professional early childhood education specialists and a Board of Directors elected by the general membership. The role of the Board of Directors is to run the business of the school. It is responsible for raising money, maintaining the building and equipment and hiring the teaching staff. The tremendous dedication of the teachers and the hard work of the Board of Directors and member parents has created a community that will love, nurture and support your children as if they were our own.
Our program operates five days per week, with two sessions each day at 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3:00 p.m. The Membership includes a total of 50 families who participate and assist at the school one morning or afternoon each week. In addition, approximately 30 families send their children two or three times per week, but do not participate in the daily school program. There are approximately 30 children in the classroom each session with two professional teachers and five participating parents. This results in a ratio of about 5:1, ensuring that your child will always have someone to help them learn, explore and create in a comfortable and safe environment.
We are very proud of our current facility. Sutterville Preschool has been housed in five locations over the past 60 years. Our current facility was constructed and occupied in 1982. The classroom is divided into areas for different types of play providing endless options during Free Play Time. In our classroom, you will find:
- A library for reading
- A dress-up play space complete with tons of costumes, a kitchen and numerous phones, calculators, computers and typewriters for imaginative play
- A tool bench
- A music table
- A block center for building structures
- A playdough table
- Tables with ever-changing activities related to the theme or lesson of the day
- An art room with easels open during free play and an assortment of art supplies
- Tanks and cages full of class pets including turtles, hamsters, birds and fish
In recent years, we have added our dedicated artist alcove and upgraded the play yard considerably. With several play structures, a playhouse, a pirate ship and a sandbox the size of a small beach, the children have endless options as they venture outside to play.
The Sutterville philosophy of “Play is children’s work” emphasizes a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere. Through creative and imaginative play, children learn about themselves, their environment and other people. Our program endeavors to help children develop physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually through activities that require both individual and group participation. The flexible program structure offers a wide variety of “play” and other learning experiences to stimulate and support your child’s development.
The guidance that we offer our Participating Parents really highlights the overall approach we use in the classroom and when dealing with your children. Some of the key messages are:
- Give the children as much freedom as possible to explore their environment and relationships to others while supervising closely to ensure no harm is done to themselves or others.
- Understand and respect that children are individuals and that some are “slower to warm up” than others. We encourage children to participate, but do not force them; they will participate when they are ready.
- Encourage children to work out their differences with words and compromise. Coping skills are essential for all children to learn during preschool and carry with them throughout their lives.
- Always be aware of positive role modeling in your language, attire, mannerisms and tone of voice.
Our classroom philosophy and overall approach to our interactions with our students will provide your child with confidence and a love of learning that is essential for years of future success in the classroom.
- It only takes one week for the teachers to learn the names of all 76 students, but you may be known as “Johnny’s Mom or Dad” for a while.
- The students will learn an amazing number of songs and ditties during the year. Ask them to sing to you, we add new ones weekly. Some of them will make you laugh until you cry!
- Our playground is fabulous and updated every year. Recent additions to the school include a pirate ship, a garden and a permanent shade structure over the sandbox.
- We have a certified Kindermusic teacher on staff who has more than thirty years of experience.
- All of our teachers have been teaching at Sutterville for at least 10 years.
- It takes approximately 500 maintenance hours to keep our school beautiful every year.