To be a child in our Nursery-Kindergarten Division is to enter into the realm of guided joyful discovery.
In these early years a foundation is being created academically, socially, and emotionally upon which all other grades will build. Our teachers, experts in early childhood education, provide children with a balanced approach to learning, emphasizing collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, play, and hands-on exploration.
Our Kindergarten’s placement in the N-K Division is a great strength, allowing teachers to honor a child’s overall development while introducing a more formal structure of learning. Kindergarten classrooms remain organized around activity centers as in the Nursery grades, while teaching methods and the delivery of curricular content support a seamless transition for students into 1st grade.
When you visit our N-K wing, you will hear the sounds of play and laughter. Early childhood educators know these sounds signal learning is occurring in the best environment possible: where students are eager to come to school and are engaged in the “joy of learning.”
Odette C. Muskin
Head of the Nursery-Kindergarten Division
Division Overview and Parent Partnership
Every aspect of our Nursery–Kindergarten program — from academics to the physical environment — has been designed to ensure that students have the right balance of intellectual stimulation, play, and hands-on exploration.
Small class size, big resources.
In N-K, the class sizes are small (typically between 16-22 students), with three teachers per class. Classes are held in the gym, music and dance studios, art room, and 18,000-volume library. Dedicated play terraces and instructional resources are designed specifically for young children.
Each class at Town has a “buddy class” from another grade, allowing our youngest students to develop meaningful connections with older children. Older “buddies” cheer on the N–K students as they perform at assemblies, collaborate with them on community service projects, or just share a quick high-five in the hallways.
Outside the classroom.
N–K students quickly learn that the answers to their questions can often be found beyond the classroom. Classes take advantage of connections in the neighborhood and city communities by inviting experts to visit them at Town or by taking field trips to community farms, museums, or local businesses, so they can see—and learn—for themselves.
N-K parents and teachers are in close touch in a variety of ways: they communicate via the classroom web page on the parent portal; parents participate in classroom activities; and they meet twice a year to review their child’s cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development. In addition, teachers maintain an e-portfolio for every student, enabling parents to observe their child’s development over time.
Nursery-Kindergarten Curriculum At-A-Glance
Students learn to represent ideas through a variety of art mediums. They explore the structure and storytelling potential of dance through both improvisation and choreography; learn about visual art tools, materials, and concepts through painting and clay sculpture; and develop listening, rhythmic, and melodic skills through singing and playing instruments.
The Language Arts curriculum emphasizes letter-sound correspondence (phonics), spoken language, fluency of expression, listening skills, and building vocabulary for reading and writing.
The Math curriculum uses games, activities, and daily routines such as calendar, snack set-up, attendance, and weather data collection to teach core mathematical concepts. As students continue to develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills, they become increasingly flexible and efficient problem solvers.
N-K students have PE class in the Gym, focusing on developing confidence, gross and fine motor skills, sportsmanship, and teamwork.
Our Science curriculum challenges students to pose scientific questions based on their experiences. By using the scientific method of inquiry, they learn to observe, question, predict, investigate, and interpret their findings.
The Social Studies program focuses on the most familiar and immediate social structures of self, school, and family to teach students how to interpret the world around them. Town’s Identity Curriculum begins in the N-K Division as children are asked to consider questions like, “Who am I?’ “Who are you?” and “Who are we?”
Technology and interactive media are used to support creativity, critical thinking, communication, student research, and documentation. An interactive display board supports class discussions of new concepts and development of fine motor skills. Sequential thinking, the basis for coding, is taught through logic games and physical programming devices.
World languages are part of the everyday classroom experience. Exposure to different languages happens at each grade level through morning meeting greetings, and through songs, poetry, and literature.