Director's Note: On Who We Are

This is the Director’s Note from the first newsletter of the school year!

End of the rainbow.jpg

As we begin a new school year, it’s nice to revisit our goals, aspirations, and sense of identity.

Several years ago, right after Sunnymont and Westside got married, we talked about our identity and our culture at an all school meeting. (For those of you who have wondered why we have a ridiculously long, hyphenated name — now you know.)

Each person present contributed one thing that they felt was an important core element of our school’s philosophy and identity. All of these things were sorted into categories, edited to eliminate duplications and to provide for flow of the language, and the result was a map of our school culture. As I look at the list today, it still resonates as a snapshot of whom we are and who we seek to be.

WE ARE... A COMMUNITY

  • We are about community

  • We are an extended family

  • We value the cohesiveness of our staff and community

WE BELIEVE

  • Everybody is different. But we are all one family.

FOCUSED ON CHILDREN’S DEVELOPMENT...

  • We provide for children’s development through developmental activities and meaningful positive interactions.

  • We exist for the growth of our children.

  • We value each child’s growth and individuality.

  • We provide developmentally appropriate activities and structure.

... THAT HONORS THE INDIVIDUAL

  • We teach to the individual.

  • We strive to fully honor, respect and love each child.

  • We strive to meet each child where they’re at, and celebrate it!

  • We strive to be appreciative of each child AND adult and to be a place where both are supported where they are when they arrive.

  • We share love and see the good in every child’s personality.

  • We see each child as unique, we appreciate the differences and seek to meet each child’s needs.

  • We aim to meet kids “where they are.”

  • We seek to nurturing individual personality and to work with it.

  • We focus on meeting kids’ needs.

WE ARE CHILD-CENTERED

  • We support children being self-directed rather than parent-directed.

  • We support child-centered play.

  • Our culture is child-centered.

  • We believe in child-centered learning.

  • We let kids figure out how to haul all the pumpkins to the yard “on their own.”

  • Child-led learning is our mode.

WE ARE PLAY-BASED

  • Our program is hands-on and play-based.

  • We support play based learning.

  • We support our children’s learning at play and growing through play.

  • Our children play, play, play, meet new friends and learn at their own pace.

  • We support exploration.

  • We are a safe place for children to play to their heart’s content.

  • Our children learn through play and parent support.

  • Our goals for our children are learning, developing tolerance and having fun.

WE VALUES CHOICES

  • We always offer choices.

WE ARE BUILT ON POSITIVE DISCIPLINE...

  • We focus on parenting and how to talk to kids.

  • We strive for positive discipline.

  • We work together as parents to focus on the children and their social interactions.

  • We teach compassionate problem solving.

  • Our goals for our children are learning, developing tolerance and having fun.

... and PARENT INVOLVEMENT

  • We focus on parenting and how to talk to kids.

  • We work together as parents to focus on the children and their social interactions.

  • We strive to be appreciative of each child AND adult.

  • And to be a place where both are supported where they are when they arrive.

—JUSTINE SAFFIR, Director