The 3 day class is designed to introduce children to the social world that is preschool with all its norms, routines and possibilities. It is an experience where students are celebrated for their budding independence and their abilities to care for their own bodies and each other. This age group provides a unique opportunity to allow for the development and encouragement of interests and to inspire students to share, care and feel for and with their peers. Building the foundations of independence, academic exploration, and social stewardship are all goals of this program. In addition, HCNS 3-Dayers are provided ample opportunity to explore nature and its many cycles. Units on seasons, animal hibernation and migration, plant life and more, allow students to become both comfortable in and around our natural world.
The 4 day class is designed for the specific needs and developmental stages of this transitional age group. The goals for this school year focus on kindergarten preparation but here at HCNS we look beyond letters and numbers. We believe that the real tools for success in the transition to kindergarten, elementary school and beyond, lie within the development of strong social and emotional health. Through play, observation, nature, science, literature, and art, we work to build a strong foundation of empathy, verbal processing skills, conflict resolution abilities and an acceptance of varied perspectives. Further, we strive to build a bond between students and their natural world.
Because HCNS understands the varied needs of families, we offer the extended day program. This afternoon program provides students, who are already enrolled in a morning program, a space for afternoon rest, relaxation, art exploration, outdoor play, hiking and many more age appropriate activities. While not structured as a typical preschool program, the extended day program goes well beyond child care. We strive to continue the work of our morning programs in helping students navigate social interactions in a positive and skill building way. Further we allow for students to inspect, interact with and explore their own unique interests.
Thematic content is limited and a broad range of choices are available allowing for the building of self direction and decision making. The extended day program at HCNS is diverse, engaging and tailored to the needs of our students, based on their energy levels following a busy preschool morning. Some days will include vigorous hikes while others allow for more introspective, focused activities.
Families have a choice in the number of extended days for their child. Priority will be given to families extending all of their child's school days.
The Bridge program will provide students an almost entirely outdoor school experience while still allowing for the more intimate and traditional setting of the preschool classroom, when appropriate. As the name suggests, the Bridge program will allow access between our traditional age groups, spanning the entirety of the preschool range. There are many advantages to this larger age range such as providing leadership opportunities for older students and mentorships for younger children. The bridge program was also named for its goal of connecting children to the natural world and realizing thee ducational power of teaching in nature. For years HCNS has been harnessing that power and it is through this program, and the future development of others, that we hope to impact our community and our students in a meaningful and lasting way.
In our Friday program, we will be incorporating the STEAM concept (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art,Mathematics) into a morning full of fun learning. The children will be tapping into all these critical areas of learning through project-based activities, inquiry-driven exploration, and visits from local artists, musicians and more. Through science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math, children will investigate, experiment and answer questions, use tools of all levels from crayons to microscopes, deal with numbers ~ patterns ~ and shapes, and be encouraged to create and illustrate to their hearts’ content. They will have the opportunity to explore and discover the world around them, building a strong foundation of skills for future learning.