Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL

How old does my child need to be to enter preschool?

Your child may begin attending Woodroe Woods preschool at 2.5 years old.

How old does my child have to be to be enrolled into pre-Kindergarten

Your child may begin attending pre-kindergarten if they are at least 4 years old by September 1st (exceptions made at Director’s discretion).

Does my child have to be potty-trained for the preschool or pre-K programs?

Children must be fully potty-trained to enroll in our preschool program.  This means that they must be able to tell an adult that they need to use the restroom, use the restroom, and wash their hands independently. Staff will assist when asked or as necessary.

What is the daily schedule?

Please refer to the preschool and pre-K respective pages for detailed information and schedules.

How can I find out how my child is doing?

Parents may phone or e-mail at any time. Parents may also request a parent/teacher meeting. We have an open-door policy so parents may drop in at any time, but you must first stop by the office so that we can make sure you are an authorized parent or family member and that the visit is not disruptive to the child or the classroom.

How is parent-teacher communication conducted?

Teachers and Administrators are nearly always available to speak with parents about any concern. A parent may request a meeting with their child’s teachers at any time. Dropping off or picking up can be a busy time for staff. During these times, please keep verbal check-ins to a minimum. We encourage you to make an appointment for lengthier concerns/conversations so that undivided attention may be given to you. Teachers will make every effort to communicate regularly with parents about their child’s progress and milestones being reached. Each year, preschool teachers evaluate their students’ progress through informal assessments in the spring, and pre-Kindergarten teachers evaluate their students’ progress through informal assessments in the winter and spring.

How can I be involved in my child's school experience?

Teachers and Administrators are nearly always available to speak with parents about any concern. A parent may request a meeting with their child’s teachers at any time. Dropping off or picking up can be a busy time for staff. During these times, please keep verbal check-ins to a minimum. We encourage you to make an appointment for lengthier concerns/conversations so that undivided attention may be given to you. Teachers will make every effort to communicate regularly with parents about their child’s progress and milestones being reached. Each year, preschool teachers evaluate their students’ progress through informal assessments in the spring, and pre-Kindergarten teachers evaluate their students’ progress through informal assessments in the winter and spring.

Do you offer part-time schedules?

Yes, we offer a minimum 9am-12pm 2-day option up to 5-full day schedule for children in our Early Education Program.

My child does not speak English, how do you work with children who are not native English speakers?

It is not unusual for us to have children start with us who do not speak English.  Our caring teachers are adept at making each child feel welcome and included in all activities, and parents will notice a burst of language early on.  Children learn languages quickly, and our teachers are proficient in encouraging children to gradually begin to express themselves confidently. We often ask for a list of commonly used words in their home language so that we can bridge communication as needed. 

Do the children nap regularly?

All preschool and pre-Kindergarten children participate in nap time, but they are not required to sleep.  Children that do not sleep are required to rest quietly. 

In preschool, after a busy morning, most children have no trouble falling asleep.  Rest time is from 1pm to 3pm.

In pre-K, children rest for 30 minutes from 12:30pm to 1pm. Those that have fallen asleep continue doing so, while the remainder are up and about working on afternoon projects and free play.

When and how are children’s skills evaluated?

For pre-Kindergarteners, two informal assessments are conducted each school year in November and April. For preschoolers, one informal assessment is conducted each school year in April. These assessments not only help parents to understand where their child is in his or her development, but also what areas can be strengthened. We incorporate both informal and standardized assessments during the year, as well as noting the individuality of each child relative to his or her own progress. These assessments guide us, as educators, in developing our curriculum so that it meets the needs of the children in the class. Teachers’ observations of a child reflect the child’s growth and needs, both as an individual and as part of a group. This plays an important role in the day-to-day plans of the class. If we have a concern about your child’s development, a conference is required regardless of age. Conferences may also be requested at other times by either parents or teachers as the need arises.

Is snack or lunch provided?

A morning and afternoon snack is provided to all students attending the full day program. Snack typically includes fresh fruit, but not limited to dry goods, quesadillas, or potato wedges, with juice.

Lunch is provided from home. Some examples of lunches include: leftovers, soups, pastas, meat nuggets, sandwiches, vegetables, fruit, yogurt, etc.  Thermos to keep lunches warm are allowed.

Is candy or soda allowed?

No, please do not provide empty calories. If lunch contains primarily healthy choices, then children are able to eat more independently .

Is peanut butter allowed?

Yes, peanut butter is allowed. Children with nut allergies are seated at a Nut Free table.

Can lunch be reheated?

Unfortunately, no.

Are you affiliated with any religion?

No.  Woodroe Woods is a secular school and does not incorporate religion into its curriculum.  Certain religious events and holidays which are culturally significant may be celebrated during the year with a non-religious focus.  For example, in December we celebrate the holiday seasons with Santa, trees, snowmen, etc.  We have a diverse community that encompasses many religions and cultures and we endeavor to be sensitive to every family’s beliefs.

Will my child be prepared for primary school after attending Woodroe Woods?

Woodroe Woods students move onto our Kindergarten Program or onto a variety of public and private schools.  We regularly receive very positive feedback from both parents and teachers, as Woodroe Woods graduates excel when starting primary school, and are at an advantage academically and socially.

TEACHERS AND STAFF

The teachers and assistants on our staff meet the education and health requirements set by the State of California.  We also strive to provide our staff with continued education in the area of Early Childhood Education.  Each staff member undergoes an extensive background check, CPR and first aid certification. Many of our teachers hold a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or other advanced degrees and certificates.

What is the turnover rate of your staff?

Our turnover is very low.  We have many teachers who have been with us for over 20 years.  We are also pleased to have a good mix of both mature and younger staff, allowing for children to connect with a diverse group of teachers/styles.  We believe a school is only as good as its teachers.

What is the teacher to child ratio in each program?

California State standard is 12:1 for preschool aged children, we aim to provide a higher level and quality of care with lower ratios in place. Individual classroom ratios varying throughout the day. Our average classroom ratios vary for each program: Preschool: 8:1  / Pre-K: 9:1.

CURRICULUM

Utilizing a true play-based philosophy, children have ample choices for activities and many learning materials available to them throughout the day.  Children are actively learning through exploration, experimentation, and investigation in their classroom and outside environment.  They are encouraged to participate in project-based learning and work cooperatively in a group setting.  There are many opportunities for self-expression through art, circle time discussions, music, movement, and cooperative or dramatic play. 

How do you compare to the Montessori teaching philosophy?

Our philosophy is a developmentally appropriate play-based curriculum. Our program provides opportunities for being with other children in a setting conducive to the individual child’s development. We provide meaningful play to strengthen the child’s interests and natural abilities. This builds important foundations for gross and fine motor skills, as well as academic areas such as reading Language/literature, critical thinking, math, and problem solving. We provide a warm environment for children where they receive the nurturing and continuous positive reinforcement they need to develop to their fullest potential.
The primary principle among developmental preschools is to promote participation in age-appropriate activities, such as hands-on play, group story-time, and self-expression. Children are encouraged to learn through play. Most developmental schools include academic content. Developmental preschools have philosophies that draw from multiple educational philosophies such as Reggio Emilia, Montessori and Waldorf.

How much time will my child spend outdoors?

Outdoor play is vital for young children, and we spend a significant amount of time outside at Woodroe Woods. Many of the developmental tasks that children must achieve—exploring, risk-taking, fine and gross motor development and the absorption of vast amounts of basic knowledge—can be most effectively learned through outdoor play. Children need the opportunity to explore the unknown, the unpredictable, and the adventurous. From venturing around on-campus nature walks to taking advantage of our playground, opportunities for wonder and discovery are limitless. We enrich our outdoor play spaces with opportunities for art, music, group games, sensory science, and creative toys and materials.

CAMPUS

How often is the environment cleaned?

Our school employs a professional cleaning service that does a thorough cleaning every day. The teachers themselves are diligent about sanitizing surfaces when necessary throughout the day, including after eating.  All toys are regularly cleaned and replaced as needed. 

Is the school secure?

We take the safety of our campus very seriously.  
Unauthorized persons must wait to be assisted by a staff member.
We maintain a record of all individuals authorized to pick up your child, and maintain traditional sign-in and out in each classroom.

Teachers and staff have access to a radio system for urgent communication.

POLICIES

How are children's birthdays celebrated?

Children’s birthdays are celebrated at school. Families may provide a small treat to share (miniature cupcake, fresh fruit, etc). Please check with your child’s teacher two weeks prior to the special occasion. We welcome parent involvement in their child’s special day. If you wish to donate a book to the class, you may put an inscription in the front of the book and the book will be read during class time on your child’s birthday and throughout the year. Teachers will make sure children feel special on their day.

If you are having an outside party, to prevent hurt feelings, please do not send party invitations to school unless you are inviting the entire class. To invite only a few children, please mail the invitation directly to their home or send direct emails to parents. Our office staff will be happy to provide you with an email addresses for those families that have authorized us to share this information.

How does the school handle discipline?

We utilize a “positive redirection” approach. We will re-direct and encourage children to make appropriate choices or potentially be asked to play in another area or engage in another activity that better suits their energy level. We will moderate and mediate an argument or disagreement between children and suggest appropriate language/words if they struggle to communicate it themselves. We encourage children to work together and “use their words” to solve conflicts, we often ask, “what could you do/say next time?’. We do not force an “I’m sorry”, we feel this defeats the purpose of encouraging genuine reflection and true empathy. We do not use a traditional “time out”, however, we may give children a chance to calm down by having them sit in a quiet space or having them engage in a quiet time activity. We encourage empathy with others by having them check in with the other child if they caused hurt feelings or acted out physically. Our goal is to foster thoughtful reflection so that better choices can be made moving forward. We want children to gain experience in how to handle conflict and disagreement in a healthy and appropriate manner.

How to can I prepare for the first day?

Prior to your child’s first day, and within the 3-week period prior to starting, we recommend a scheduled morning 1-hour parent and child visit to school to become familiar with the teachers, the child’s classroom, playground and the overall daily routine/schedule. Parents are encouraged to remain positive about their child’s new experience and be optimistic about the new transition. It is a good idea to have several conversations about school before the first day. On the first day, parents are encouraged to drop their child off, get the child situated and comfortable and make contact with a teacher. After a few minutes it is important to say good-bye and assure the child that you will be returning later. When staff avails themselves to assist in your departure, it is recommended you make a quick departure. Teachers are there to assist but will look to the parent to acknowledge they are ready to depart so they can gently guide the child into play or distraction or a soothing hug or lap. If needed, during the child’s first few days, a modified schedule may be recommended to ensure a smooth transition. Always exit with a smile on your face – this will give your child the unspoken message that you trust the staff has your child’s best interest and care in mind.

What is the withdrawal policy?

You must give a minimum two week notice if you intend to withdraw your child from school and tuition must be paid in full.

FINANCIAL

Your tuition covers all your educational expenses throughout the year.  

Are families expected to donate or fundraise for the school?

There are very few fundraisers during the year, whether it’s the cookie dough, mixed bag, or candy sales, etc., participation is entirely optional.  We have an annual Art Show Fundraiser and Silent Auction which is an amazing community building evening event which does inspire fundraising.

Do you accept school subsidies?

While we are not able to manage or coordinate the process, we are happy to direct you to the appropriate agencies to receive tuition assistance from outside sources.  Families are still responsible for ensuring that any balances are paid on time.