First steps

2-day-ers keep everyone busy – not just themselves! For many of these children, St. Peter’s is their first experience outside their  homes in a group of other children; it’s  especially important that we pay attention to  how they handle this big transition. Not every 2-day-er will have trouble being “left” at school (we emphasize to our young friends that their grownups always come back – no one is ever “left”!); some jump right in! But lots of littles do have strong feelings as they start school. And once they’re there – it’s not like home; it seems to be all about them (because it is), but at the same time, new grownups are asking them to do things they might not want to do right then, like share a toy, take off a dress-up outfit because it’s time to clean up, or not start eating snack until everyone is served. How do they balance their new steps toward independence with the new responsibilities that school requires?

2-day-ers begin learning important pre-reading and pre-math skills:

  • one-to-one correspondence
  • placement of features (such as on a face)
  • very simple patterns

…and MANY others.

These young children, who may only now be moving from scribbling and eight- to twelve-piece puzzles to more advanced forms, benefit from St. Peter’s play-based, developmental approach, which encourages them to move at their own comfortable pace through these early stages of formal learning.

We pursue all our learning goals in an environment designed to enable each child to feel valued, safe, and nurtured.

“It is hard for me to describe the feelings this preschool evokes. Every time I walk in, I don’t want to leave. I want to sit down and play. I feel so safe, comforted and warm here. I can only imagine how my kids feel.

“I have learned how to be a better parent from being a part of St. Peter’s. I am reminded each week to see things from my kids’ perspective, to slow down, listen, and watch how they observe the world. My daughter and son have both worked through their terrible 2’s and 3’s at preschool, as they morphed from their personal caterpillars into butterflies. During this time, the teachers here loved them first, and I saw that all discipline and consequences came out of the love for my kids. I often expressed to my husband this year, “I am just so glad that Sarah loves our son, otherwise she’d probably have kicked him out of class by now!” [Note from director Mrs. McArdle: No way!] The staff helped me put it all in perspective and even reminded me that my older child acted similarly when I forgot!”

         – Preschool parent Shannon Mannon

Miss Amanda, our enthusiastic and understanding 2 1/2-year-olds’ teacher, help these littlest St. Peter’s children navigate these complicated first steps. With a keen understanding of their limits and endless patience, she encourages her children to talk, to do, to explore, and to think about what they’re doing. The children in this program experience more change and development than in any other time in preschool; walking through this time with Miss Amanda helps them develop the skills and confidence which they’ll use throughout their learning.

Program days and times: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00-11:30 a.m.

Program eligibility: The 2 1/2-year-olds’ class is open to children aged about 30 months by September of the school year for which they are registering. Children need not be toilet trained. There is some flexibility in the age eligibility guideline, dependent on the makeup of the class, at the Director’s and teacher’s discretion.

Adult:child ratio: Never to exceed 1:5, and held to 1:4 except for special circumstances (for instance, a set of twins). Class size will generally be held to 8 children with a teacher and an aide (that is, we will never add a second aide in order to add more children), and will never exceed 10 children; the decision whether to add a ninth child will be made with care at the Director’s discretion, based on the personalities and abilities of children already registered or enrolled.