Instilling a strong foundation for lifelong learning

Junior K


St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School’s preschool program exists within an inclusive, student-centered, play-based space where students develop self-confidence. It is important for each child to feel welcomed and special. We celebrate differences and strive to highlight each child’s uniqueness while learning how to work and play together. Lesson planning targets students’ needs. Our days provide time for them to explore their interests through carefully thought out play opportunities. It is through play that children learn valuable life skills like sharing, negotiating, grit, and perseverance. In the warm, nurturing environment that exists within each classroom, our students feel safe to try new things, fail, and try again. Cleverly interwoven throughout the preschool program are appropriately challenging academic skills and important life lessons that our students learn without even realizing it. Our preschool program is a place where children think, love, and grow, a place where their genius is unveiled, a place where we ignite learning, pursue passions, empower leaders, and spark creativity.

In Junior K, students learn through exposure to a variety of themed units, stories, and play. Students are challenged cognitively day in and day out to use their creativity, explore with their five senses, as well as develop fine and gross motor skills. Students cultivate friendships as they grow socially and emotionally, learning to share and take turns. Students are taught to work through conflicts and emotions. The goal of Junior K is to create happy, healthy children who want to explore their environment and world through play.

Each child contributes to a special classroom library. They collaborate together to make class books based on themes; each child writes and illustrates a page for each book. The books are a creation that students take great pride in! JK has a very language-rich program that encourages students to think outside the box. Vocabulary is increased during this crucial time.

Families are an important part of Junior K life. Each student will get the chance to be the Star of the Week. During this special week, the student brings in a board telling about themselves, which they present to the class and display all week. Parents are invited in as a special book reader, and students also share their favorite snack and toy with the class during their week. Our families love the opportunity to be involved in their child’s education!

During center time, students learn through play, including hands­-on building with blocks/Legos, painting, and one-on-one time with a teacher. Additionally, students work on fine motor skills that lay a foundation for strong handwriting in the future. Activities that promote fine motor skills include playdough, clay, painting, beading, lacing, and cutting. There is a sensory area outside the classrooms with pebble, sand and water tables for the students to explore.

Thematic units are a core component of the curriculum. Space and Ocean units are two of the students’ favorites. In the ‘Art All Around Us’ unit, students learn about different artists and then create their own masterpieces. The holidays are exciting times for our young students, and themed activities around each season are abundant. One example is during Christmas, there is a Holiday Showcase where the parents are treated to songs, and students have the opportunity to meet Santa and make gingerbread houses. Each milestone throughout the year is a celebration for students.

Learning Without Tears is a developmental, multisensory approach with a flexible, play-based curriculum. Teaching body awareness, cooperation, taking turns, listening, crayon grip, building letter and number recognition, capital letter and number formation while helping children develop both fine and gross motor skills. All of these skills help to create good emotional and social development while building the foundation for all early learners.

Students enjoy a year of learning through play, hands-­on experiences, and family involvement.


Upcoming Events

November 6, 2020

Faculty Professional Day - NO SCHOOL

November 25 - 29, 2020

Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL

December 7, 2020

Faculty Professional Day - NO SCHOOL