What are the goals of the program at TPK?
Our number one goal is to help children know Jesus loves them and has a plan for their lives. It is central to us to make sure each child in our building knows they are safe and they are loved. Our goal is to have children grow as Christ grew: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).
What does a typical day at TPK look like?
A typical school day at TPK includes circle time; center-based activities (some child-led and some teacher-led); free play; story-time and music time; indoor or outdoor recess; snack/lunch; and hands-on projects and activities. These activities are planned around a curriculum that, starting with our fours program, is based on Virginia’s Foundation Blocks of Learning, so this will include our Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes as well. For our 2’s and 3’s, a typical day will start with greeting, tabletop activities, and a short circle time. A school snack is provided in the morning, then some Play Time in the upper room or outside, story time, a chance for center-based activities, lunch, and finally, a closing circle. Bathroom breaks are frequent throughout the day, and part of the routine at school.
What’s the difference between an academic and a developmental program?
At TPK, we believe that teaching to the whole child is most effective. This means that in every classroom in the building, children are given a number of developmentally appropriate activities for hands-on learning; incorporating music and movement, opportunities to strengthen fine motor and gross motor skills, learning through play, and learning to navigate their social world through every interaction throughout the day.
How are the teachers at TPK trained?
Commonwealth of Virginia standards for licensing requires that Teachers receive 16 hours of continuing education annually; Assistants receive 12 hours. While we have a “religious exemption”, we meet the same standards that are required by the Commonwealth of Virginia. TPK provides 8 hours of ‘in-house’ training throughout the year.
Can I help in my child’s classroom?
Yes! If you have a skill, talent, or occupation you’d like to share in the classroom – or you’d like to read a story to your child’s class – you’re welcome to! We will send you a list of ways you can be involved in your child’s classroom and the Preschool in our summer packet.
How do we deal with challenging behaviors in the classroom?
We use the principles developed by Dr. Becky Bailey called Conscious Discipline. It is one of the tools that we use as we encourage our children to love Jesus and each other well.
Children are presented with clear expectations for the classroom family with an emphasis on love and safety. At moments when a child is struggling to find calm or make safe or loving decisions they are presented with two acceptable choices giving them a level of control as they redirect their own behavior. Children who are still unable to make a safe or loving choice or are unable to gain self control can visit our “safe place”, located in each classroom, in order to “regroup” and get to a place of calm. We use many age appropriate strategies in order to equip the child with skills to label their emotions, maintain self-control and make positive choices.
What if I have concerns about my child’s development?
There’s a space on the registration form where you can tell us about your child, including any concerns you may have. This won’t keep your child from getting a placement at TPK. The information you give on your registration form allows us and your child’s teacher to give the best experience possible for your child from the beginning of the school year. Please talk to us if you have questions or concerns.
What about potty training?
In the three year old classes and older, it is expected that children will be independent with their bathroom needs. You can help your child be ready by making sure they are developing the habit of visiting the potty regularly, wearing clothes that are easy to put on and take off, and helping them learn to wipe and wash hands. If your child has a potty accident, we will help him or her clean up and change. Your child’s teacher will let you know about any difficulties a child is having with this process.
What about safety and health in the building?
The children’s safety and well-being is of utmost importance to us. We are connected to The Office of Emergency Management for Fairfax County. Our teachers are annually trained in emergency preparedness. We are also in contact with a security consultant firm who advises us in strategies and procedures that ensure the safety of our children in all types of situations. Finally, we are a peanut-free AND tree-nut school; these items are not allowed in any of our classrooms. We will work out any additional solutions required to help our students with special health needs.