The Preparatory School of Dripping Springs
The curriculum for our Preschool class is a holistic, child-centered and teacher-directed program that nurtures each child by offering focused, meaningful instruction that’s developmentally appropriate. This classroom provides opportunities for three year olds to develop independence, self-discipline and peer cooperation through directed and free play, and incorporates literature, phonics, pre-math, science, art and music.
We provide an extremely sanitary and safe environment for our three year olds.
We have installed an air conditioning filtration system that pulls and circulates fresh, clean air throughout the building.
To promote dental hygiene, children brush their teeth in the classroom using their personal toothbrush following meals.
An age-appropriate, fully fenced in outdoor playground for our three year olds provides an opportunity for physical activity while fostering the development of gross-motor and social skills.
Our hand-washing sinks in the classrooms and bathrooms come with automatic water and soap-dispensing capabilities to decrease cross contamination of germs.
Closed circuit cameras in the classroom can be viewed from the specialized PREP Parent Lounge at the front of the building. A specialized fingerprint entry secures the visitors entering the building.
A separate Tender Loving Care (TLC) room provides a place for a sick child to be removed from the classroom until a parent arrives to pick up his or her child. This eliminates further spread of sickness in the classrooms.
Our complete Preschool curriculum provides a wealth of materials to foster the social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of children. Children learn best by connecting what they know with what they learn. Essential questions in the different curriculum units connect children to new ideas and understanding. Easy-to- use lessons link essential disciplines to make instruction more relevant and help children recognize patterns in learning. Social-emotional development is addressed every day through positive reinforcement, interactive activities and engaging songs to help model and build interpersonal skills. Among the programs and lessons we offer this age group are:
This age group also partakes in yoga daily to foster confidence, self-awareness, self-esteem and well-being. Yoga with three year olds supports neuromuscular development and body awareness. It also teaches relaxation techniques, as well as stretching and other exercises that are age appropriate for a three year olds stage in development. Research shows that brain connections are built by engaging three year olds in interactive experiences that involve sensory, motor and social explorations.
We also believe social skills are equally important to success in life as academic skills. When children are respectful, kind, polite and honest — they develop character. Moreover, teaching children what behavior to model and what’s expected of them is a daily process. That’s where our Etiquette program comes into play, a program we provide in partnership with parents to teach children manners and appropriate behavior.
We also provide a fun and rewarding Spanish curriculum that immerses our preschoolers in a second language through a combination of multi-sensory and technology components. Young minds are geared toward language development, and children in this age group have the greatest capacity to learn a new language.
We are environmentally conscious at The PREP, and we support “Keep Austin Beautiful.” We have daily, weekly and monthly recycling activities that go well beyond simple waste separation. Our program teaches our three year olds different ways to recycle and how to be environmentally responsible. Our hope is that children share their excitement and knowledge about being “green” with their parents – and they too will take steps to “Keep Austin Beautiful” whenever and wherever possible.
Assessments for the Preschool class are conducted twice per year – enabling parents and teachers to have a balanced look at a child’s abilities and potential areas of improvement. To focus on a child’s specific needs and skills, we allow for individualized instruction and various activities as part of our curriculum.
A weekly lesson plan is posted outside the classroom detailing learning activities for each preschooler every day at The PREP.
Our Preschool students are able to utilize our enrichment areas throughout the building.
As weather permits, we have scheduled activities in our Outdoor Classroom where children are able to experience the sounds, sights and smells of nature. This classroom – which is used daily and weekly for lessons and activities – is separated from the main lobby area by an operable garage door with multiple glass panels. When opened, the indoor and outdoor environments merge… and children are invited to better understand the world we live in. It gives teachers a chance to incorporate “nature” into their lesson plans – all while creating greater levels of creativity, curiosity and discovery among children. It’s truly the ideal place for children to learn in a unique way.
We also have a dedicated Art Studio that allows fun and imagination to blossom among children. It gives our teachers the ability to encourage creativity with hands on painting projects and imaginative artwork. The children can also use this room for fun and interactive cooking projects – if they are learning how to bake cookies – they get to break the eggs… stir in the flour… and pour in the sugar.
In The PREP Café, lunch is served in our state of the art cafeteria prepared by a full-time chef in our on site kitchen. Meal plans are designed with input from our dietician, and food served is health conscious, well balanced and organic where possible. Even our snacks are healthy such as trail mix, and fruits and veggies. We dine family-style — which encourages children to learn manners, responsibility and independence at the table.
This age group is also able to utilize the PREP Tech classroom, which offers cutting-edge technology with individual desktops for three year olds to enjoy. We provide a protected-internet connection to allow for a safe and secure technology experience. Children can opt for individual instruction on the desktops or free computer play time. In addition, we have an interactive whiteboard in this space – a new technology that personalizes learning, engages students and supports teachers. Using this new technology, three year olds can engage with one another during lessons, and take part in fun and interactive activities.
We also have a Multi-Purpose Room where three year olds can develop fine and gross-motor skills. It provides an array of activities and toys for the children to enjoy. It’s also an alternative environment for play – as preschoolers can bring their outside time indoors if the weather is not permitting.
This age group is also able to play in our Splash Park on weather permitting days. This park allows our preschoolers to cool off and have fun. It consists of a splash pad with water spouts and sprays. For safety purposes, there’s no standing water.