At Zion Lutheran School, we proudly declare our program as a high-quality preschool. Rooted in a tradition of early childhood excellence, we encourage learning through movement, interaction, and active and engaging play, both in the classroom and beyond.
We are proud of the program that has been developed at ZLS, and our mission remains serving our community through early childhood education and developing our littlest learners mind, body and spirit so each of them is well-equipped to move into elementary school and beyond.
What makes us a high-quality preschool?
Below are five key elements that are an integral part of the mission of our preschool program.
#1 Creating a Caring Community of Learners
In a high-quality preschool, children develop positive relationships with each other and their teachers.
– Teachers are warm and caring, and they get to know each child and family well
– Help children learn how to play, work together, and make friends
– Plan activities so that all children can join in.
– Include every child’s family, language, and culture in the program
#2 Support Children’s Development and Learning
Teachers set up the classroom, choose materials, and plan activities that support children’s learning. They also provide materials and activities that interest children and challenge them.
– Encourage children’s efforts by making specific comments
– Set clear limits for children’s behavior and explain the reasons
#3 Planning and Adapting Curriculum
A preschool curriculum is based on what most preschoolers should know and be able to do. Teachers plan and adapt the curriculum to help children learn and grow by:
– Setting learning goals for children that are challenging but achievable with help
– Balancing group activities and instruction guided by the teacher with activities children choose themselves
– Providing enough time for children to get deeply involved in activities and learning
– Paying attention to and supporting children’s interests, skills, and knowledge
#4 Assesses Children’s Development and Learning
Through regular assessments, teachers understand what each child knows and can do. This helps them decide which materials, activities, and experiences to add to help children continue learning.
Teachers assess children’s learning and development by
– Regularly taking notes on what children do and say
– Collecting samples of children’s drawings and writings
– Taking photos of the things children make
– Using screening tests to identify when children need more learning support
– Asking you what activities your child does at home and what interests he/she has
#5 Developing Relationships With Families
Teachers want to build trusting relationships with families. They know that you are the most important people in your child’s life.
Teachers partner with families by
– Listening to families’ goals and concerns for their children
– Encouraging families to participate in the program in different ways
– Showing respect for each family and its dynamics
– Trying to find ways to communicate in a family’s home language
We strive to help students develop critical minds and a life-long love of learning that guides choices and can transform lives.
Our focus on individual students strengths ignites curiosity, creativity, grit and resilience in our students.
We are committed to each and every child growing their faith and love of God, and our students emerge ready to serve and succeed with Christ as their compass.