Early Learning

A pre-K student smiles and looks at his hands which are covered in bubbles
A pre-Kindergarten student making eye contact with a turtle in a tank

The Foundations for Lifelong Learning

Westside School welcomes three and four-year-old students for a full-day preschool and pre-Kindergarten experience. Our emergent curriculum is play-based, focused on experiential learning and is designed to foster the social-emotional foundations for academic learning.

With a long history of early childhood education, Westside is pleased to offer an enriched environment. Our students are empowered to take an active role in their learning. Teachers observe the spontaneous interests of students and guide them to projects and learning that reflect their natural curiosity.

Classroom learning stations, and whole and small group times serve as an avenue for each child’s social and academic development. In addition to their daily classroom experience, students will participate in physical education, performing arts, visual arts, and world languages.

In preschool and pre-Kindergarten at Westside, Play is learning. They are not separate activities but intertwined. What looks like play to us is actually our youngest students learning to make sense of the world around them, building social and cognitive skills, and constructing knowledge that they will use as they move into Kindergarten and all the way through 8th grade.

After Morning Meeting to start the day (and morning yoga for our pre-Kindergarteners!), recess, and snack, worktime begins as children begin engaging with open-ended materials and interacting with their peers.

During work time, there are many options for play set up around the classroom. Each is designed to be fun and help students learn and practice different skills. Read more about some of our play areas here:
 

PRESCHOOL & PRE-KINDERGARTEN TEAM

McKenzie Craig

McKenzie Craig

Early Learning Division Head
Nicole Sleiers

Nicole Sleiers

Preschool Teacher
Lily Gillespie

Lily Gillespie

Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Lisa Renn

Lisa Renn

Preschool Teacher
Anita Bennett

Anita Bennett

Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Chris Reardon

Chris Reardon

Instructional Assistant
Olivia Brenno

Olivia Brenno

Instructional Assistant
Francine Diles

Francine Diles

Instructional Assistant
Emily Parker

Emily Parker

Instructional Assistant
Allison Parker

Allison Parker

Instructional Assistant
Jessi Powers

Jessi Powers

Instructional Assistant
A group of preschool and middle school students look at an erupting volcano project in awe
A group of 3 preschool students doing yoga