The Amherst Public Schools Preschool Program is an integrated preschool program, which means that both typically developing children and children with special needs are enrolled in the program, learning side by side. Our preschool classrooms are a mixed age group, three to five year olds, who were not age eligible for kindergarten. Children must be three years of age on or before September 1st of that school year.
The mission of the Early Childhood Program is to offer children the opportunity to play and learn in a fun and stimulating environment with same age peers, where children learn from one another. In preschool children learn developmental skills in the areas of: cognitive, social/emotional, communication, fine and large muscle skills. An integrated preschool setting enables all children to participate to their fullest capacities in the mainstream of education. Special education support services – speech/language, occupational therapy, and physical therapy are provided for children who require these services both in and out of the preschool classroom.
The preschool curriculum is designed to further the overall development of each child. Teachers design activities and curriculum based on the children’s’ interests and is guided by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care Preschool Program Standards. Learning takes place for children through a wide variety of play opportunities and interactions with both age level peers and adults. Children enjoy sand and water play, block building, dramatic play, art projects, reading books together, singing and movement games, as well as working on puzzles, turn taking games and much more. Children play outside every day (weather permitting) offering ride-on-toys, climbing structures, games, and building with large outdoor blocks. Our classes are language rich environments. Children learn to be part of a larger group in a small nurturing early educational environment. Field trips are part of the preschool curriculum and we take advantage of the community at large to support the classroom curricular themes.
Parents/guardians are a vital part of their child’s development and education. We therefore encourage parent/guardian participation directly or indirectly in the classroom. Our program offers:
- Highly qualified and experienced staff
- A beautiful facility, located in a separate wing of Crocker Farm Elementary
- A new state of the art playground, to be built Summer of 2016
- Affordable sliding fee scale tuition rates
- A celebration of diversity
- Snack daily
- School lunch for purchase as well as Free/Reduced Lunch