ABOUT THE LOCAL PRESCHOOL

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OUR PHILOSOPHY

The Local Preschool, in Mar Vista, is a Reggio inspired preschool that serves families with children 2.5 to 5 years of age.

Our program values the key principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach, investing in the development of the whole child as a unique individual within a greater community.

As a mixed age program in an intimate home setting, each child and family contributes to the context and identity of the school. We value the importance of developing authentic relationships among peers, adults, materials, and the environment, as the foundation for lifelong learning.

We believe that everyday experiences offer rich learning opportunities for young children and that each child is an active participant in his/her own learning. Honoring each child’s style of learning, our curriculum is emergent and develops through an organic process of investigation and inquiry.

The Local Preschool is a nurturing and welcoming environment where children, parents, and teachers come together to learn, grow, and build community.

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CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

Our curriculum is based on a process of observation and reflection, where children play an active role as co-constructors of their own learning opportunities. As children get to know the school environment, the available materials, and their peers, a shared context develops, stories unfold, and new curriculum emerges. Through conversations and open ended questions, teachers take every opportunity to narrate and reflect with children on their experiences, develop theories, think about how to navigate social situations together, and be partners in developing short and long term projects and investigations.

All three protagonists of the learning process - children, parents and teachers - are in constant relationship and communication with one another to support the healthy development of the domains of child development; social/emotional, cognitive, and physical. Through this curricular approach, the teacher plays the role of a facilitator, with a high image of the child, encouraging thinking and creativity among children and nurturing different learning styles.

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GOALS FOR CHILDREN

feel safe, comfortable, and in relationship with the environment of the school

develop a strong sense of self

develop a strong sense of community and participation

build meaningful relationships with peers, teachers, and materials

develop critical thinking abilities

learn techniques for working with a variety of media to represent ideas

feel empowered to share ideas and theories among a group

learn to listen to, participate in, and question the ideas of others

become active participants in their own learning process

develop problem solving, conflict resolution, and resiliency skills

identity, express, process and cope with feelings and emotions

develop early literacy and numeracy skills

develop an understanding of kindness and empathy toward others

become invested in a learning process based upon individual and group interests, inspiration, and initiatives

play a meaningful role in co-constructing knowledge and school experiences among the three protagonists

As our enrollment expands, so will our staff.  For now, get to know April...  

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April Estrada-Morgan Director, Educator

April has over 18 years of experience working with children ages 3mo-6 years of age. In 2000, she began teaching at The Growing Place - Marine Park, where they incorporated aspects of the RIE approach as well as the Reggio Emilia approach with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. During that time she traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy for a study tour and St. Louis, Missouri for a conference to continue her learning about this approach with young children.

In 2004, April began working at First Presbyterian Nursery School under director Mary Hartzell, a developmental specialist, parent educator, and mentor to April. During her 14 years at First Pres she helped develop classroom curriculum and create presentations with her co-teachers showcasing her classroom projects for educator tours, school conferences, and class meetings. She has attended educator conferences throughout the country to deepen her study with other schools that are inspired by this approach. April has also participated in school collaboratives with several local schools in the Santa Monica and Los Angeles area.

April grew up in the Venice/Mar Vista area. She is a wife and has three children; two girls ages 14 and 6, and one boy age 12. She is dedicated to her family and to the education of young children.