An independent co-educational school serving preschool through Grade 8.

Early Childhood: Grades PS - K

Welcome From the Director of Early Childhood and Lower School

Kelly Goodspeed

Welcome to the Early Childhood program at Stanley Clark! Our innovative, Reggio Emilia-inspired program for children ages 3-5 in preschool and kindergarten honors the creativity and capability of each child in our care. Talented and nurturing educators get to know their students deeply, allowing them to design learning experiences that tap into children’s innate curiosities and interests.

Research has long demonstrated the importance of intentional education during the early years when rapid brain growth occurs. As such, our program actively promotes curiosity, character development, and the joy of learning. Central to a child’s day-to-day experience in our program is engagement with the arts, movement, open exploration, nature, and joyful play. Teachers purposefully embed social and academic skill preparation in students’ learning to ensure they have a solid foundation for success in our Lower School and beyond. 

We look forward to partnering with families to ensure every child’s first experience in a classroom setting is joyful and nurturing. Please reach out with any questions (kgoodspeed@stanleyclark.org) or to learn more! I would be delighted to share more about our approach and discuss how our Early Childhood program could be a good fit for your child. 

Joyfully,

Kelly Goodspeed
Director of Early Childhood and Lower School

 

Contact Us

 

Kindergarten Animal Research Project
Preschoolers playing trucks outside
Preschool Boys Exploring a Light Table
Preschool Student
Spanish teacher reading to preschoolers
Preschool self-portrait
Preschooler swinging
Kindergarten Student Practicing Writing Letters

Reggio Emilia Philosophy

Stanley Clark’s early childhood program incorporates the innovative and unique program of the Reggio Emilia Philosophy, which incorporates all the ideals that we believe are essential for the development and education of young children. From the careful design and organization of space to the documentation of children's work, conversation and activities, ours is truly a child-centered education.

Early childhood teachers work with the children to create an atmosphere that promotes open-ended, process-oriented discovery and exploration. Our faculty are life-long learners who accompany the children on this journey. They continue to study the Reggio approach and to interpret and apply the Reggio philosophy within our culture and context.

Although they are young, early childhood students are competent and capable of incredibly wonderful creative work when they are presented with sophisticated tools.

 

"The Reggio philosophy for early childhood education has been a natural process for our son and we have seen how it has nurtured his interests while introducing him to new interests as well."
~ Ryan Costantini, Current Parent

Preschool 4/5 Self-Portraits

"Watching preschoolers draw their self-portraits is one of my very favorite parts of each year. There's something magical about hearing them describe themselves, and watching as they take in their own faces in the mirror. They are never harsh or judgmental about their own looks, and they always feel full of pride once they've finished their drawing. Self-portraits help hone fine motor skills, encourage observation and reflection, and help us to see where they are with body and perceptual awareness.

~Kara Lewis, Preschool 4/5 Teacher

Early Childhood Curriculum

Challenging. Inspiring. Engaging. These are a few words used to describe the unique Stanley Clark curriculum. The academic experience of students is complemented with education in the arts, athletics and character - an empowering combination that results in graduates who lead, volunteer, inspire and excel. Course descriptions may be found below. Please note that our responsive, adaptive pedagogy and desire to meet students' educational needs may necessitate additions, modifications or deletions to the curriculum midyear. 

Preschool Curriculum
Kindergarten Curriculum

Classroom Environment

Kindergarten Morning Meeting

Careful consideration is given to the design and organization of space, equipment and materials because the physical environment is considered another teacher that has the power to facilitate learning.

Throughout the environment, indoors and out, children are consistently given the opportunity to communicate what they know, wonder, feel and imagine through a fantastic variety of materials and activities.

Documentation

Student Artwork

Our respect for our young students and the value we place on their work is evident in the process of documentation. Transcriptions of children's conversations, photographs of their activities, and representations of their work produce displays of the children's thinking and learning. These displays become points of reference for the children, parents and teachers.

The Garatoni Center for Reggio Studies

In 2004, The Garatoni Center for Reggio Studies was built as an addition to the existing preschool, Fannin Hall. Our architects immersed themselves in the Reggio Philosophy, allowing them to design rooms which heighten the Reggio experience.

For example, large, aligning windows create a feeling of connection to the outdoors. Since parents are encouraged to be involved in what happens at school, windows, corridors, and observation points allow for parents and other visitors to observe the classrooms unobtrusively.

Our Garatoni Center for Reggio Studies is designed both architecturally and educationally to enable training of other local and regional institutions seeking to study the approach. Relationships have already been established with several local universities including Indiana University South Bend, Saint Mary's College, and Ivy Tech in order to become an integral part in the professional growth of early childhood teachers.

 

"From the first time we set foot on campus, we felt drawn to that feeling of family. It is a place where everyone seems to know your name, there is a smile around every corner, artwork fills the hallways, the school’s word of the year is prominently on display, and amidst sounds of teaching and laughter, you get that familiar sense of a home." ~ Jessica Reasons, Current Parent