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Special Start

Contact Information
Teachers: Moira McNabb O’Connell and Janet Forte
Location: Room 155 and 156
Hours: 8:30AM - 2:30PM (McNabb), 8:30AM - 12:30PM [1:30PM] (Forte)
Phone: 617.349.6530 x1552 (McNabb), x1562 (Forte)
Best times to call are before or after class time.

Objective
special_start.jpgTo provide developmentally appropriate curriculum for 3-5 year old children with and without special needs in fully accessible classroom settings. Each classroom works to support the growth and development of children, while addressing the strengths and needs of each individual child. Teaching staff provide engaging and innovative curriculum that meets the needs of all children in our diverse community and follows the Massachusetts Department of Education Frameworks for Preschool.

Instructional Methods
Our curriculum is based on best practices as outlined by the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks. We promote learning through hands-on play and social experiences, as well as through direct teaching methodologies. In addition, we foster both academic and social development of individuals to build a strong classroom community through group experiences (e.g. meetings, shared reading, music, mealtimes, etc.)

Parent Participation and Communication
We encourage open parent-teacher communication and welcome parents to visit our classrooms. Families also invited to participate in other ways, such as volunteering, reading to the class, leading a special project, etc. We maintain frequent communication with families via newsletters, phone calls, notes, etc. Parents can make individual appointments with teachers upon request.

Assessment:
Progress is monitored continuously throughout the year using both formal and informal methods. Additional documentation of children’s growth and development may include anecdotal note taking, photographs and a collection of a child’s work. We also work alongside of our therapeutic team to closely monitor the progress of children on Individualized Educational Plans.

Subject Area Details
special_start.pngLanguage /Literacy: Throughout all activities and routines of the day, children are provided opportunities to develop skills in areas relating to language and communication, including receptive and expressive vocabulary, articulation, and attending skills. Literacy experiences include the use of a variety of early childhood books, stories, poems, songs and charts, as well as experiences with the alphabet, letter sounds and the connection between oral language and print.

Mathematics: Preschool children require time to explore and experiment with objects, materials and manipulatives. Through active exploration children will develop a sense of numbers, number operations and a sense of space.

Science: Preschool children require both the time and the materials to explore, to investigate and “wonder” about their world. We use both planned activities and “teachable moments” to promote inquiry and investigation of materials, tools, machines and the natural environment.

Social Studies: Preschoolers work to develop an understanding of oneself in the context of one’s family, school and community. In particular, we focus on our school community and their home communities, and begin to identify the unique characteristics of each. Preschoolers will also learn to communicate personal needs, participate in school routines and to care for themselves and the classroom environment.