Early Childhood Programs
At Phoenix Elementary District #1, we offer a variety of preschool programs designed to meet each child's individual needs within a curriculum that is culturally relevant. The programs are:
Reggio Emilia Inspired - The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by the parents in villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. Due to the destruction from the war, parents believed it necessitated a new, quick approach to teaching their children. This led to creation of a program based on the principles of respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching environment based on the interests of the children through a self-guided curriculum. This is offered at Dunbar and Kenilworth School.
Montessori - Faith North and Shaw School offer Montessori programs. The classrooms are comprised of 3-6 year olds. The Montessori Method is a child-centered approach for children, based on theories of child development originated by Italian educator Maria Montessori (1870-1952) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Montessori Method is characterized by an emphasis on self-directed activity on the part of the child and clinical observation on the part of the teacher. It stresses the importance of adapting the child's learning environment to his or her developmental level, and of the role of physical activity in absorbing abstract concepts and practical skills. It is also characterized by the use of autodidactic (self-correcting) equipment for introduction and learning of various concepts.
General District Program - Our general programs across the District are designed to meet each child's individual needs within curriculum that is culturally relevant. Our program recognizes that readiness in children varies both within and among themselves. The focus is on the development of the whole child in a cognitively and effectively rich and responsive environment. Problem-solving and child-initiated activities are promoted through the use of developmentally appropriate practices.
Every child has the opportunity to participate in a variety of active learning experiences to foster cognitive, social, emotional and physical growth. Educational experiences for preschool students are based on the understanding that young children learn through socio-dramatic and constructive play. The preschool classroom will create an environment that promotes independence, fosters decision-making and encourages involvement of children and their families. Our District programs are located at: Bethune, Edison, Emerson, Garfield, Herrera (Dual Language), Shaw and Whittier schools.
Head Start - The Head Start Program is based on the premise that all children share certain needs and that children of low-income families, in particular, can benefit from a comprehensive developmental program to meet those needs. The Head Start approach believes:
- A child can benefit from a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program to foster development. Because the family is the principal influence on the child's development, the child's family, as well as the community, must be involved in the program.