Download our Parents' Handbook for an overview of this information.
Tamalpais Preschool offers preschool and pre-kindergarten programs, based on the child's age and level of development. Each child is given many varied opportunities for working and learning through a play-based curriculum. Our curriculum is tailored to the interests of the children and evolves from teachers' observations of topics suggested by the children's spontaneous play. Weekly and monthly themes are the foundation for our presentation of learning tasks and creative activities for a range of developmental stages.
School hours for our Preschool Program are 9:00am to 1:00pm; our Pre-K Program hours are 9:00am to 1:00pm. Download our 2016-2017 Preschool Rotation Schedule (for MWF, T/TH, and 5-Day Classes).
Two-and-a-half to three-year-old children attend the program on Tuesday and Thursday. Four-year-old children can attend preschool Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or five days.
Child Care and Enrichment Activities are offered from 8:00 to 9:00am and from 1:00 to 5:00pm. Download our Afternoon Enrichment Program Welcome Letter and Childcare Brochure for details on pricing, reservation policy, and more.
Tamalpais Preschool generally follows the local public school calendar, beginning school in early September and ending in the beginning of June. Optional summer programs are offered during June and July.
The preschool classroom is a spacious playroom, divided into three learning areas, with a large outdoor yard and garden. The indoor space includes an Art Room for artistic and creative expression, a Library that includes children's access to our large collection of children's books, and tables for cognitive small-motor tasks and science exploration. The Library also includes a dramatic play center with dress-up costumes, furniture and housekeeping equipment. Our third indoor area is the Block Room, which includes small unit blocks and large hollow blocks for play. The space can provide more large motor activities such as music, body movement, musical instruments, dancing and the use of other movement equipment.
Our Pre-K program is a five-day program with 16 students and two teachers. The program has been designed for children old enough to attend Kindergarten, but whose families feel an additional year in preschool would be beneficial. The children are usually four-and-a-half to five years old in September. Enrollment in the program is determined by birthday order of currently enrolled students (the older the child, the higher the priority).
Pre-K is located in the church building in two adjoining classrooms. The children move between the classrooms for various activities. These classrooms contain many learning materials and are designed to enhance children's social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.
Tam Pre-K uses a project approach and emergent curriculum. We focus on children's interests, but expand on their knowledge by creating group-based projects. We use the "Handwriting Without Tears" program for literacy, with a combination of phonics and a letter of the week. Like the Preschool, Pre-K focuses on Independence, Social, Classroom, and Pre-Academic Skills, in a combination of child-directed and teacher-directed activities.
The Pre-K classroom has its own two playgrounds, separate from the Preschool. One of the playgrounds is a large motor space with a play structure, sandbox, and building materials, while the smaller yard is an outside classroom and transition area for outdoor creative projects.
Tips to help ease your child's adjustment to the new and exciting experience of preschool:
—Plan enough time for your child to dress and have a good breakfast. Try to avoid a "last minute rush" by having lunches prepared, sweaters ready, car keys in place, etc. It is best for your child to arrive at school feeling relaxed.
—Dress your child appropriately for school. Growing and learning are a messy business, and dressy, restrictive clothes interfere with a child's freedom to explore new things.
—Bring your child to school on time. It may be difficult for a child (who is just learning social skills) to come into the program after everyone else is busy at work.
—Our Early Morning Child Care from 8:00 to 9:00am is often a quieter, more relaxed time for a reticent child to begin school. Parents may stay for a short while and help their child get involved in activities before the "big day" begins.
—Arrive on time to pick up your child from school. It may be upsetting for a child to be the "last one" at school when everyone else has gone home or when your expected time of arrival has passed. (A child may feel abandoned and afraid, and may refuse to come to school for awhile after such an experience.)
—Please be considerate of everyone by keeping your child home when he or she is not feeling well. A child with a cold, cough, or mild intestinal upset does not have fun at school... and it is unfair to risk infecting other children.
Lunch & Nutritious Snacks
Daily snacks are provided in the morning and in the afternoon. Snack may include crackers, cereal, vegetables, or fruit and a beverage, and an occasional birthday treat. Download our Helpful Hints for Birthday Treats for ideas and rules (pdf).
Children who stay for lunch bring their own lunches to school in a lunch box or sack. Nutritious lunches give children energy and begin a lifetime habit of healthy eating. Pediatricians advise parents to avoid foods that may cause a child to choke, such as popcorn,nuts of all kinds, uncooked celery, carrots and hot dogs. Please no candy or drinks in cans or bottles. Download our Lunch at School information sheet for ideas and rules (pdf).
Due to a few severe peanut allergies among our students, Tamalpais Preschool is a "nut free" school and we do not allow any peanuts or peanut products in our school. Please avoid peanut butter (a safer alternative is sunflower butter or soy butter) and peanut oil products in lunches or treats brought to school for any occasion. Download our Nut Allergies policy for important information (pdf).
Children who attend Tamalpais Preschool must be toilet trained. Toilet accidents are expected, especially when children are adjusting to the school setting. We are happy to work with families with the toilet training process, but we need your support by working on it at home consistently to fully accomplish toilet training.
Children need to wear cloth underpants to school and have familiarity with independent use of the toilet, unless special circumstances are established. Teachers will monitor the bathrooms, and help pull up garments, or wipe if needed. Avoid putting on complicated clothing on your child, like tight jeans, belts, buckles, and buttons. Sweatpants or clothing with elastic waistbands work best at school.
Teachers will remind children to use the bathroom, especially if we know that a child needs extra help. Please check in with teachers if your child is still toilet training. Should a child have an accident at school, we will always take great care to insure that the child feels as comfortable as possible. In the T/TH Class, teachers give 3-4 potty reminders a day, called “potty time”, and transition children through the bathroom to help them if needed. Children will get used to the school routine and accidents should decrease over the first month or two of school.
In November, after a couple of months of toilet training, if a child is continually wetting or soiling him/herself on a regular basis (for example 2-3 accidents per day) staff may ask parents to keep their child home for a week to work on toilet training. At that point, children may need a few days at home to really concentrate on training.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation! You can download this Toilet Training Policy (pdf), but if you have further questions, please contact the school. We do work with families individually and will help as much as possible with the toilet training process.