PCDS Curriculum

Children learn through play and actively engaging with their environment. The classrooms at PCDS offer a variety of hands-on experiences and activities: dramatic play, block building, art activities, sand and water play, science, cooking and music. Each child is unique, and the teachers provide opportunities to stimulate their cognitive, physical, social and emotional development while taking into account children’s individual learning styles.

Park Children’s Day School believes that the most successful Early Childhood program is child-centered and provides a happy and nurturing atmosphere in which children can develop a positive self-image and a love of learning. The curriculum is diverse and flexible, offering a varied and developmentally appropriate choice of activities. The children are valued as capable, worthy individuals and are encouraged to explore, to embrace challenges, and to become critical thinkers.

PCDS advocates learning through experience and provides children with the skills to meet future educational demands. Children at every age level are given unlimited opportunities to learn and grow through play. This approach provides a sense of challenge and personal mastery for each child.

The PCDS faculty and administration believe that a young child learns and lives best in a well-organized environment in which he or she is encouraged to express his or her ideas, experiment, and move about freely in appropriately equipped and organized classrooms.

We believe that the education and well-being of each child is best accomplished through cooperation and communication among all members of the school community. Parents are encouraged to be in close contact with the school, to participate in their child’s school life, and to be involved in the many activities sponsored by the Parents Association.

An atmosphere of trust, shared concern for the welfare of the children and a sense of community are the most important aspects of the school’s philosophy and practice.

Curriculum Detail

Emergent Literacy

Emergent Literacy

The children are exposed to rich language and literacy experiences every day. The classrooms are intentionally designed as print and symbol-rich environments. Through listening to stories, the dramatization of stories, book making, and dictations, the children develop many skills including oral language skills, the connection between the spoken and written word, phonological awareness, alphabetic knowledge and conventions of print. We use a variety of literary genres to inspire the children and spark their interest and imagination. Curiosity is developed in the classroom through both teacher-planned and spontaneous child-initiated activities. The children begin to incorporate letters, words, symbols and numbers into their own work. As in all aspects of the program, the children advance at their own pace.

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning

Social and emotional skills are the tools both children and adults use in social interactions to manage everyday emotional responses and make responsible decisions. Preschool social-emotional skills include self-awareness, social awareness, the ability to cooperate with others, manage feelings, feel and show empathy for others, establish healthy relationships, focus attention and persist at challenging tasks. These skills are emphasized at PCDS and given intentional support because they are critical for long-term school and life success.

Mathematics

Mathematics

Mathematical concepts are integral to the curriculum at all age levels. Through the manipulation and exploration of a wide range of materials, children gain an understanding of counting and number sense, basic addition and subtraction, sorting, patterning, comparing, sequencing, classifying and estimating. Teachers use charts, graphs, books and songs to support the children's math skills. Conceptual learning takes place in the context of play through activities such as cooking, counting games, block building and group meetings. One of our goals is to help children think mathematically and use language to describe, reason, and predict ideas and solutions.

Art

Art

The art program at PCDS focuses on the creative process rather than the product. Projects are child-directed and celebrate the experience of discovery. Children work with a variety of art materials to express their experiences, feelings and ideas. As children use familiar materials over time, they develop increasing dexterity, creativity and skill.

Science

Science

Children are naturally curious about the world around them. Our program emphasizes “discovery” as a way of gaining information. The children are provided with a variety of materials and experiences that allow them to use the scientific method of asking questions, making observations, forming a hypothesis, experimenting and drawing a conclusion. Science concepts include cause and effect, balance, measurement, nature, seasons and weather. Through activities such as, cooking, planting, the care of pets, and recycling of materials, children gain respect and a sense of responsibility for their environment. Our city children get a real “dose” of nature because Central Park is just across the street. Science activities in the park help increase descriptive vocabulary and allow children to gain a better appreciation of their world.

Music

Music

A music specialist works with each class weekly utilizing a variety of musical experiences, which include instruments and movement. The approach is expressive, imaginative and movement-oriented. Children feel joy and confidence as their musical abilities grow. Songs promote language skills rhythm and pitch. Music fills the classrooms and hallways every day, especially during transitions, meeting time, clean-up and dismissal.

Social Studies

Social Studies

We help children develop awareness of self and family and become active participants in the larger community. Children learn to accept diversity as they read or hear about various cultures and traditions. Topics include: What do you know about yourself as a baby and now as an older child? Who are the people in your family? What do they do? What are the jobs of people in the community? What are some of the rules in your home, school and communtiy? How do you make and keep a friend? How can we respect and care for our world? How are we alike? How are we different?

Physical Activity

Physical Activity

Physical activity is an important component of every child’s learning experience at PCDS. The children spend part of each day in the school’s gym or Central Park. Our gym is equipped with a climbing wall, tricycles, a rope climber, rocking boats, trampolines, a variety of sports equipment and large hollow blocks for building structures. In Central Park, the children have the opportunity to explore the natural environment and observe wildlife.

Additional Information

Classroom Visit

Before school begins in September, all children entering Toddlers and Threes will visit their teachers and classroom, whether or not they are new to Park Children’s Day School. This is an important first step toward establishing a teacher/student bond and a feeling of security in a new classroom setting. The teachers will contact the parents shortly after Labor Day to set up a convenient time for the visit.

Daily Arrival

A teacher will be on duty at 8:30 AM every morning, beginning in late September, in the first floor reception room to read to children whose family’s morning schedule requires that they be brought to school early. The accommodation is for children in the Threes, Fours and Fives.

For regular arrival time, Mrs. Newell and/or Mrs. White greet the children in the lobby. The children proceed with their parent(s) to their classrooms with the exception of children in the Fives who will be brought to the gym to meet their teachers.

Parent / Teacher Conferences

Formal Parent/teacher Conferences are scheduled in the fall and in the spring. Additional conferences may be arranged as parents or teachers wish.

Daily Schedule

Children of two, three, four and five years of age are enrolled at PCDS. Toddlers attend either two, three or five sessions per week. Threes, Fours and Fives attend five sessions per week. The decision as to which session a child will attend is made based on the age of the child, his or her needs, and the availability of places.

• Toddlers: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
• Threes: 8:50 AM - 12:15 PM
• Fours: 8:45 AM - 12:15 PM
• Fives: 8:45 AM - 2:30 PM (M,T,W,Th)
• 8:45 AM - 12:15 PM (F)

An optional Afternoon Adventures Program is available in the Three and Four Year Old Programs on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday until 2:30 PM.

Afternoon Adventures offers an in-depth exploration in the areas of bookmaking and literacy, science investigations, yoga and mindfulness and excursions in Central Park and the neighborhood. It also includes a focus on various art media such as ceramics, printmaking, collage, and sculpture.

After-School Club is available for children in the Three, Four and Five Year Old Programs.

After-School Club offers children the following class options; Soccer on Monday, Chess on Tuesday, Basketball on Wednesday, World Dance on Thursday and/or Yoga/Aerobics on Friday.
On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: Afternoon Club will begin at 2:30pm until 3:30pm.  
On Tuesday: After-School Club will begin at dismissal until 1:30pm for Threes & Fours.
On Friday: Afternoon Club will begin at dismissal until 1:30pm.


PCDS YYYY - YYYY School Year Calendar

Wednesday, September 6th
,
2023
Teachers Return
Monday through Friday, September 11-15
,
2023
Classroom Visits for Children in the Toddlers, Threes and New Children
Tuesday, September 12
,
2023
Parent Orientation 6-8pm
Thursday, September 14
,
2023
Fours and Fives begin
Monday, September 18
,
2023
Toddlers and Threes begin
Monday, September 25
,
2023
School Closed for Yom Kippur
Tuesday, September 26
,
2023
Early Morning Greeter begins at 8:30am
Wednesday, September 27
,
2023
Full Day Program for Fives begins, Afternoon Adventures and Fall Clubs begin
Friday, October 6
,
2023
Caregiver Orientation after drop-off
Monday, October 9
,
2023
School Closed for Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day
Thursday, October 26
,
2023
Curriculum Night 12:15pm dismissal for Threes, Fours and Fives, No Afternoon Adventures or Clubs
Thursday, November 2
,
2023
Dad's Night Out
Monday, November 6
,
2023
School Closed for Parent/Teacher Conferences
Wednesday & Thursday, November 8 & 9
,
2023
Photo Days
Wednesday, November 15
,
2023
Teachers leave for NAEYC Conference, Noon dismissal for Fives, No Afternoon Adventures or Clubs
Thursday & Friday, November 16 & 17
,
2023
School Closed for NAEYC Conference in Nashville
Wednesday through Friday, November 22-24
,
2023
School Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday
Wednesday, November 29
,
2023
Spirit Day (no photo - just for fun!)
Tuesday, December 5
,
2023
In-Person Open House
Tuesday, December 19
,
2023
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon Noon dismissal for ALL Classes, No Clubs
Wednesday, December 20
,
2023
Last Day of Fall Clubs
Thursday, December 21
,
2023
Winter Break begins after Class Party
Monday, January 8
,
2024
Teachers return after Winter Break
Tuesday, January 9
,
2024
School reopens for Children - Winter Clubs begin
Monday, January 15
,
2024
School Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Saturday, January 20
,
2024
Pajama Pancake Breakfast
Thursday, February 1
,
2024
Annual Benefit
Friday, February 9
,
2024
Family Friday, PA Meeting & Coffee (immediately following)
Monday & Tuesday, February 19 & 20
,
2024
School Closed for Mid-Winter Weekend
Monday, March 4
,
2024
Book Fair Cocktail Party 6:30pm
Tuesday, March 5
,
2024
Book Fair
Thursday, March 14
,
2024
Last Day of Winter Clubs
Friday, March 15
,
2024
Family Visiting Day (except for Toddlers), Spring Break begins after dismissal
Monday, April 1
,
2024
Teachers return after Spring Break
Tuesday, April 2
,
2024
School reopens for Children, Spring Clubs begin
Thursday, April 11
,
2024
Color Day
Wednesday, April 16
,
2024
Ongoing School Discussion with Betsy 6:00pm
Tuesday, April 23
,
2024
School Closed for Passover
Monday, April 29
,
2024
School Closed for Parent/Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, May 1
,
2024
Spirit Day  All-School Photo 9:15 am
Thursday, May 9
,
2024
Alumni Ice Cream Social 3:30- 5:00pm
Tuesday, May 14
,
2024
Reception for New & Returning Parents 6:00- 7:30pm
Saturday, May 18
,
2024
Spring Carnival
Tuesday, May 21
,
2024
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon Noon dismissal for ALL Classes, No Clubs
Thursday, May 23
,
2024
Last Full Day for Fives, Last Day of Afternoon Adventures and Spring Clubs
Monday, May 27
,
2024
School Closed for Memorial Day
Friday, May 31
,
2024
Closing Day for Children
Wednesday, September 7 Teachers return
Monday, September 12 through Friday, September 16 Children's Home/Classroom Visits
Tuesday, September 13 Parent Orientation - 6pm
Thursday, September 15 Fours and Fives begin
Monday, September 19 Toddlers and Threes begin
Monday, September 26 Rosh Hashanah School Closed
Tuesday, September 27 Early Morning Greeter begins
Wednesday, September 28 The Full Day Program for Fives and Afternoon Adventures for Threes and Fours begins
Wednesday, October 5 Yom Kippur School Closed
Monday, October 10 Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous People's Day School Closed
Tuesday & Wednesday, October 25 & 26 Photo Days
Thursday, October 27 Curriculum Night Noon dismissal for Threes, Four and Fives No Afternoon Adventures or After-School Clubs
Wednesday, November 2 Virtual Open House 7:30pm
Monday, November 7 Parent/Teacher Conferences School Closed
Wednesday, November 16 Teachers leave for NAEYC Conference Noon dismissal.
Thursday & Friday, November 17 & 18 NAEYC Conference in Washington, DC
Wednesday Through Friday, November 23-25 Thanksgiving Holiday
Wednesday, November 30  Spirit Day (no photo-just for fun!)
Tuesday, December 6 In-person Open House 6:00pm
Tuesday, December 13 Teacher Appreciation Holiday Luncheon Noon dismissal for Threes, Fours and Fives
Thursday, December 15 Winter Break begins after Class Party
Tuesday, January 3 Teachers return after Winter Break
Wednesday, January 4 School reopens for Children
Monday, January 13 Marin Luther King Jr. Day School Closed
Monday & Tuesday, February 20 & 21 Mid-Winter Weekend
Friday, March 17 Spring Break begins after dismissal
Monday, April 3 Teachers return after Spring Break
Tuesday, April 4 School reopens for Children
Thursday & Friday April 6 & 7 Passover & Good Friday
Tuesday, April 11 Color Day
Wednesday, April 12 Ongoing School Discussion with Betsy 6:00pm
Monday, April 24 Parent/Teacher Conferences School Closed
Wednesday, April 26 Spirit Day All-School Photo 9:30am
Tuesday, May 23 Teacher Appreciation Luncheon No Extended Day for Fives
Thursday, May 25 Last full day for Fives and Afternoon Adventures
Monday, May 29 Memorial Day School Closed
Friday, June 2 Closing Day for Children
Wednesday, September 6th
Teachers Return
Monday through Friday, September 11-15
Classroom Visits for Children in the Toddlers, Threes and New Children
Tuesday, September 12
Parent Orientation 6-8pm
Thursday, September 14
Fours and Fives begin
Monday, September 18
Toddlers and Threes begin
Monday, September 25
School Closed for Yom Kippur
Tuesday, September 26
Early Morning Greeter begins at 8:30am
Wednesday, September 27
Full Day Program for Fives begins, Afternoon Adventures and Fall Clubs begin
Friday, October 6
Caregiver Orientation after drop-off
Monday, October 9
School Closed for Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day
Thursday, October 26
Curriculum Night 12:15pm dismissal for Threes, Fours and Fives, No Afternoon Adventures or Clubs
Thursday, November 2
Dad's Night Out
Monday, November 6
School Closed for Parent/Teacher Conferences
Wednesday & Thursday, November 8 & 9
Photo Days
Wednesday, November 15
Teachers leave for NAEYC Conference, Noon dismissal for Fives, No Afternoon Adventures or Clubs
Thursday & Friday, November 16 & 17
School Closed for NAEYC Conference in Nashville
Wednesday through Friday, November 22-24
School Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday
Wednesday, November 29
Spirit Day (no photo - just for fun!)
Tuesday, December 5
In-Person Open House
Tuesday, December 19
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon Noon dismissal for ALL Classes, No Clubs
Wednesday, December 20
Last Day of Fall Clubs
Thursday, December 21
Winter Break begins after Class Party
Monday, January 8
Teachers return after Winter Break
Tuesday, January 9
School reopens for Children - Winter Clubs begin
Monday, January 15
School Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Saturday, January 20
Pajama Pancake Breakfast
Thursday, February 1
Annual Benefit
Friday, February 9
Family Friday, PA Meeting & Coffee (immediately following)
Monday & Tuesday, February 19 & 20
School Closed for Mid-Winter Weekend
Monday, March 4
Book Fair Cocktail Party 6:30pm
Tuesday, March 5
Book Fair
Thursday, March 14
Last Day of Winter Clubs
Friday, March 15
Family Visiting Day (except for Toddlers), Spring Break begins after dismissal
Monday, April 1
Teachers return after Spring Break
Tuesday, April 2
School reopens for Children, Spring Clubs begin
Thursday, April 11
Color Day
Wednesday, April 16
Ongoing School Discussion with Betsy 6:00pm
Tuesday, April 23
School Closed for Passover
Monday, April 29
School Closed for Parent/Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, May 1
Spirit Day  All-School Photo 9:15 am
Thursday, May 9
Alumni Ice Cream Social 3:30- 5:00pm
Tuesday, May 14
Reception for New & Returning Parents 6:00- 7:30pm
Saturday, May 18
Spring Carnival
Tuesday, May 21
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon Noon dismissal for ALL Classes, No Clubs
Thursday, May 23
Last Full Day for Fives, Last Day of Afternoon Adventures and Spring Clubs
Monday, May 27
School Closed for Memorial Day
Friday, May 31
Closing Day for Children