Early Childhood Program
HAMPDEN-WILBRAHAM REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
INTEGRATED PRESCHOOL PROGRAM
The Integrated Preschool Program services children with and without special needs, within the three to five year age span. The program is under the Student Services Department for the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District. An integrated program is designed to meet the needs of all children through a variety of proven teaching techniques, methods, and strategies in order to target children’s specific styles, needs and challenges. An integrated classroom is comprised of children who are typically developing and children who are in need of specialized services as part of their Individual Education Plans.
Our curriculum is highly engaging and creative since we believe learning should be fun! Children are active participants in our program. The teachers are masters at creating materials and activities that follow along with a theme. They provide rich experiences that are based on best practices and research-based instruction.
The philosophy of the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District Integrated Preschool Program is:
- To provide a supportive, nurturing environment with appropriate activities and equipment to meet the general developmental needs and varying learning styles of three to five year old children in order to foster their social, emotional, cognitive, physical and language development.
- To encourage ongoing communication and interaction between school and parents.
- To provide a variety of supportive services and resource materials to young children and their families.
The program is structured around the Preschool Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and Literacy, Mathematics, Science and Technology, and Social Studies. Our preschool addresses skill development through developmentally appropriate activities. We follow a cross-disciplinary thematic approach with units that revolve around the seasons, science topics, special interests and literature. We use age-appropriate materials/activities and implement a variety of specific teaching strategies and methods to target children’s individual learning styles.
The teachers in this program are highly skilled at serving as guides and facilitators. Play is a young child’s “work” as they touch, manipulate, and experiment with materials, explore and observe the environment, and interact with adults and one another. Children are also highly encouraged to initiate their own activities and learning. Observations of the at work and play allow the teachers to present additional challenges to assist individual children in pushing their thinking further.
All of these components help to create a relaxing, non-stressful, yet challenging environment where children learn at their own individual stage of development. Ultimately, the goal of our preschool is to develop a positive self-image and a love of learning.
The classroom day is broken into several blocks to meet the needs of the whole child while taking into consideration children’s attention spans, physical and emotional capabilities. Each day you will see a variety of activities that prepare children for their elementary school experience as they enter kindergarten.
- To expand knowledge through observation, investigation and experiences in the environment
- To provide opportunities to acquire and use language skills
- To develop social skills and enhance emotional growth and the ability to interact in a group setting
- To develop small and large muscle skills by participating in developmentally appropriate activities
- To provide opportunities for growth in creative expression
- To provide parents with an opportunity to learn and share in their child’s growth
The Integrated Preschool Team
Meghan Howe - Early Childhood Coordinator
Lisa Person - Teacher, Mile Tree extension
Elizabeth Kranz - Teacher, Mile Tree
Pamela Clark - Teacher, Mile Tree
Kellyn Kalish - Teacher, Mile Tree
Jennifer Caine - Teacher, Green Meadows