Half Day Preschool

Our Distinctive Approach

Life is race and it starts early. The happiest and most successful children run the race with confidence, eager to try out the next skill and use their curiosity. An excellent PreSchool helps parents in the task of guiding their child wisely.

In our experience, parents start the PreSchool search with one of these questions:

  1. Is the school safe?
  2. How can I know what my child is doing daily and how can I get my questions answered?
  3. My child is very young and I’m scared. Will the transition period be too much?
  4. How are the lessons chosen and what can I expect?

To find out more about Highland Academics – start with the question tab below that is your biggest concern:

  • Will my child be safe in PreSchool ?

    This is the basic question that comes before anything else. If your child is not safe, then nothing else matters. 40% of all American children under 5 years of age use daycare. The biggest reason for emergency center treatment for children under 5 years of age is accidents.

    In New York City, a common daycare violation is blocked emergency exits. Its easy to see why it happens since no one expects a fire. Parents don’t necessarily see that toys are blocking the door. Until something happens.

    Highland Academics has an 8 point plan to make sure that we comply with safety 100%. It’s our commitment to families.

    1. All children are in classrooms within a locked area of the building. The public does not have access to classrooms or playground.
    2. All exterior doors in the classroom areas are monitored by door alarms which are key controlled. The doors cannot be opened by children or others without an immediate siren.
    3. We have added a new personnel program which monitors expiration dates of staff licenses. We are committed to 100% compliance.
    4. We check the building every day for safety issues before programs open.
    5. We always have enough staff to maintain the correct ratios with children. We hire temporary staff from the School Professionals company if unexpected absences will take us out of ratio.
    6. We require all families to notify us of allergies and other needs for therapy so that your child will be protected while at school.
    7. All of our Lead Teachers have First Aid certification and we always have a staff member available with Emergency Response certification.
    8. We conduct fire and intruder drills monthly so that children are familiar with what to do if they hear a loud bell.

    Our goal is to be the safest Preschool in Queens. We’re ready for your child.

  • Parents take constant care of their baby and child until school starts. For the next 15 years, the child enters the school building and parents get very little feedback about the classroom environment. Grandparents get even less unless they live in the same community.  While positive discipline is now the rule at most schools and preschools, teachers still have a great deal of influence on classroom environment. If the classroom environment in your school had teacher’s pets or too many rules –  how would you know?

    In an age of smart phones and text, more communication should be available to parents.

    Highland Academics is a leader in parent access to your child at all times.

    1. Cameras are available in each classroom and you can both see and hear your child and the classroom (on your phone or computer). We’re proud of our teaching teams and you can follow up more at home if you see moments during the day from the classroom. One additional code may be given to a grandparent – anyplace that they have access to internet.
    2. All phone calls and emails are returned within 1 school day.
    3. There are two parent teacher conferences during the year where we review with you progress that we see in the new skills of your child.
    4. A daily email to you will describe the activities of the day so that you can talk with your child more easily about what they experienced (and what they forgot!)

    If you want to see the friends, atmosphere, and classroom activities for your child, come to Highland Academics because you never really lose touch during the day!

  • There are two types of children. Some kids are durable with new experiences and can play happily on a boat during a hurricane. Other children need time to adjust to new surroundings. They may cry for extended periods as they react to situations that are not part of their everyday experience.

    Transition into Preschool is a boundary issue for parents and child. It is a new frontier and all of the possibility — and problems that is part of crossing any boundary.

    Parents may experience loss as their child steps forward into more independence. Children will have a range of emotions based on their personality and previous home experiences. Children may experience

    1. Confusion by the change into a larger environment
    2. Anticipation of chance to explore and master new tasks and toys
    3. Irritation at the need for conformity with classroom and bathroom rules and schedules
    4. Embarrassment at their lack of knowledge about a new situation
    5. Impatience with a strong desire to show abilities to adults and classmates

    The National Early Childhood Transition Center reports that transition consequences for a young child can be traced until the 3rd grade. Unsuccessful transition can result in lower verbal and literacy skills in particular. A child who transitions (to awareness of others, awareness of self, and confidence) can relax and accept the developmental and conceptual program.

    Highland Academics emphasizes the importance of transition with its research based  Transition curriculum

    1. Child’s perspective – Teacher asks the child what emotions they are feeling and helps them to chart emotions in the first month of PreSchool. It is critical that the teacher understands how each child is approaching the PreSchool experience.
    2. Ritual – we ask that each family equip their child with a small bookbag with an empty water bottle and small pack of crayons. Finding and carrying the bookbag each day demonstrates to the child that school is a different activity than home with different people and customs. At the end of the day, the child returns home with the bookbag and puts it away.
    3. Play immersion – In the first month of PreSchool, an engaging fun transition experience happens at the beginning of the school day. The transition activity creates a base emotion of fun and laughter. While the child will still have other emotions, they can choose to spend more of the class day with emotions of happiness or success.
    4. Classroom friendships – First school activities include friendship building. Students face the challenge of learning classroom systems as they sit near and compare notes with a buddy.
    5. Meals – The meal time ritual is introduced early because food gathers people of all ages. Many children like the dependability of the daily schedule and the meal is an early fascination for children.
    6. Schoolhome linkages. First month activities will include simple projects that start at home and are placed in the bookbag to be completed at school.
    7. Classroom rules – some children are eager to comply and frustrated by vague customs and behaviors in the classrooms. Rules on hitting, sharing, using learning centers, and helping are discussed and repeated so that students are not embarrassed
    8. Parent communication – the daily email and checkins with parents help as parents are able to reinforce and validate the classroom experience. Teachers are aware of what is developmentally “typical” for a 2/4 year old socially, emotionally, intellectually…. and if a child’s behavior is above, at, or lagging the average.

    Highland Academics transition activities recreate the learning experience from the child’s perspective instead of the teacher’s perspective. This will become a critical template that your child uses to transition to Kindergarten and beyond.

  • Parents are universally concerned about development and learning. There are different models of teaching and children develop at various rates and in different ways. Parents want their child to develop without damage in the process.

    Three areas are critical to consider to avoid a bad choice:

    1. Is the teacher certified to teach your child? Are the assistant teachers trained? What is the ratio of students to staff? PreSchool is not enriched daycare. Untrained teachers may be good hearted and gentle but they have not had the coursework to create good lesson plans and make them fun and interesting for students. Likewise, the Assistant Teacher needs training too. When your child has a question, they will assume that any adult in the classroom is ready to respond. The ratio is also critical. While the legal ratio is 8:1 in New York State, that ratio changes as soon as a child needs to go to the bathroom or someone gets the lunch. This is critical because young children need individual attention at times during the day.  If there are 16 children and two staff (8:1 ratio), that ratio changes to 15:1 each time that one adult leaves the classroom. How does the Preschool stay in ratio so that your child gets some quality staff time?
    2. What are the lesson plans based upon? Typically, teachers make individual lesson plans during the year for each day. That results in about 150 lesson plans. The teacher either has clear direction from curricula standards that must be woven into the program by year’s end or the lesson plans will wander. Each themes begins with an inventory of what children already know about the theme and lessons are built to maintain the attention of students.
    3. Lastly, what is the system of assessment so that you know that your child is receiving a quality result from your Preschool choice? How does the Preschool assess your child without tests and a sense of failure? It’s a paradox that you want to celebrate areas of developmental achievement for your child and get extra resources in those areas that they still find to be a challenge. How does the school do assessment that satisfies both of your child’s needs? Does the school do any assessment?


    Highland Academics has three jewels in our system as we strive to be the best Preschool experience in Queens.

    We only hire certified teachers and we give 10 professional developments during the year. There are classroom formal observations by the Director of Early Childhood and quarterly appraisals. Lesson plans are checked and teachers meet to plan joint monthly themes. Assistant teachers are licensed and attend Professional Development as well. We expect the highest professional standards in the classroom. We use a system of one Teacher and two assistants in the classroom. While one of the assistants may be out of the classroom with a bathroom trip or lunch trip, the classroom stays in ratio so that the students get a consistent quality experience all day.

    As many states adopted the Common Core Learning standards, 7 learning domains have been developed as Pre Kindergarten Foundations for the Common Core (although in revision)

    1. Language and Literacy
    2. Mathematical thinking
    3. Gross and Fine Motor Skills
    4. Social Emotional Skills
    5. Aesthetics
    6. Scientific reasoning and technology
    7. Social Studies

    Highland Academics uses the first four standards to develop lesson plans for the three year old program and the entire set of seven domains is used for the UPK 4 year old program. At Highland Academics, our goal is always appropriate development for Kindergarten success.

    Highland sees appraisal  as a necessary component of a great program. We use three tools to ensure results for your child

    1. ECERs – This assessment tool measures the environment with the placement and use of resources. While it sounds simple, the manual devotes 300 pages to planning learning centers appropriate for mini lessons as well as building design.  While Highland Academics cannot radically change a historic building, we give teachers instruction and feedback throughout the year and our classrooms are assessed by an outside auditor once every two years.
    2. CLASS – this training by the University of Virginia promotes higher order reasoning skills for children. Teachers are trained to take the comments of your child and help them practice their reasoning with questions. It’s a fascinating interaction as young students engage in complex reasoning naturally. Classrooms are scored once a year on CLASS use.
    3. Work Sampling System – this tool helps us collect a portfolio of your child’s accomplishments throughout the year. We also measure your child three times on an array of indicators. The responses can be ‘Proficient’, ‘In Process’, or ‘Not Yet Started.’ We share those results with you twice a year at Parent Teacher Conferences so that we can work together to get proficient scores in each indicator by the end of the program in June.

    If you are concerned about curriculum and student development, then you will find Highland ready to be a partner for the highest quality experience.

Program Description

Highland Academics provides a Half Day Preschool program which offers a gentle introduction to school life. The program develops students’ pre-math and pre-literacy skills, and engages young minds through arts, music, gross-and fine-motor activities, and fosters social-emotional development.

For many children, Preschool is the first experience within a group setting.  At Highland Academics, we provide children with a positive, first educational experience that lays a strong foundation for future development.

The Half-Day Preschool is a private, tuition-based program open to children who were born between January 1, 2013 and February 29, 2014 for the 2016-17 School Year. The class will be held with a maximum capacity of 16 students at a time. The program is led by a NYS-certified teacher and a student staff ratio of 1:8 or less. The class runs from the hours of 8:00am to 11:00am and 11:30am to 2:00pm.

Students can attend Half Day Preschool two, three, or five days a week. The program is open to students starting at the age of two years and six months. Please call Highland Academics, 718-457-0429 X219, with any questions or to arrange a school tour.

2017-2018 Half Day Pre-School Registration Form

Calendar: PreSchool Calendar 2017 2018 Full Day Half Day
Required Documents
: Student Medical Form, Income Eligibility Form

  • 8:00am – 8:15am Arrival and Table Toys
    8:15am – 8:30am Circle Time
    8:30am – 8:45am Music and Movement
    8:45am – 9:00am Read Aloud
    9:00am – 9:05am Group Bathroom Visit
    9:05am – 9:20am Introduce Concept of the Day
    9:20am – 9:55am Center Time Small Group Focus on Today’s Concept
    9:55am – 10:00am Group Bathroom Visit
    10:00am – 10:20am Snack and Clean Up
    10:20am – 10:55am Indoor / Outdoor Play
    10:55am – 11:00am Getting Ready for Dismissal

  • School Year:
    September – June (167 days of instruction)

    Days:
    2 days per week (Tues., Thurs.)
    3 days per week (Mon., Wed., Fri.)
    5 days per week (Mon.-Fri.)

    Times:
    8:00 am – 11:00 am
    11:30 am – 2:30 pm

    Additional Options:
    Happy Hour 6:30pm – 7:00pm
    Early Bird 7:30am- 8:00am
    TGIF Child-Care
    Camera Access $199

  • Social-Emotional Health: This area includes developing self-awareness, becoming more independent, taking personal responsibility in the school environment, and showing empathy for others. These skills are vital for future success in life.

    Physical Development: Children improve gross motor skills (using large muscle groups) and fine motor skills (control over muscles in hands). We want children to learn the importance of physical activity at a young age.

    Language & Literacy Development: Three-year olds have rapidly developing listening and speaking abilities. The daily activities in our program help young children express their thoughts and understand others. Activities also include letter recognition and the development of phonemic awareness and phonics skills necessary for emergent readers.

    Mathematical & Cognitive Thinking: This area includes logical thinking skills such as comparing, sorting, measuring, and pattern recognition as well as learning numbers. We teach problem-solving skills so children become active learners. Through play, children learn to use symbols, developing their capacity to understand abstract ideas.

    We incorporate these learning domains throughout each daily activity. Children explore their individual interests in classroom centers, which include blocks, dramatic play, manipulative toys, sand and water, and art.They will also engage in group activities such as gross motor time, read-aloud, outdoor science exploration, cooking, singing, and daily discussions. We emphasize physical activity. Children have active play opportunities every day in The Learning Park or indoors in the classroom. Our schedule allows children time to be independent by playing alone, to make friends by working in small groups, and to build a community in the classroom through whole group activities.

    Teachers observe and evaluate children to find out more about their interests, which are the basis for classroom themes and activities. This keeps students motivated and engaged in child-centered learning. At 82nd Street Academics, our staff is committed to building a strong partnership with your entire family to give your child the best learning experience possible!