St. Mary’s has established a welcoming environment where I feel very comfortable leaving my child for hours each week. The program has changed each year and for the best. I appreciate all of the thought that goes in to planning each year.
Accommodations throughout the day was provided to my child to help address his developmental and emotional delays.
Our whole family loves St Mary’s, not only the preschool, but the church as well, six of our family members have attended the preschool, one child started in the first class, can’t say enough good things about St. Mary’s.
She is more social, shares her toys and thoughts freely and talks about Jesus and Mary
The teachers are amazing at knowing, greeting, and developing a relationship with each student through time spent together getting to know them.
Miss Helen has done a great job of handling the girl drama and encouraging them to meet new friends within class.
I love the way you take care of our kids. I am never worried as I trust Miss Tina as if she is a close member of my family.
The compassion, care and commitment of the teachers and administrators is unbelievable. They are all fully engaged with the students and their families every step of the way. I am more than impressed with this school and our experience.
Miss Helen has a very gentle demeanor and encouraged trying. Based on the projects that came home Miss Helen supported making an attempt and allowed room for my child to complete the task as an individual which may not have always been how the task was meant to be done. This is very important at such a young age.
Loving staff, willingness to take advice, great playground, faith formation, security measures, classroom offerings, good classroom size, lunch Bunch, reasonably priced. It’s all great!
The extended family feeling and the love the teachers have for their jobs and the children they teach thru faith centered focus.
St. Mary’s Preschool is a Diocesan school under the direction of the Office of Catholic Schools and the guidelines for the Virginia Catholic Education Association’s early childhood programs. We are licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia and meet strict standards for health and safety. Our program interprets the general goals of early childhood education as being primarily the development of the whole child and we are committed to offering opportunities for balanced growth in all areas: social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative, and spiritual. We are a ministry to young families, working closely with the parents as our partners in education, and are dedicated to providing a quality Catholic preschool program. We look to our parish community as our sponsors and benefactors to meet the needs of the community in a Christ-centered environment.
A Catholic preschool develops a love of Jesus and knowledge of the presence of God in the lives of the children it serves. Foundations are laid in the Catholic faith as children experience positive interaction with Christian adult role models. We recognize each child as a unique gift from God. Our curriculum incorporates the liturgical calendar and monthly themes that include elements of religious education appropriate for preschoolers. All of our classes attend monthly adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and our 4 year old classes attend Mass the first Friday of each month.
PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS
St. Mary’s Preschool will give young children a wonderful opportunity to grow and explore. It will provide a loving, secure environment in which children will develop spiritually, physically, cognitively, and socially. Our goals are to provide healthy Catholic values, a positive self-image, and a spirit of sharing through a cooperative relationship with our Preschool families. St. Mary’s Preschool admits students of any race, color, national, or ethnic origin.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY
Play is the most developmentally appropriate and productive avenue for young children’s learning. Play has all the characteristics of a complete educational process. It secures concentration for a great length of time. It develops initiative, imagination and interest. There is complete emotional involvement. Play is inherently individual and has no pre-determined expectations. There can be no “failure” in play. Each child is free to succeed at self-chosen tasks, and this success leads to feelings of competence, self-worth, and the willingness to try new things.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Our plan for the fall opening is as follows (with the understanding that as things evolve in our community regarding COVID , this may be altered):
- To mitigate additional contact between families within the classroom setting, a “kiss and ride” drop off and pick up will be instituted
- Temperatures will be taken for Staff and Students upon arrival
- COVID questions will be asked as part of a Daily Health check
- All Playground equipment will be cleaned and disinfected before school begins and between each class use
- All handrails, door knobs, light switches will be cleaned and disinfected before school begins, mid-morning, and evening
- Materials and toys used in the classroom will be cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis
- Students will not be required to wear masks,
- Preschool Staff will wear shield w/ fabric covering at sides and bottom to keep enclosed but allow for facial expressions for modeling behavior and phonetic visual of letters/sounds.
- Preschool Staff will continue to wear gloves for food prep and distribution, any toileting needs, when there is a need for first aid in the classroom or on the playground, etc.
- Preschool Staff will have “comfort robe”, oversized shirt, to put on when child needs some extra TLC/hug and then put in laundry bin, several available in each classroom.
- we recognize that it is not developmentally appropriate to expect 3-5 yr olds to stay 3-6 feet apart at all times nor is it safe to have the teacher that far away from the students.
- Minimize the other risk factors by having teachers in PPE,
- 1/3 of our morning class outside, weather permitting,
- Utilizing more small group activities during the day
- Rearranging the table space to create safe spacing but still playing together
- Reduce the amount of “difficult to disinfect” materials/toys
- Each child will have their own supplies rather than community use;
Continue the practice of handwashing before/after snack, after toileting, after craftwork, before/after outdoor time, etc.
The Commonwealth of Virginia and the Fairfax County Health Department require that health forms with current immunizations be submitted to us at the beginning of each school year.
All preschoolers must be “potty trained” before entering our program.