What makes ISLA Academy Preschool different? All too often, parents are told that early childhood learning experiences can be one of only two things: either (A) traditional, rote-learning (also known as BORING), or (B) a free play experience in which your child is never challenged. Parents then make the very difficult choice of putting their child in a very academic environment or a very fun one. But at ISLA Preschool Academy, parents don’t have to make that choice.
We provide enriching, fun, hands-on, child-centered education that is rigorous and based on the highest standards of early childhood education. ISLA Preschool Academy students use guided inquiry to ask and answer their questions about the world around them. Our preschool classroom uses inquiry as a method of instruction and assessment, focusing on concepts and skills, and promoting international mindedness. Led by a team of highly experienced early childhood educators, our students reach their highest potential through evidence-based learning, accurate assessment, and proven curriculum.
Our administrative staff and team of educators have built and taught in internationally accredited schools in the Dominican Republic, United States, Puerto Rico, Tanzania, South Korea, China, and Vietnam. We know what world-class education looks like and what it takes for your child to be prepared to compete on an international standard of excellence. When your child completes our program, you can feel confident that she can succeed anywhere in the world.
Through our varied assessment strategies, you will be able to see of a picture of the whole child, as he/she searches to find the method of learning that works best for him/her. Unfortunately, many traditional models of education fail to appreciate the many different types of intelligence that a child may have, and because of outdated methods of assessment and teaching, these children are limited in their capacity to seek knowledge and learn more about themselves.
The curriculum consists of four thematic units that are either science or social studies-based. The other core subject area standards of language, math, the arts, and personal/social/physical education are authentically integrated into the four units. The units are explored through a style of teaching and learning called “inquiry.” Benjamin Franklin once stated, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Students in an inquiry classroom are involved throughout the learning process, whether connecting new information to prior knowledge or asking questions and seeking appropriate resolutions to questions and ideas.
ISLA Preschool Academy offers a very flexible schedule for families, with 3, 4, and 5-days-a-week, and Half Day (8:00-1:00) or Full Day (8:00-3:00) possibilities. See below for a sample schedule of the day’s educational activities.
Sample Daily Schedule
8:00-8:30 Arrival/ Open Choice Centers
As students arrive each morning, they are given the freedom to explore our student-centered activity center. We rotate and introduce activities frequently to give the children a variety of new experiences and improve a number of different skills. Open choice centers include blocks, dramatic play, manipulatives, art, library, discovery/ science, and a sensory table.
8:30-9:00 Morning Meeting
Students share news about themselves and the teacher introduces and expands upon the Unit of Inquiry. Students discuss world events, the weather, and the calendar. Students contribute to the class by participating in weekly class jobs they assigned for themselves.
9:00-9:30 Learning Centers
Our guided learning centers form the foundation of our preschool learning philosophy. Each student is given the independence to select from a variety of developmentally appropriate learning activities as our teachers provide guidance through open-ended questioning and encouragement. Each student also participates in regular guided reading sessions under the tutelage of our international team of teachers.
9:30-9:45 Morning Stretching/ Healthy Snack
Students participate in guided group stretching exercises to promote flexibility and sustained energy. They then enjoy a healthy snack together before having the opportunity to play together on our beautiful playground and sports facility.
9:45-10:15 Outdoor Play/ Garden
From planting, to transplanting, to watering, weeding and harvesting, students get to participate in the entire process of how plants grow. After garden work, students have a chance to play in the treehouse, climb the rock wall, zipline, or cook up something delicious in the mud kitchen.
Each student participates in a weekly rotation of PE/ Swimming, Art, Music, Cooking, and Library.
10:45-11:00 Mini-Lesson Discussions
Students will be exploring Science, Social Studies, Math, and Literacy through guided questions and answers. They will follow the inquiry process, starting with a provocation to spark interest and assess prior knowledge. Here the students will start asking questions and once the students are excited and eager to learn more, the real inquiry and exploration begins!
11:00-11:40 Learning Centers
Students work independently or in small groups to discovers the answers to their questions, and in turn form more questions. Students will inquire into concepts and skills through differentiated center activities. The goals and objectives of the centers will be integrated into the Units of Inquiry to provide the best environment for knowledge and skill transference and application.
11:40-12:00 Spanish/ Storytime
Aside from using a balanced mix of Spanish and English during instruction and conversation, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday our native speaking Dominican assistants teach short lessons using song, drama, and multimedia. Tuesdays and Thursdays students gather for special storytimes that include dramatizations, puppets, or guest story tellers.
12:00-12:30 Washing-up/ Lunch
Our nutritious family style lunches allow our little learners a time to refuel and socialize either at picnic tables on the lawn or on the breezy covered patio.
12:30-1:30 Free Play/ Quiet Time
After lunch, students can explore our outdoor recreational space under the supervision of our staff. Students or parents may choose that that their children use this time for resting in a quiet space inside our school building.
1:30-1:45 D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read)
All preschool students that remain for our extended day will participate in our DEAR program. All action in the building stops and everyone finds a comfortable place to read their favorite book. Even the teachers read during this time. At ISLA Preschool Academy, we know how important it is to model good habits in front of the students. Our library is full of modern and classic children’s literature for the students to enjoy.
1:45-2:00 Open Choice Centers
Afternoon students have a second opportunity to explore their individual interests at their own pace.
2:00-2:15 Afternoon Snack
A quick and healthy snack to keep the students energized for the final activities of the day.
Children enjoy guided Cooking, PE/ Swimming, Storytime, Music, and Art lessons throughout each week.
2:45-3:00 Afternoon Meeting/ Tidy up
The Afternoon Meeting rounds out the day by allowing students to recap, recount stories, share discoveries, and pose any new inquiries. Each student helps tidy up the learning space and packs up their bags before parent pick up.
3:00-3:15 Parent Pick-up
3:00-6:30 ISLA Afterschool Academy
Join the ISLA Afterschool Academy to continue the fun. Click here for more information.