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CASTLE Preschool and After School Program
Preschool facility license#49 3005602

7601 Huntley St.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
707-829-4578

Dot Cramer, Program Director
dcramer@sebusd.org

Social/Emotional Skills: Through a variety of interactions, activities, and experiences, we foster the development of a child’s positive concept of self as a person and a learner, ease and comfort in new situations away from parents, and cooperation with peers and adults. Children are encouraged to verbally express their needs, ideas, and feelings.
Cognitive/Language/Preliteracy: Developed through children’s literature, flannel board stories, puppets, drama, letter recognition, story dictation, sharing, poetry, listening and speaking.

Large and Small Motor Development: Activities include: singing games, movement & music, puzzles, blocks, manipulatives, tricycles, scooters, sandbox, climbing, swinging, sliding, nearby walks, and a variety of outdoor play equipment.

Science and Nature: Gardening, nature study, exploring our neighborhood, cooking, experiments, animals & pets. Staff encourage children to solve problems, ask questions, find answers, explore interesting materials and develop curiosity. Math: Number recognition, counting, unit blocks, unifix cubes, puzzles, sorting, one to one correspondence, classifying, and matching games.

Arts and Crafts: Drawing, cutting, painting, pasting, clay sculpting, theme related crafts, process-oriented projects.

Enrichment: We share resources with the other programs of both CASTLE and Park Side School. Preschoolers participate in assemblies, movement & music, and other special activities such as a petting zoo, bounce houses, visiting artists carnivals, and more.


Our Philosophy

  • To ensure a high quality program, we offer a well-planned, developmentally appropriate curriculum based on the individual needs of children.
  • We recognize and affirm each child’s need to grow and develop at his/her own pace.
  • We believe that young children learn best through manipulation of materials and hands-on experiences planned by knowledgeable teachers.
  • Learning is playful and exploratory.
  • Children contribute their own ideas, use their own problem-solving strategies, and pursue their own interests.
  • Teachers skillfully weave in academic goals and objectives as they build on what children can do, and challenge them to try new things.
  • The environment is child-centered and allows opportunities for children to choose among a variety of activities.
  • Children are treated with respect and dignity. Children develop socially while learning the skills needed to get along with others.

The Preschool also shares resources with the other programs of CASTLE including funds, space, materials, equipment, expertise and personnel. The preschoolers participate in special events such as bouncy houses, water slides, and petting zoos. They also join the school age children when they are visited by magicians, puppet shows, reptile education programs, Stuff-n-Fluff workshops, canine companions, music and movement, and more.

Please feel free to schedule a visit with us to see what we have to offer. Call us at (707) 829-4579 to see how we learn and play!

Kindergarten Readiness

Children who have had the benefit of attending a high-quality preschool are more comfortable in their school surroundings. They have been exposed to reading, have learned how to play cooperatively, and are accustomed to learning with others. Preschools that strengthen children’s school readiness operate with an in-depth understanding of what children need to learn before they start school.

CASTLE Preschool’s curriculum is guided by the Learning Foundations and the Preschool Curriculum Framework developed by the California Department of Education. Everything we do at CASTLE is guided by the eight principles stated in the Framework:

  • Relationships are central
  • Play is a primary context for learning
  • Learning is integrated
  • Intentional teaching enhances children’s learning experiences
  • Family and community partnerships create meaningful connections
  • Individualization of learning includes all children
  • Responsiveness to culture and language supports children’s learning
  • Time for reflection and planning enhances teaching

Our environments and experiences are developmentally appropriate, reflective of thoughtful observation and intentional planning, individually and culturally meaningful, and inclusive of children with disabilities or other special needs.

We hope to foster a love of learning in every child who attends our program that will become the foundation that supports them through their school years.


Behavior and Tools Box

BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS
One of the most important goals of our program is to teach the children in our care the social skills they need to get along with others. These skills include cooperation, friendship skills, communication, conflict resolution, self-control, and coping with stress, frustration, and anger. We treat the children with kindness and respect and expect them to treat all others in the same manner. We believe that the first step in any behavior management plan is for children to build relationships with caring and consistent adults who model and teach appropriate behavior. Children learn our expectations for their behavior through clear limits and understandable rules which are enforced in a positive way which focuses on the behavior, not the child.

DISCIPLINE PROCEDURE
Our discipline policy is based on sound principles of child development. The goal is not to punish, but to help children to learn self-discipline and to accept responsibility for their own actions. We recognize that children have individual needs, levels of development, and temperaments and therefore act out for different reasons. All of these factors will be considered when determining the appropriate method of discipline.

TECHNIQUES WE WILL USE: PREVENTION:
Teachers should plan ahead for possible areas of conflict. Have you explained the basic rules of your classroom to each child? Do you remind them often? Are there enough materials, toys, and activities? Do the children know what to expect next? Do they know that everyone will get a turn? We believe in controlling the environment, not the child.

OTHER TECHNIQUES:
Re-direction, Problem solving and conflict resolution through talking, Modeling appropriate behavior, Ignoring, Logical consequences, Positive reinformcement for appropriate behavior, Foreseeing and forestalling unacceptable behavior. Finding a quiet spot for a child to become calm. (This quiet spot can be used for multiple reasons besides discipline)

TECHNIQUES WE WILL NOT USE:
Staff are forbidden from using any corporal punishment, which is defined as the use of negative physical touching. In addition, staff are also required not to use any child handling technique which results in unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, intimidation, ridicule, coercion, threat, mental abuse or other action of a punitive nature.

TOOLBOX PROJECT
The Preschool uses the 12 TOOLS developed by Mark A. Collin in his Toolbox Project. Each tool is a social skill that when learned, can assist children in getting along with others. The tools are introduced during circle time through use of puppets, role plays and stories and are practiced throughout the children’s time at CASTLE Preschool.

The tools are:
Breathing: calming ourselves
Listening: with our eyes, ears and heart.
Empathy: caring for others and ourselves.
Personal Space: learning where my space ends and yours begins.
Using Our Words: to be our own problem solvers.
Garbage Can: let it go.
Taking Time: time in or time away.
Quiet/Safe Place Please and Thank You
Apology and Forgiveness Patience: quiet waiting
Courage: to use your Tools when others aren’t.

These are practical tools for living to help children take responsibility for the choices they make and see conflict as an opportunity to solve issues as they arise.

These same tools are taught to the children at both Park Side and Brook Haven Elementary schools. Therefore, children in CASTLE Preschool will be familiar with the common language of the Tools and be ready for their use in Kindergarten.

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