What is the teacher/child ratio? How many children are there in each class? Our morning classes have a maximum enrollment of 16 children and are staffed by 3 teachers. Our afternoon class has a maximum of 12 students and has 2 teachers.
Do you have before or after school care? No. The school hours are as stated for each class and we are not able to provide additional child care.
Is the school licensed? Preschool programs in Washington State are not required to be licensed unless they provide more than 4 hours of care a day and are considered a day care by the state. We have obtained required permits from the City of Issaquah and Washington State and have insurance coverage.
What is the structure of the day at school? The children will be greeted upon arrival and have a few minutes to settle in and play as everyone arrives. We will begin class with a welcoming group time and talk about our plans for the day. After group time children will be free to play in all of the learning areas for approximately an hour. They may choose to have snack during this time. After free choice time children will clean up the classroom. We may come back together for a group time that involves reading journal work and acting out student written stories. We will finish our day with outside play. Please note that although this will be the general flow of the day we will be responsive to the class each day and our schedule may change. A beautiful day may find us outside for a much longer time. We may have a cooking project that takes up most of our day or we may take a walk to the park or around Gilman Village. Once children understand the school routine they are very flexible and enjoy occasional changes.
Can you tell me more about emergent curriculum and the Reggio Emilia influence? Emergent curriculum means deriving the areas of study in the classroom from careful observation of the children. As teachers, our job is to observe children as they play and to engage in meaningful conversations with them to find out where their interests lie and what their abilities are. Our curriculum is then tailored to help the children explore these play themes in depth, to help them create meaning out of their play, and to offer guidance and support which will enable a child to go beyond his or her current abilities. The schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, are some of the leading schools in implementing emergent curriculum. Their philosophy of respect, involvement in the community, and careful observation and documentation of learning is one that we believe strongly in. We feel that the Reggio Emilia approach blends perfectly with the developmentally appropriate practices encouraged by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and supports and enhances our guided play philosophy.
Will you take the children on field trips? Yes. We value being part of the Issaquah community and we take trips to many of the local businesses to enhance our curriculum. Parents are welcome on our field trips.
Will you play outside? Do you have a playground? We believe that the enjoyment and exploration of nature and outdoor play are just as important as other areas of our curriculum. We plan to go outside every day for apporximately ½ hour except when the weather makes that absolutely impossible. We have a fenced play area in the historic garden right outside our school which has been designed as a natural play space where children can dig, climb, run, slide, swing, study nature, care for our chickens, catch bugs, grow flowers, create, and make believe.
How will you prepare my child for kindergarten?Research has proven that children do best in school when they have learned appropriate social skills, learned to delay gratification, when their families are involved in their education and when they know how to direct their learning. All of these skills are taught and practiced at The Farmhouse School. In addition, we keep abreast of the Issaquah School District’s expectations for incoming kindergartners to make sure that we introducing language, math, science, and other skills teachers hope to see in children entering their classrooms.
I really want to help in the classroom but sometimes my schedule changes at the last minute. Can I still participate? Of course! Our goal is to welcome you into our classroom community in whatever way works best for you. We understand that as a parent of a young child your plans for the day sometimes change at the last minute. If you can’t make it in on a day you had planned to help just let us know. Conversely, if you get free time at the last minute and want to join us in the classroom we will welcome your participation.
Are there any requirements for helping in the classroom? Volunteers in the classroom must pass a Washington State Patrol Background Check.
What if my child’s grandparents are in town and want to spend the day at school. Do they need to pass a background check? Family members or friends who are visiting our school for a day are welcome but must be accompanied by you or someone who has passed the background check or submit their own.
What additional safety policies do you have? Children must be signed in and out of school daily and will only be released to parents or authorized persons who have provided ID. Our doors will remain locked during the school day. Fire drills will be held monthly. We have emergency plans and kits, a lock down procedure and a first aid kit. The teachers are certified in child and adult CPR and First Aid.
Will I be expected to fund raise for the school? No. We will not be doing any fundraising activities.
Are there other costs associated with your school? Each parent will be asked to send in snack items for 16 children approximately 5 times a year. A schedule and Farmhouse School Snacks list will be provided at the beginning of the school year.
Are children required to be immunized? Children are required to be immunized but may be exempted for religious or philosophical reasons.
Does my child need to be potty trained? The Farmhouse School understands that potty training is a process and does not require students to be fully potty trained. The staff will work with families and children as they complete this process. Please see our policies and procedures for more information.
I’m anticipating that my child will have some separation anxiety. What do you do if a child needs to be comforted? We comfort your child, reassuring them that parents always come back and validating their feelings. We will work to help them become engaged in an activity while supporting them. Most children calm down quickly after initial separation. If the child continues to be inconsolable, we will call you.
My child’s first language is not English. Can you accommodate that? We welcome children whose first language is something other than English. We encourage you to continue using your native language at home and find that most children learn English quickly once they are in school.
How are children disciplined? How do you handle teasing? During the preschool years children are learning appropriate behavior in the school setting. Our job is to help them learn what is and is not acceptable in a supportive and kind manner. Our first responsibility to each child is their safety – both their physical safety and their feeling of security. When handling common disagreements among children we focus on all the children involved, first making sure each feels safe and then guiding them as they negotiate a settlement and helping them to learn and practice social problem solving skills and self-regulation. We do not use time-outs at our school but if a child is having a particularly difficult time in an area we may move with them to another play area and support them while they calm down. In the event of teasing we work with the children involved and the entire class to help children learn appropriate interactions and responses. We work to support and empower children who feel they are being picked on and if necessary we will shadow a child who needs extra coaching in social interactions.