The Rio Vista State Preschool Program will open their doors to students on Tuesday, Jan. 19. This week, parents are attending orientations to learn about the program’s goals and expectations. For the past few months, staff has been busy creating a “Reggio Emilia” inspired classroom. The premise of this philosophy is that the classroom environment serves as the third teacher. This means that it is child-centered with attractive and interesting materials provided in an organized and thoughtful manner. Additional materials are used on a rotating basis to supplement the interest of the child’s emerging play. With this approach, teachers design a space that is welcoming and invites exploration. It is through play that children explore and discover developmental themes and stages leading to physical, cognitive and social-emotional development.
The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) is an instrument utilized by the program to ensure quality of services. Classroom evaluations are done frequently, as the teaching staff considers the environment an essential instructional tool. The objective is to stay focused on the ECERS-required elements to incorporate them in the daily routine. By doing so, children benefit from developmentally appropriate materials and settings that challenge their minds to higher learning.
The State Preschool staff has received extensive training on the California Preschool Learning Foundations, which are the standards that govern the program, training on the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP 2015), which is an observational tool used for assessing students’ academic progress in all the developmental domains, and the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) tool that measures the quality of child-teacher interactions. The program will abide by the highest standards in the field of early childhood education with the goal of offering students a model program.
The entire Rio Vista Elementary School community is excited to welcome all these young learners and their families. One exciting feature to the program is that children who are age and income eligible may attend both Preppy K and State Preschool. This creates a full-day program opportunity for students and their families. Kudos to District Early Learning Specialist Alma Padilla and to our Rio Vista State Preschool teacher Sylvia Cuesta for all of the hard work they have put in to prepare for the opening of this program.