The Episcopal School of Knoxville is pleased to announce the expansion of their Junior Kindergarten program to include a 3-year-old class beginning in the fall of 2015. This academic program is designed for three- and four-year-olds who would be ready for Junior Kindergarten 4 in the fall of 2016.
“Expanding our program to include 3-year-olds makes a lot of sense from the developmental perspective,” ESK Headmaster Jay Secor said. “We will now be able to take our youngest students and shape them to ensure they are prepared for our strong Kindergarten program. This allows ESK to stay at the forefront of early childhood education.”
The Junior Kindergarten day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m. A Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday class or a Monday through Friday class will be offered for those in the 3-year-old program. Lunch will be provided, and extended care (1:30-3:00pm and 3:00-6:00pm) is available for an additional fee. Class size is limited to 16 students.
“This is an expansion driven by parents who have been so pleased with their child’s experience at ESK that they have been asking when we would add a 3-year-old class,” Lower School Director Nancy Laurence said. “I am thrilled that we can finally say August 2015!”
At ESK, we believe that “play is the work of children,” and that through play-based projects, Junior Kindergarten students will be able to learn lifelong skills that will help them successfully transition to our Lower School Kindergarten program. Children are not left to their own devices, nor is their development left to chance. Academic goals and objectives are met by careful planning and building on what each individual can do and by challenging them to reach just beyond their comfort zone. The teacher’s role is to co-explore and co-construct the learning experience with the children.
An emergent curriculum values student input and encourages children to explore, create, and make choices leading to greater involvement in their own learning. Time is not set by the clock but by the child’s needs and interests. There should be sufficient time for a child to express, learn, explore, extend, and revisit a given project. Enrichments will include daily chapel and also (but not limited to) library, Spanish, Mandarin, physical education, music, and art sessions. Our 96-acre campus will serve as our outdoor classroom to learn about the environment.
ESK is committed to creating and maintaining a place for our youngest children that acknowledges, reflects and communicates our beliefs. The values of our Junior Kindergarten program are based on an image of the child as curious, competent and capable of co-constructing knowledge.