In response to growing trends in education, TCCC is proposing opening a Junior Kindergarten classroom. Increased rigor and testing along with research noting older students perform better academically throughout their education, including on college entrance exams, has resulted in parents looking for alternatives for their children with late spring and summer birthdays. With this in mind, the trend to offer a junior kindergarten program has increased. TCCC families, especially those with siblings are enthusiastic about the program. Additionally, with an additional enrollment, we will be able to increase the number of annual scholarships available to children. Our mission seeks to build cross-cultural relationships, welcome refugees, offer needed childcare, build school readiness skills, and aid English Language Learners. Scholarships are based on available funding and enrollment and will be awarded to children for the Pre-K, and Junior Kindergarten.

The Junior Kindergarten program will facilitate up to 10 children age 4 3?4 years by September 30th of the given school year, and up by recommendation of previous teacher. There will be a full time lead licensed teacher and one assistant shared with the Pre-K classroom.

The Junior Kindergarten program seeks to holistically develop the physical, academic, spiritual, and social/emotional skills of each child. Our mission remains to provide an enriching climate focused on the safety and wellbeing of each child in a student-centered environment, as stated in the TCCC Parent Handbook. With an emphasis on active learning, students will learn through a constructionist lens of discovery and experiential learning. Students will learn literacy skills, develop mathematical knowledge, and explore their community and the sciences, while being exposed to the creative arts. Classroom management focuses on clear expectations, reflective practices, social skill building, and positive behavior incentives and supports. Children will be amply prepared for the rigors of kindergarten, following the Virginia Department of Education’s School Readiness standards.

A core content of academics supported by the creative arts and foreign language are offered in meaningful cross-curricular activities provide the foundation for lifelong learning. Our hope for learning through active play and student initiated discovery is developed through engaging lesson plans. Intentional organized and free-play is devised to build the skills necessary to become productive and caring classroom citizens.

Language Arts: The Junior Kindergarten literacy program develops phonemic awareness and letter-sound knowledge through a rich language environment which includes reading of fiction, non-fiction, nursery rhymes, and poetry. Students accrue an understanding of initial phonics and word knowledge through multiple modalities; auditory, visual and kinesthetic activities that meet each child’s learning style while experiencing written language, music and song, read alouds, and story creation. A balance of written and spoken language provide the foundation of early literacy skills. Handwriting skills are taught through a interactive activities, creative discovery, art, and systematic practice where students are encouraged to write appropriate letters for learned sounds.

Library: Junior kindergarteners enjoy an introduction to the library setting through an in class library. Students learn to cultivate a love of books and reading, along with library skills of book care, borrowing, and use. Storytelling is enhanced through read-alouds, audio version, and cross-curricular readings. Parents, grandparents, and guardians are encouraged to support this program through our Visiting/Mystery Reader Program.

Math: Using Everyday Counts/Touchmath  as a basis for study, Junior Kindergarten students learn one-to-one correspondence; counting by tens; sorting and classification skills; graphing and pattern development; and number recognition. Calendar activities, skill acquisition centers, and circle discussions integrate these concepts throughout the day.

Art: The Junior Kindergarten art program is integrated across the core curriculum. A focus on the visual elements of picture-making including exploration of line, shape, color, texture, and pattern will allow for experiential learning, critical thinking, and creative considerations. . The students will also experience both art creation and appreciation through various media including drawing, painting, printmaking, and clay works.

Music: The Junior Kindergarten music program emphasizes singing, feeling, and moving to the beat while building on spiritual, physical, and academic skills. Musical instruments, clapping rhythmic patterns, creative movement, and music appreciation are introduced using songs, games, and exercises. Students are encouraged to sing in unison as well as individually and to recognize differences in pitch, timbre, tempo, mood, and dynamics.

Physical Education: The focus for our Junior Kindergarteners is to provide fun, child-centered activities that focus on locomotor and balance skills. From providing stations for fitness, dance, movement games, and yoga. An emphasis on utilizing loose parts and creative play encourage opportunities to build social skills, problem solving, and critical thought through active learning. Junior Kindergarteners have the daily opportunity to hone their gross motor skill set through play both inside and outside in organized and free play.

Science: Children participate in hands-on learning labs dealing with subjects such as the ocean, forest, animals, simple chemistry, color mixing, fingerprinting, fossils, imprints, magnets, insects, and their senses and basic anatomy. The goal of Junior Kindergarten science is to expose students to scientific topics while making science fun! Opportunities for literacy and math skills are incorporated through meaningful cross curricular lessons.

Social Studies: Children study themselves and community gaining an understanding of social and cultural ideas. Children are exposed to various cultures through active and interactive activities exploring countries, holidays, customs, and foods. Additionally studies explore the similarities and differences between others, family roles and relationships, community members, and the role of rules within the classroom and community.

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