Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nursery School ready for new year, taking applications for limited seats in class

Randolph College Nursery School (RCNS) has been busy this summer. After hosting five week-long summer camps with themes such as science, construction, and camping, the teachers rearranged their classrooms just in time for the school walls to receive a fresh coat of paint.

Now, with a new class of eager learners scheduled for the roster, RCNS is prepared to begin another exciting year of classes on August 20. There is limited space available for students ages three and four.

RCNS uses the High Scope Curriculum, an instruction plan that focuses on child-led, play-based learning. It involves teaching many academic topics and social skills through real-life situations the students approach as they play, explained Holly Layne, director of the school.

The lessons share more than basic reading and math skills. “We teach them how to think critically and how to problem solve with another individual. They learn how to go through the steps of problem solving, brainstorming, and finding a solution. By the time they are in the senior class, they are working problems out on their own.

Enroll Your Child Now

Randolph College Nursery School has limited space available for preschool children. You can apply online.

“It is amazing to see two children work out a problem together,” Layne said.

The school has five teachers, including Layne, and enrolls around 30 students per year, (15 in each class) granting each student a significant amount of individual attention.

“We get to know those children and their families really well. They become our family, and we become part of their families,” Layne said. “We know the kids so well that we are able to really meet their needs.”

Children worked with real tools during a construction-themed
summer camp at Randolph College Nursery School.
The preschool was opened on the College campus 69 years ago. Throughout this year, the school will be preparing to celebrate its 70th school year beginning in 2013. While it is located on the Randolph College campus, and enrolls some children of staff and faculty, RCNS serves mostly students from outside the Randolph community. The school consistently receives a four-star rating from the Virginia Star Quality Initiative.

Layne said the school gains many advantages from being on a college campus. During the fall, students roll in leaves on Randolph’s front lawn or collect leaves and other items from nature. In the spring, they get to see chicken eggs hatch in the Organic Garden. There are many educational opportunities, too.

Earlier this year, a pre-kindergarten student came to Randolph College Nursery School with a seashell collected on a beach vacation. As the class examined the shell, Layne called one of the College’s biology professors, who offered to identify the shell and teach the class more about life in the ocean.

“No other school offers the opportunity to take the children to visit the biology labs on a whim,” Layne said. “I can’t say enough about how unique we are because of the College campus.”