Children must be four years old by December 31st of the school year in which they enroll as a Blue Jay. A day in the life of a Blue Jay is Monday through Friday, 8:45 am arrival and 1:00 pm departure. There is an extended day option from 1pm-3pm.
There is a maximum of 18 children and three teachers in this class. The teacher-to-child ratio is better than 1:7. The CT State required ratio is 1:10.
The Blue Jays overarching goals are to meet the needs of the children through a nature-based program. We facilitate their development through play based, age-appropriate experiences, both in and outside the classroom. We help the children develop a sense of independence beginning to take care of their own needs and wants. They will be able to clean up after themselves and put on their own coats, hats and boots as well as care for their personal items, such as clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes and water bottles. We also help the children with their social and emotional growth, teaching them how to interact with both peers and adults. We help the children to speak up for themselves by encouraging self advocating skills. In the classroom, we are teaching the children self-regulation skills through deep breathing, doing a self-check, hands and bodies to ourselves, eyes on the person speaking, listening ears and a quiet mouth. They will begin to learn conflict resolution as well as cooperative play with other children. We help the children develop a positive attitude toward learning and their world around them.
To give the children more individual attention, we break into small groups for intentional learning for specific cognitive and physical/emotional skills. We spend a majority of our time outside on the trails exploring nature. This nature play encourages a great sense of cooperative play.