Our Kindergarten program is designed to gradually and joyfully introduce formal schooling to each child. We want our students to be immersed in a creative, loving and enjoyable environment which fosters the development of the whole child. Our program is developmentally appropriate for five and six year old children who are not yet ready for more rigorous academics. An appropriate kindergarten program should enhance each child’s God-given joy of discovery and learning and give him or her ample time for movement, exploration and interaction with others.
At Cornerstone Community School, reading and math-readiness activities are introduced, but formal reading instruction is not begun for the class as a whole at this level. However, a curriculum is used for all students to strengthen and practice skills such as alphabetic principle, blending skills, auditory identification and discrimination, word attack and comprehension. While many kindergartners are reading fluently by year’s end, our goal is that all students will leave with strong phonemic awareness and vocabulary development. The students are frequently read to, exposed to phonics and immersed in a literature-rich environment which heightens their awareness of the printed word and fosters a love for reading.
Cognitive and verbal skills are strengthened through show and tell, storytelling, dramatic play, music and poetry recitation. Character development is emphasized throughout the day as the children play and interact with one another and the adults in the classroom. The children grow spiritually as they share and pray in their morning devotional time and as they experience and discuss God’s involvement in everything they do throughout the day. Frequent field trips and hands-on activities are central to our program which seeks to immerse the young, active child in tangible, real-life learning experiences. The children also have a snack time and plenty of opportunities for games and outdoor play.
The Kindergarten Schedule
We currently offer a mixed full and half day kindergarten program a Monday-through-Friday schedule:
W and F 8:30-11:30 am
M,T and Th 8:30-3:15 pm (children eat lunch at school these days)
Our experience has show that students benefit from three full days for enrichment, field trips, and other out-of-the classroom experiences. Because of their age, having two half days allows for an easier home-to-school transition and supports a young child’s developmental needs. However, the State of Ohio has mandated that in the future all kindergarten students will attend full days every day.
Extended Day Option: CCS offers a full day option now for kindergarten students. For an additional $1,110 per year, students stay on Wednesdays and Fridays until 3:15 pm.
Small Class Size
Because five and six years olds are still gaining many basic life skills (like tying one’s shoes and looking after one’s own hygienic needs) and they need frequent help and extra supervision, we are committed to providing a high adult-to-child ratio. Our kindergarten classes are capped at 18 students with a classroom aide in addition to the teacher. Adult volunteers are in the classroom frequently to assist the teacher and help with special unit activities. Our parent involvement policy explains more about this wonderful aspect of the community life of our school.
Kindergarten screening serves the purpose of enabling our staff to develop appropriate curricula based on the learning style and strengths of each child. Assessment also acts as a tool for early intervention in the event that additional testing or referral is necessary. Further details about our assessment process are distributed once a child’s application has been submitted. The parents and our school staff are closely involved with the child in this process so that his or her kindergarten experience is a positive introduction to formal education.