Fredericksburg Parent

April 2016

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16 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • April 2016 ask the expert a sk t h e e x p e rt Q: What makes Fredericksburg Academy stand out? We try hard to foster an inclusive community spirit among our faculty, staff, students and parents. The major benefit of a school community our size is that we all get to know each other. This is critical—we know that students won't succeed if we're not all supporting their efforts. Everyone who is a part of the Fredericksburg Academy community encourages the children here to engage in their learning, to ask difficult questions and to explore possibilities. The wonderful thing is that it's not just the students doing those things — our teachers lead by example. Q: What is the average teacher-to-student ratio in the Lower School? Our average student-to-teacher ratio is 7:1. Q: What is the difference between prekindergarten and junior kindergarten? Our prekindergarten program is for children turning 3 by September 30 of their enrollment year and who are ready to participate in a school experience. They learn socially, emotionally and academically through daily play. Their two teachers infuse early literacy, numeracy and social learning into their play. Every day the children have a special lesson in their classroom with our art, music, French or Spanish teachers, or our librarian. The children also attend P.E. weekly in the gym. Our junior kindergarten is a readi- ness-for-kindergarten program for children turning 4 by September 30 of their enrollment year. Play is central to the junior kindergarten day and is infused with early literacy and numeracy instruction. Our teachers meet the children where they are, whether they are building prekindergarten skills or showing more emergent skills socially, emo- tionally or academically. Time is always taken to support the whole child. Just like Pre-K, JK children have at least one special each day, although these students attend classes in the specials classroom like they will in kindergarten. Q: How do you know if your child is ready for kindergarten? While not all children develop in the same way or on the same timeline, there are a few common markers that indicate whether a child is ready for kinder- garten. Parents should ask: • Is my child able to stick with a given activity? • Is my child able to listen to others and wait his or her turn to share an idea or ask a question? • Is my child able to handle materials respectfully and put them away? With April comes kindergarten registration for many area schools. If you're looking for a school that has a small teacher-to-student ratio, that allows daily outdoor play for all grades, and that develops leadership skills, Fredericksburg Academy may be the right fit for your child. Patricia Estes, head of the Lower School at Fredericksburg Academy, talks curriculum, Kindergarten readiness, why play matters and more! INTERVIEWED BY BRENDA SAPANGHILA

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