Our Preschool

Our learning goals for the children are achieved through a balance of child-directed experiences, teacher-directed group lessons and project-based learning.

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Our Mission & Philosophy

Though the school's mission statement was created long before we envisioned a Harker preschool, we believe the statement is just as appropriate for young children, and its basic principles have helped guide our development of this new program. The philosophy statement was created specifically for the preschool and describes our guiding ideologies, values and beliefs about the care and education of young children. We hope to achieve the goals you have for your children and to create a nurturing and supportive environment that will carry your child into kindergarten and beyond. We are so excited to get started!

The Harker Preschool Philosophy Statement

Harker works in partnership with families to build the foundation necessary for a lifetime of learning. Our preschoolers play, explore, create and discover as they develop the knowledge and acquire the confidence needed to become successful students and global citizens.

We believe young children learn best through hands-on, interactive experiences and that broad and engaging opportunities are the key to their successful development. Our curriculum reflects a blend of the best methods and techniques designed to develop age-appropriate skills in language arts, math, science, art, music and social and physical development while honoring the wonder and joy of these formative years.

We select teachers who love working with children, are experts in their fields and who, through their thoughtful guidance, inspire our children to develop their unique potential.

There is no substitute for the special place that is the Harker Preschool. Our safe and nurturing environment is at the heart of all we do. Happy children, caring teachers, engaging programs and exceptional facilities all combine to create an extraordinary place for young children to learn and grow.

Our Facilities

Our beautiful eight-acre campus has been designed specifically for young children with preschool cottages, an art studio, STEM lab, exploration patio, farm, transitional kindergarten classroom building, music and movement room, developmentally appropriate outdoor play spaces, and an abundance of trees, flowers and open space. The campus is fully enclosed and secure. It’s an ideal, warm environment for early learning and growth.

The four preschool cottages sit quaintly around a lush central lawn at the center of our campus. Two cottages house the 3-year-olds and two are home to the 4-year-olds. Each cottage is a classroom for 24 children, two highly qualified teachers and two teacher assistants. The cottages are large, filled with light and provide ample space for exploration and learning. Areas for whole group circle time, individual table activities, teacher-directed small-group sessions, skill-based learning centers as well as a kitchen, laundry room and separate rest and project areas are all part of each preschool cottage.

Our transitional kindergartners will learn in three spacious rooms in our classroom building at the rear of the campus, where teachers will help bridge the gap between the play spaces of preschool and the more traditional learning spaces of kindergarten.

Our Teachers

Teachers at Harker Preschool are highly qualified, dedicated professional educators. They care about children, value education, and have concrete knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices and early childhood development. All teachers hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and have a passion for working with young children. The teachers in our preschool classrooms have three key roles they will move artfully between.

Facilitator: Setting up an enriching environment for children is vital to the success of our program. Teachers ensure that the environment stimulates a sense of wonder, is rich with learning experiences and designed for both group and individual needs. Teachers then move through that environment providing support to challenge and encourage creative and critical thinking in children as they explore and learn. Teachers are cognizant of making room for both independence and peer collaboration.

Observer: It is the responsibility of the teacher to truly know and understand each child. As they observe, they watch for opportunities to extend the children’s learning, document progress and plan for further growth.

Instructor: Direct instruction is important to teach new concepts and skills at appropriate moments. Teachers will choose those opportunities thoughtfully and give children the concrete concepts necessary as a foundation for later learning.

Our teachers are supervised and supported by our preschool director, assistant director and school administrative team. They work in collaboration with each other and with parents to ensure optimal performance and the best possible environment for our preschool children.

For a full listing of our preschool teacher and staff bios please visit our preschool staff bios.

Our Programs

Our learning goals for the children are achieved through a balance of child-directed and teacher-directed experiences in individual, small and large groups. All experiences immerse children in meaningfullearning and enhance their understanding of a wide range of concepts in developmentally appropriate ways. The daily schedule includes time inside and outside the classroom as well as experiences in our specialty areas.

Each cottage offers carefully prepared hands-on experiences in all aspects of social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Classroom centers will include:

  • language and literacy areas including a classroom library;
  • math and science discovery centers with many outdoor components;
  • dramatic play spaces rich with props for imaginative play;
  • art areas filled with a variety of media for open-ended creative expression;
  • block building and construction opportunities with abundant space for extended learning;
  • quiet areas for small group and teacher-directed learning.

Just as the inside environment is rich with materials and experiences that inspire thinking, build skills and bring children together, so do our amazing outdoor spaces! Each cottage has access to developmentally appropriate front and back yard play spaces as well as the large central lawns and plenty of hardscapes for ball bouncing, tricycle riding and wagon pulling. Each space is filled with natural materials and sensory experiences to encourage activity, curiosity and participation in outdoor learning and play. The children will enjoy sand, water, rocks, tree stumps, large wood building blocks, playhouse spaces, traditional play structures and more, all arranged to allow for safe and meaningful outdoor learning.

Children will:

  • Connect with peers
  • Interact as members of a community
  • Have a passion and love of learning
  • Observe astutely
  • Make independent decisions
  • Hypothesize and problem- solve
  • Act as successful self-ad- vocates in kindergarten and beyond.

Contact Us

For a full listing of our preschool teacher and staff bios please visit our preschool staff bios.

4525 Union Ave. San Jose, CA 95124
Main phone: 408.553.5700

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