At The Harker School our early learning programs emphasize hands-on learning, intentional play and developmentally appropriate lessons and activities.
Early learners view their world with eyes wide open, eager to soak in new concepts and skills. At Harker Preschool, our expert teaching team is the perfect match to their intellectual curiosity.
Our staff seamlessly weaves key math, science and literacy concepts throughout each child’s day through daily child-directed and teacher-directed opportunities and the curriculum of our outstanding specialty classes. For example, a walk outside may involve counting flowers, identifying patterns and talking about symmetry in the shapes they see.
Our teachers know exactly the right moment to let children explore on their own, and when to direct the activity. At Harker, our students will encounter problems and learn to discover solutions on their own. We are nurturing kind, thoughtful children who think of others and have a desire to help those around them.
Transitional Kindergarten Curricular Goals and Objectives
Transitional Kindergarten children must turn 5 years old between July 1, 2020 – November 30, 2020.
Transitional kindergarten offers a tremendous opportunity to our students on the younger end of Harker’s kindergarten age scale. For these children, another year of growth and development provides the foundation they need to enter kindergarten with confidence, social skills and many other school-readiness markers that set them up for a successful academic experience. This extra year of social and emotional development can also make a world of difference in high school, college and beyond.
Note for Applicants: We are phasing out our preschool and TK program to make room for the exciting move of our middle school to the Union Avenue campus in fall 2021. For the 2020-21 school year we are only accepting applications for our Transitional Kindergarten program. There will be no 4-year-old program in the 2020-21 school year. For the coming year, we hope to have access to the construction-free zone of the Union campus for the TK program. We cannot finalize our plans until we have approval from the City of San Jose, and while we are optimistic that we will be able to remain at Union, we will have back-up options in case we cannot.
Your child will benefit from:
- Dual-classroom environment, with one space for exploration and imaginative play and another for traditional, teacher-led academic experiences
- Low teacher-student ratios, allowing for more individualized attention
- Curriculum that allows for the introduction of academic concepts at a pace designed around your child’s needs
- Deeper instruction and exploration in our small group specialty classes, exposing children to art, music and movement and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills
At the end of the Harker transitional kindergarten experience, your child will be excited about learning. Everything we do here prepares children to be engaged and ready for academic challenges in lower school. Among other skills, your child will learn to:
- Demonstrate comprehension of important information in multiple ways
- Recognize words in particular word families
- Understand the basics of punctuation
- Understand and verbalize sentences that combine two or three phrases or multiple concepts to communicate ideas
- Identify letter names and sounds
- Draw symbolically to represent ideas so that others can understand all clearly and with correct formation
- Write numbers 1-20 clearly
- Practice describing problems and applying a variety of mathematical strategies to find solutions
- Sort and classify objects by multiple attributes (color, shape, texture, etc.)
- Solve addition and subtraction problems by counting
- Wait for a turn
- Show understanding of cause and effect by explaining connections
- Have an attention span of up to 25 minutes
From music and art to science and math, our specialty classes are a truly enriching part of our TK students' daily schedule. Read more about how our specialty classes set Harker apart from other programs.
This category covers essential life skills that help your child thrive in a classroom setting and work collaboratively with peers. At Harker, we view it as a core focus area for transitional kindergartners. From learning to play independently and work with others to effectively communicating needs and regulating behavior, social and emotional maturity prepare children to handle future academic challenges.
Among other skills, your transitional kindergartner will learn to:
- Show resilience in a variety of situations that become challenging
- Recognize and understand an array of human emotions demonstrated in others
- Show flexibility in taking turns as leader and follower during social play
- Take the perspective of others
- Demonstrate effective social problem-solving strategies
- Engage in collaborative, imaginative play for sustained amounts of time
We weave physical activity throughout the day to develop body awareness and motor skills. Strong brain-body connections at this age are directly related to future success with reading and writing. The more coordinated movements the children do through kicking and dancing, the better prepared they are for fine motor activities, reading and writing.Among other skills, your child will learn to:
- Demonstrate skillful gross-motor strength and coordination
- Show skillful use of scissors and pencils
- Independently complete self-care routines
- Demonstrate care for personal objects and school materials and environment
Our curriculum focuses on four key developmental areas: academic, social and emotional, classroom readiness and physical. Each of these is an indispensable building block that prepares your child for kindergarten and beyond.
Strong brain-body connections at this age are directly related to future success with reading, writing and more!
Harker Preschool: The Genius of Play
In our classrooms, every minute of the day is a teaching moment. Our approach takes into careful consideration the way children process information and new experiences. At this age, playing is learning. At Harker, we call it the genius of play.
"Play" can be a misleading term when it comes to early childhood education. Our teachers put into practice what early childhood research has consistently found to be true for more than 100 years: Play is the most important learning experience children can have.
We all learn best by doing … and doing again. For children, that is what playing is. After a night out at a restaurant, your child may re-enact the event with a toy kitchen. His brain is using this activity to process the experience, memorize actions and utilize creative thinking.
At Harker, we use play to enhance learning. It allows us to gain insight into a child’s interests and understanding of the world, and to build onto those understandings and interests. A play opportunity with buckets and acorns is actually a lesson in big and small and empty versus full.
We never dreamed our daughter would have the opportunity to create, explore, hypothesize and enjoy such a wealth of projects in preschool. Thank you for bringing the love of learning to all of our children.Katrina Ryan and Bill Jeffers, parents
Preschool Daily Schedule
Harker Preschool follows a typical school calendar, September-June. We carefully designed our daily schedule to provide a comforting routine for children. The full-day program runs from 8:20-3:30, with half-day, extended and summer options. Here is a sample preschool day at Harker:
Our teachers have backgrounds in a wide range of early childhood development programs. That type of diversity is what makes our program so rich. We draw from the most effective strategies and teaching methods used today.
Our teachers hold bachelor’s degrees and many have advanced degrees as well. They participate in professional development opportunities to stay ahead of the latest trends in early learning.
Every member of our teaching staff brings an in-depth understanding and appreciation of how preschoolers digest information and the skills they need. They work closely with each child to tailor our program to meet their developmental needs. We are proud of the compassion and energy they bring to our campus every day.
Communication is important. We understand that you want to stay updated on your child’s progress and have ample opportunities for dialogue with our teachers. Our staff is available for in-person meetings, online exchanges and even written reports about your child so you stay connected.
Beyond the classroom, we offer some exciting extras here at Harker Preschool including healthy and nourishing lunch options, daily extended care and an enriching summer program.