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Preschool Academics

At The Harker School our early learning programs emphasize hands-on learning, intentional play and developmentally appropriate lessons and activities.

Preschool Academics

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.

Preschool TK teacher teaching students

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


3s Program

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!

Genius of Play

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 students at cubbies

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:

View Sample Daily Schedule

PRE teachers


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.

Learn More About Our Teachers

Teacher and parent

Student Support

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.

Learn More About Preschool Support & Services

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