Part-Time Preschool and Kindergarten Classes: Each part-time class is 3 hours long, available 2, 3 and 5 days per week in the mornings and afternoons. Depending on the classroom, morning classes are from 8:30 or 8:45 am to 11:30 or 11:45 am and afternoon classes are from 1:00 or 1:15 pm to 4:00 or 4:15 pm.
Full-Time Preschool and Kindergarten Classes: Full-Time classes are available for every age group on 2, 3 or 5 days per week. Nap time is offered each afternoon for all ages. Full-time programs include a morning class, a lunch hour (free daily with Full-Time sign up) and an afternoon class. Class starts at 8:30 or 8:45 am and ends at 4:00 or 4:15 pm.
Drop-in Enrichment Programs for Preschool and Elementary Children: Montecito offers daily preschool and elementrary Drop-in Enrichment programs, which are staffed and structured the same as all of Montecito's classes. All programs at Montecito are open to the public, so current and new parents may participate in these drop-in programs as well. Children may attend our drop-in programs on as-needed basis, without giving Monetcito any advance notice, and use it in 15-minute increments. To use these programs, parents purchase Prepaid Hours, and new famlies are given 2 free hours per child when enrollling in these or any Montecito programs. Your family's Prepaid Hours never expire and you may purchase Prepaid Hours at your own convenience (Montecito will let you know if you balance of Hours are getting low). The hours and schedule for these programs are described under the "Extra Programs" tab.
Calendar: We operate according to the Los Altos and other local school district academic calendars. The annual school term is 11 months, August through June. In the summer months, 8 weeks of summer classes and camps are available. During our school closures, we also have full-time drop-in care for preschool and elementary school children (M-F 7:30 am to 6:00 pm).
Enrollment Capacity: Montecito School is licensed by Community Care Licensing through the State of California. Currently, the school is licensed to serve a total of 348 children, ages two (2) years through fifth (5th) grade.
Teacher-to-Child Ratio: At Montecito, we understand that in order to maintain a quality program for children, an average ratio of 1 adult to 6 children works well for most preschool age groups. For our Two Year Olds 1 adult for every 4 children is average.
Potty Training: Children are not required to be potty trained by a certain age in order to attend Montecito School. We provide diapers and wipes and will change a child’s diapers and/or clean up any accidents when necessary; we do not use pull-ups at school, as that is like having a diaper on. Children can come wearing underwear or a diaper.
Daily Activities for All Classes and Programs:
Each class at Montecito School has a set of daily activities that provide a consistent routine for children and is predictable and promotes a sense of security and confidence. Children quickly learn the routine, becoming comfortable in their environment and are able to engage more deeply in play and learning activities.
Opening Circle: To begin the day children meet in Opening Circle where they sing greeting songs, enjoy stories and finger plays, and are introduced to the day’s art, science, language, and pre-math activities.
Children’s Choice: Children choose from a variety of activities in each classroom learning center, including dramatic play, books, blocks, art, pre-math, pre-writing, and science. As children play, interact, and create they develop fine and gross motor, and social and language awareness skills.
Small Group: At this time we spit the children into small groups with one teacher per group for activities including sharing, literacy, pre-math, and science.
Bike Time: This is one of the children’s favorites! Children go out in front of the school to our “Bike Circle.” During bike time, children develop gross motor, social, language and cognitive skills as they choose bikes to ride, wagons to pull, play on the tree swing, walk a balance beam, build cooperative structures with blocks, look for insects, visit the animals, or water the garden.
Large Circle: Songs, finger plays, flannel board activities, music and movement activities are led by a teacher to provide opportunities for children to use and develop cooperation, listening, and language skills in a playful and fun group atmosphere.
Hand Washing and Snack: Children wash their hands and sit together at large tables to enjoy a healthy organic snack (provided by Montecito) with opportunities for children to build their language and social skills with teachers and children.
Playground Time: Children play outside in their own classroom playground where there are many learning opportunities. Playground activities can include digging in the sand, running, jumping, climbing, sliding, swinging, role playing in the playhouse, gardening and planting, and enjoying the outdoors and playing with friends. Outdoor play supports language development and builds social interaction as well as physical skills.
Closing Circle: When it is time to go home, the children engage in a variety of language, music and movement activities while they wait for their parents to pick them up.
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