Our Program & Philosophy

ASA original logo5340 Walnut St. | Oakland, CA 94619 | 510.842.6012

License #013421790

Introduction

A Step Ahead is a Montessori-inspired Spanish bilingual preschool, based out of a loving home in Oakland, CA. We have a low student/teacher ratio with convenient hours of 7:45a-5:30p.

Philosophy

A Step Ahead provides an enriching & fun Spanish bilingual program based in the Montessori method for children ages 2 to 5 years old. Our goal is school-readiness: that each child who enters our doors will be ready for kindergarten. We strive to nurture the social-emotional, physical, & cognitive development of children in order to develop the “whole child”. These experiences all take place within a loving, safe, and respectful environment to encourage curiosity and discovery.

Program

A Step Ahead is a bilingual program – we use Spanish words in speaking with the children as much as we use the English language. Our circle time incorporates songs and games from both American & Hispanic/Latino culture. The preschool years are ideal for language comprehension, and we instill values of open communication within the classroom.

We are inspired by the teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori. We believe children should be able to make their own decisions about their environment and lives whenever possible. Our classroom is set up so that children can choose whatever activity they are drawn to, and play with it until they want to move onto something else. We encourage independent discovery within a safe and structured setting. Through the use of Montessori materials, children learn to complete tasks on their own, or sometimes with the help of a teacher when asked, which encourages self-confidence and a lifetime love of learning. More information on the Montessori Method here: https://www.amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessori.aspx

Through lessons in care of self and conflict resolution, we prepare children with skills they will use throughout their lives. We teach valuable social skills that the children develop and use well into adulthood. We believe children learn through interacting with their environment, family, & teachers, and they have a natural desire to learn. At A Step Ahead, we cultivate that desire.

Curriculum:

September: Planet Earth, Parts of the Plant, living and non- living, Seasons of the year

October: North America, Parts of the tree, Farm animals focusing on the horse, Indigenous people Day, Months of the year

November: South America, Parts of the root, parts of the bird, Veterans Day

December: Europe, Parts of the  leaf, The fish, Clock

January: Asia, The flower, Reptiles, Martin Luther King Jr.

February: Africa, parts of the stem, Dinosaurs, Presidents Day

March: Australia, Fruits, amphibians,money

April: Antarctica, parts of the fruit, insects, Earth Day

May: United States, vegetables, The butterfly, Memorial Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day

June: Land Formation, The Bean, the human body focusing on the external parts, Father’s Day, Juneteenth

July: continue of the human body focusing on the internal organs, 4th of July,

August: The Space, Planets

Parent Involvement

At A Step Ahead, we like to foster teachers and parents contributing together actively in our children’s education. We encourage parents to come in as experts and share their particular talent, culture, or interest with the class.

We hold parent conferences twice a year and speak daily to parents about their child’s activities.

Food & Nutrition

A Step Ahead provides a nutritious snack at 10a, 2:45p, and 4:45p while children are in care.

Diapers & Toileting

We teach self-care, and part of that is learning how to use the potty. Children do not need to be potty-trained when they begin at A Step Ahead. We support families in working with their children towards developing the skills for them to learn how to use the potty when the child is ready. Should your child use diapers (and wipes), they must be provided by the parents. Sometimes we have accidents, and that’s OK. We ask that parents leave a change of clothes at school in the event that children need them.

Discipline & Learning

A Step Ahead Preschool believes in helping children develop inner restraint. Dr. Montessori described the work of a teacher as helping a child “act for herself, will himself, think for herself”. As children grow, they advance through different periods of obedience and disobedience; they discover that their actions have consequences. We provide a safe environment for children to learn and grow. Within that safe setting, we will monitor behavior and redirect children when appropriate.

Discipline is approached in a positive manner, stressing problem solving and providing the child with lessons on making positive choices. Lessons in Grace and Courtesy at the beginning of the year lay the foundation and culture of respect and kindness towards others and responsibility for one’s own behaviors. Laying this foundation assists children in learning life skills that will support them in their lives as responsible and caring adults.

When a child’s behavior is unacceptable, it is the goal of the teacher to help the child learn appropriate behavior. We work with the student (or students) to develop better skills.

Should parents need to discuss a concern regarding development of their child, please contact Ms. Laura privately by email or phone. Confidentiality of each child is of the utmost importance, and we cannot guarantee confidentiality during drop-off/pick-up times. Ms. Laura is available 8:00-8:30am to speak on the phone, please schedule a time by email or text.

Laura Loza

Director

laura@astepaheadoakland.com

510.842.6012