Preschool at Summit

We are committed to every student’s personal and academic growth from the moment they enter as preschoolers, until the day they graduate eighth grade as young adults.

Our private preschool curriculum is research-based, developmentally appropriate, and taught by educated and experienced teachers.

Summit welcomes preschool students ages 30 months to five-year-olds preparing for kindergarten. Families join us from Ahwatukee, Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, and Phoenix.

PRESCHOOL HOURS

Classrooms are open to greet children and parents at 8 a.m. each day. Our school day ends at 3:15 p.m. In support of our working families, parents may enroll in before and after school care, expanding the day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

 PRESCHOOL CLASSES

Three program enrollment options are available.

  • Five-day class
  • Three-day class; Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Three days first semester (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and five days second semester

Why Summit?

Summit is AN NAEYC-ACCREDITED PRESCHOOL

Summit School is one of the few Phoenix preschools accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). All of our preschool staff are NAEYC members who have a commitment to excellence in early childhood education. Read the standards that Summit adheres to in order to maintain our accreditation.

Summit Teaches Through an Emergent Curriculum Philosophy 

Our educators use The Project Approach to build an Emergent Curriculum that reflects the interests, experiences, and cultures in the classroom community. This work is complex as it follows many principles of Cognitively Guided Instruction. It begins where students are intellectually and developmentally challenged to meet and exceed early learning standards, and allows for growth to occur at deeper levels across content areas. This Emergent Curriculum is used in tandem with The Creative Curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold to ensure that all national standards are addressed with expertise and intention, while also honoring who the children are as young thinkers.

Summit Teachers are Highly Educated and Experienced in Early Childhood Education. 

Most of our faculty have been at Summit for over 10 years and have an average of over 15 years of experience in the early education field. They maintain strong bonds with students and their families far beyond the preschool years. Our early childhood faculty All hold degrees, endorsements, and countless certifications in the early childhood field as well. Many of them present at local and national conferences, serve on NAEYC Peer Review Boards and have mentored and coached other teachers all across the west coast. 

Our early childhood program builds each child’s foundation for learning. Children embark on this life-long adventure exploring their world, discovering the many ways they can problem solve, impart positive change, and find joy in pursuing their passions.

Areas of learning

 Our preschool students engage in meaningful and challenging work with an emergent curriculum. Using The Project Approach, the two lead teachers in each classroom community create environments, experiences, and learning provocations that engage the students’ interests and intellects. Our assessment tool and online database, Teaching Strategies Gold, is endorsed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. TSG incorporates a developmental continuum that extends well beyond kindergarten skills. This allows teachers to carefully monitor student growth and plan for developmentally appropriate and challenging learning activities.

Our curriculum fosters growth in all developmental areas including social/emotional, physical, language, cognitive, literacy, math, science, and social studies.  Additionally, preschool students participate in Spanish, music, library, and art classes taught by Summit Specialist teachers and tumbling taught by Tumble Town.

Each day, children participate in large and small group settings to meet together as a classroom community and have specific skills introduced or refined by classroom teachers. Project work is embedded throughout these activities to deepen knowledge and understanding of student interests. During student work time, children choose from interest areas and provocations that include science, open-ended art, building, literacy, dramatic play, snack served family-style and areas of cultural and family significance. The preschool playground was designed and re-built by a team of four-year-old students and their teachers and reflects the energy, aesthetic and momentum of joyful play and connections to the natural world. Lunch is shared as a time for building language and relationships, healthy eating and winding down from morning activities. Students enjoy a resting period in the afternoon, followed by classroom activities, snacks, and specials classes.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Children’s early relationships and communication skills are fostered to construct a solid foundation for learning and developing purpose and passion in their lives.  Summit focuses on the social-emotional growth and development of our students. 

This part of our curriculum includes: 

  • Learning how to regulate emotions and behaviors 
  • Establishing and sustaining positive relationships 
  • Participating cooperatively and constructively in a group 
Physical Development

A child’s physical growth includes the development of his or her gross and fine motor skills. Students have opportunities to develop fine motor skills and use precision and intention when creating representational drawings, writing and using science and technology tools. Planned gross motor experiences build strength and coordination.

This part of our curriculum includes: 

  • Learning how to move the body through space with ease of mobility 
  • Establishing balance skills 
  • Developing gross motor manipulative skills 
  • Developing fine motor strength and coordination

 

Oral Language

Listening and speaking skills are key to collaboration and cooperative work. Students are given opportunities throughout the day to use language to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and words of support and encouragement for others. They present their thinking in small group meetings, whole-class meeting times and on stage when presenting at a Morning Meeting to the entire school population. Listening skills focus on respect for the thoughts and feelings of others and active listening. 

This part of our curriculum includes: 

  • Listening to and understanding increasingly complex language 
  • Learning to use spoken language to express thoughts and needs 
  • Using appropriate conversational language skills and the expansion of vocabulary

 

Cognitive Development

Also known as intellectual development, cognitive development is focused on how a child learns and approaches tasks including attention, persistence, curiosity, and flexibility. This influences how a child processes information, memory, classification, and problem-solving. These skills are strengthened in project work and exploration during work time.

This part of our curriculum includes: 

  • Developing a positive attitude and approach to learning
  • Remembering and connecting experiences 
  • Developing classification skills 
  • Using symbols to represent something that isn’t present 
Literacy

As our children are exposed to multiple sources of literacy, they learn to value the power of words to express ideas and feelings. To prepare students for our Kindergarten, we use Jolly Phonics to introduce the sounds and letters of written language and support students in writing using these sounds to convey meaning in their work. Shared reading and wordplay support phonological awareness and an appreciation for multiple literary genres.

This part of our curriculum includes: 

  • Developing phonological awareness
  • Learning and applying the letters of the alphabet 
  • Learning the value of print as first steps toward writing 
  • Comprehension of oral language and simple texts
Mathematics

Math skills in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten are a strong predictor of third-grade reading as well as math! Intentional and high-quality mathematical foundations in early childhood make a significant difference in their learning and achievement throughout their academic journey.

This part of our curriculum includes: 

  • Learning to use number concepts and operations 
  • Exploring and describing shapes and spatial relationships 
  • Learning to compare and measure 
  • Understanding patterns
Science and Technology

Children are naturally curious. We enable their innate curiosity and build the skills of making focused observations and seeing connections in the natural world. Their experience is enhanced through collaboration with both the elementary and middle school science teachers.

This part of our curriculum includes: 

  • Learning scientific inquiry skills 
  • Understanding the characteristics of living things 
  • Exploring the physical properties of objects and materials 
  • Learning about the Earth’s environment 
  • Using technology tools to perform tasks

 

Social Studies

Our diverse early childhood community is an ideal setting to introduce community, global and family cultures. Family photographs are found throughout the classrooms and bring a strong sense of security and acceptance to our students.

This part of our curriculum includes: 

  • Learning about self (including understanding personal narrative, family, and cultural values)
  • Understanding people and how they live 
  • Exploring change as a concept related to familiar people or places
  • Mastering simple geography and the relationship of different places 

 

The Arts

Young children develop higher-level thinking skills and language when given opportunities to represent their ideas and feelings using multiple forms of expression. The visual and performing arts bring ways for creative expression, representation, and ownership of their knowledge.  

This part of our curriculum includes: 

  • Exploring the visual arts by working with many different types of materials 
  • Discovering musical concepts and expression 
  • Learning the value of dance and how to explore movement concepts
  • Exploring drama through actions, language, storytelling, and play

 

Early childhood is a time for our children to gain confidence in their abilities, develop flexible approaches to learning, and to see the connections between all areas of their world.

Our students enter kindergarten with confidence in their ability to reason, problem-solve, understand and contribute valuable ideas to their local and global communities.

Don’t Take Our Word For It

There aren’t enough words to describe the magic in our preschool building. Both our daughters not only received an amazing early education, but they were given tools to help them grow as individuals. The teachers and support staff are so loving and kind and make each child feel like they can take on the world.

Jackie Lang, Summit Parent

Summit School combines the warm embrace of a most trusted family member with ceaselessly innovative education and a high concentration of exceptionally talented and experienced educators animated by the utmost passion for the craft and dedication to our children. It is truly a special and nurturing place of child growth undoubtedly on par with the finest schools in the nation. I strongly encourage all parents seeking schooling and care for their children to call Summit and witness it firsthand.

Josh Bloomberg, Summit Parent

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