Our Early Childhood laboratory school includes Infant/Toddler (I/T), Younger Preschool (YPS), and Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classrooms.
TK at a Glance:
- Children range from 48 to 59 months old when school starts in late August
- Target size of 20 students with a 1:5 teacher:child ratio that exceeds childcare licensing requirements
- Two pick-up options: 8:30 am–3:30 pm or 8:30 am–5:30 pm
- Highly-qualified head teachers and dedicated student teachers
- Beautiful, developmentally-appropriate classroom and outdoor play space, plus access to nature across the Mills College campus
- Weekly Orff music specialist
- Healthy snacks served in the classroom, plus the option of ordering a hot lunch delivery service
Our Transitional Kindergarten (TK) classroom serves as a one-year bridge between preschool and Kindergarten, providing more structured small and large group activities to meet the unique needs of four-year-olds with a balanced program, a meaningful curriculum, and a rich social-emotional environment.
The TK classroom is staffed by a highly qualified Head Teacher and a dedicated team of assistant teachers and student teachers. Teaching teams meet each day to reflect on ways to support the children and their learning, as well as to discuss the implementation of theory to practice to ensure quality care. Children who stay until the end of the day are grouped together in a mixed age classroom of two-, three-, and four-year-olds.
The TK curriculum infuses early academic content throughout the day and includes experiences with language and literacy, math, science, and the arts. Our Head Teachers set goals for the upcoming school year and then the curriculum emerges with input and ideas from student teachers, children, and families. We have studied topics as diverse as our local Oakland community, gardening, animals of all sorts, building and construction, and more. As we approach all learning, we challenge the children (and ourselves) to take an inquiry stance and to explore and question the world around them through multiple modalities, including both play-based and more structured experiences.
We believe that learning to work and play together is an essential skill for children who are getting ready for Kindergarten, so we emphasize community building within and beyond our classroom. By collaborating with other classrooms throughout the school, our children get to be leaders and collaborators with both younger and older students at MCCS. As children learn more about themselves, their communities, and their social interactions with others, they develop a stronger sense of their own self identity in the context of the large group.