Preschool FAQs

Preschool pricing information is available in the Park District’s program brochures as well as the preschool section of our website: https://www.pdop.org/preschool/ For more information about our preschool program, please reach out to: Natalie Kurek, Early Childhood Program Director, can be reached at Natalie.Kurek@pdop.org and Pilar Martinez can be reached at Pilar.Martinez@pdop.org.

Children will interact with natural environments, allowing them to learn by doing and to experiment with ideas inside and outside. We provide countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, problem-solving, and STEM education. Learning activities are designed and chosen to provide organic learning opportunities presented through play and
with social-emotional development in mind.


We use an emergent, play-based curriculum. Lesson plans are made weekly and studies usually last two to three weeks based on the interests of the students. Past studies have included topics such as Insects, The Water Cycle, Dinosaurs, Bioluminescence, Nocturnal Animals, Animal Tracks & more.

Our goal is to be outside 50% of the school day. When the
weather is nice, we may be out longer. If the weather is making students uncomfortable, we go in earlier. The student’s comfort is our guide, but families are expected to send their child in appropriate clothing that allows us to be outside even on the colder winter days.

Severe wind and thunder & lightning are the only things that keep us inside.
Warm snowsuits, warm boots, hats, and water-proof gloves/mittens allow us to enjoy learning outdoors on the coldest days, and rain gear on the wettest ones.

There are 18 children in each class.

One lead and two assistant teachers. The low teacher to child ratio is a unique benefit to the Nature Preschool program and supports learning and safety outside.

8:45-8:55 Arrivals, Greetings & Initial Exploring/activity outside
8:55-9:05 Morning Meeting (good morning song, book, discussions & sharing)
9:05-10:10 Morning Walk followed by Outdoor Investigations & Play
10:10-10:20
10:20-10:35
Transition to Inside classroom, put things away, change shoes, & wash hands
Snack & conversation (outside on especially nice days in the spring)
10:35-10:45 Sign-in & then Quiet Reading time or Journaling (on Wed. & Fri.)
Choice Time/small groups (art, science & nature, literacy, writing, math,
10:45-10:55 Whole-group time (calendar, jobs, book, topic discussion, science experiment)
10:55-11:25 Choice Time/small groups (art, science & nature, literacy, writing, math, engineering)
11:25-11:30 Clean-up Time
11:30-11:40 Closing Whole-group (book, topic discussion, science experiment, final song)
11:40 Get ready to go home
11:45 Parent/Guardian pick-up from east doors

Your child will need to be 2 or 3 years of age in order to enroll. They must turn 2 years old on
or before Sept 1st before the start of the school year.

No

If your child needs to be changed, parents will be notified to come help change their child’s pamper/ clothing. Teachers are not allowed to change pampers.

Parent Separation Anxiety is common. Students need time to adjust to going to school AND being away from mommy and daddy. It’s best to talk with your child about school and that it is a place to have fun and learn while parents are away. Words of encouragement also can help.

There are 16 participants.

We suggest you have these items ready in August when it is requested by the program director for Amilia Activity Messenger https://activitymessenger.com/p/F1CNtqB:

– Copy of your child’s birth certificate
– Health Examinations
– Authorized Pick up persons
– General information
– Health Profile ( Medications, allergies, dietary restrictions
– School Supplies (This is di􀆦erent for each location)

Yes. If your child has any dietary restrictions, please do so. We are a nut free facility.

Yes. We provide snacks each day. This can range from Goldfish, pretzels, crackers and diced fruit. All of our snacks are Nut Free.

You can email our Program Director and Coordinator for any further questions about the program: Natalie Kurek, Early Childhood Program Director, can be reached at Natalie.Kurek@pdop.org and Pilar Martinez can be reached at Pilar.Martinez@pdop.org.

Yes.

Currently Enrolled Oak Park Residents: January 16th 8:30 AM
Oak Park Resident Registration: January 21 8:30 AM
Currently Enrolled Non-Residents: January 28th 8:30 AM
Non-Resident Registration: February 4th 8:30 AM

Playschool runs from 9AM to 11AM.

Playschool is in session for only 2 hours per day. A
typical day after parents drop off their child will consist of:

1. Washing hands before starting the day
2. Playtime in various stations for Math, Science, Dramatic Play, Music and
Sensory.
3. Eating snack
4. Morning Meeting (Circle Time) to learn songs and other topics.
5. Playground (Recess)
6. Storytime

Each week is planned according to the student’s interests and State Standards / Developmental milestones.

Parents have the option to sign up their child for the full week, meaning you can put your child in both sessions. Playschool is broken up in two sessions, the Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday Session and the Thursday/Friday session.

PreK runs from 8:30AM to 12 pm.

8:30-9:00 am Check in, Wash hands, and Journal.
9-9:15 am Circle time
9:15-10:20 am Play time/Centers
10:20 am Clean up and get ready for Outside
10:30- 11 am Outside
11:10 am Snack
11:20ish Kids will go to the library section as they finish. Circle time: Movement and story time
11:45-12:00 pm Get ready and Check out

Yes. If your child has any dietary restrictions, please have them bring a tree nut/ peanut free snack. We are a nut free facility.

Yes.

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