Located on the peaceful, historic grounds of the Carmel Mission, the Junipero Serra Preschool is fully certified by the State of California and provides a joyful learning experience for children ages 3 years, 9 months, through 5 years old. Our goal is to offer an environment where every child feels at home in a loving, nurturing, sensory-filled atmosphere designed to develop the whole child. In order to grow into well rounded adults, we believe it is important that children receive equal attention in all areas of development: social, emotional, spiritual, physical, and cognitive. While this is important throughout a child's life, it is vitally important during the early years.
The small learning environment of the JSS preschool allows each student to thrive by receiving the time and attention of both a teacher and a teacher’s aide. The JSS class size usually ranges from 8 to 12 students which provides an intimate setting conducive to optimal social and academic learning. Children learn letter-sound relationships, sight words and the use of critical thinking skills to make predictions. We follow the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. Children will play, build, sing, color and learn while developing skills for kindergarten: language proficiency, social skills, fine and gross motor control, color and shape awareness, letter and number recognition and counting.
As our youngest students prepare for reading readiness, the teachers make learning fun and exciting. The joy of learning is a daily occurrence that radiates within our students and reflects God’s love in the smiles and enthusiasm shown by all children. Children develop skills in beginning addition and subtraction, patterns, graphs, reasoning and problem solving. Preschoolers are natural scientists as they play and explore the world around them with their curious minds. They constantly experiment and learn as they play outside, explore nature, investigate and play with toys such as clay, sand, and water tables.
JSS preschool students receive instruction in art, music, and physical education. These learning opportunities provide for creative expression that enhances and enriches the child’s love of education. Through art and music, students, as children of God, learn that their creativity is an expression of divine praise. Children act out stories and songs through plays, create 3D shapes from clay, and retell their favorite parts of a story through drawing and painting.
Children practice jumping rope, using a hula hoop and accurately throwing a ball to a target. Writing cutting, clay, Legos, and other small manipulatives build small motor skills and strength.
JSS students learn that God is present and active in their lives and in the world. Children learn about Jesus through prayer, "Seeds -- What the Church Believes and Teaches" and "Stories of God's Love" curriculum. Catholic schools promote self-discipline through clarity of moral vision that is based on the Gospel. Students are instructed and nurtured to be Christ-like in word and action.