Our kindergarten offers:
- Plenty of recess – As a play-based kindergarten, outdoor play (dependent on weather) and gross motor play are built in to every class session.
- Forest kindergarten – Being outdoors is a very important component of Downey. Every month, students spend a Friday session at Southeastway Park. Students are at the park all day – hiking, learning about nature, and doing other class activities.
- Social justice – Students partner with Downey Christian Church’s Food Pantry and partner with an area nursing home. Students make regular trips to the nursing home and conduct regular drives for the food pantry.
- Specials – As in public schools and in some area private schools, kindergarten students at Downey will get weekly Spanish and music lessons. Art is integrated into every class session.
- Academics – Students will be taught by a certified, experienced teacher who will use Indiana State Standards so that students will be prepared to enter first grade at the completion of the school year.
- Family involvement and Community – Parents volunteer in the class 1-2 times a month. As a result, they build strong relationships with the teacher, with other parents, and with other students.
- Small class size – The maximum number of kids in the class is 10. There are two adults in the classroom (teacher and a parent), which will allow for individualized instruction for the students.
- Behavior management – Downey does not use behavior charts or time outs for students.
- Special needs – Students with special needs are welcome at Downey. Families are encouraged to set up a tour and meet with the school to determine if Downey can meet the needs of the student.
Who is Downey Cooperative Kindergarten right for?
- Families looking for a part-time kindergarten. Downey meets Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am-2pm.
- Families wanting children to have a play-based learning experience. Students at Downey are taught with a curriculum using Indiana State Standards but have daily opportunities to learn through play.
- Families looking for a school that will have a social justice focus.
- Families looking for a school that will provide specials like music and Spanish as well as integrated art.
- Families looking for a “gap year” kindergarten. Leapfrogs kindergarten is a great option for students that will turn 5 right after August 1 but on or before September 1, 2018 who are ready to move past preschool but unable to attend public school kindergarten.
- Families looking for a non-traditional kindergarten but who want their child to be prepared for first grade.
9:00-9:20 Arrival & Morning Work Tubs
9:20-9:45 Morning Meeting
9:45-10:30 Language Stations
10:30-10:50 Brain Break
10:50-11:35 Math Workshop
12:30-1:40 Free Play/Project Work
1:40-2:00 Gross Motor Play
What Families Say about Leapfrogs Kindergarten
What has been your favorite thing about Downey kindergarten?
- I can’t name just one. I really like the small class size and individual attention my son receives. I love the Spanish & music classes, the experiences at forest kindergarten and the assisted living home, and that everything is so hands on for the children.
- The parent involvement and support from other parents.
- Forest Kindergarten
For prospective parents that are considering Downey kindergarten, what are things you would tell them?
- Your child will be met where she/he is and encouraged to grow and mature throughout the year.
- Play is the best way to learn at this age and at Downey play is the most important part.
- Downey Kindergarten is what all kindergartens should look like and be doing for our children.
- Be flexible and know that you must have a Co-op mentality. This is a great option for a “gap” year. Enjoy spending time and watching your child grow.
- Parent involvement and support is awesome. Forest Kindergarten is such a unique thing to offer our kids. Play based teaching is advantageous to their brain.
- It is great if you want your child to learn, but still be a kid. The small group setting is great! We love Mrs. Lovold!
Would you recommend Downey kindergarten?
- Yes. I’m glad I gave my child another year to learn through play and experience activities he would not have experienced in a typical full time kindergarten.
- Yes. I love it as a gap year program.
- Yes, best financial situation for a Waldorf/Montessori experience. Also, amazing staff and teachers.
- Yes, because it has been a great experience for our child!
Staci Lovold has a bachelor’s degree in kindergarten-primary education from Indiana State University and a master of arts degree in curriculum development and mild interventions from the University of Indianapolis. She has taught kindergarten and first grade and served as a literacy coach for K-8 students for several years before joining the teaching team at Downey. Staci has had two children progress through cooperative preschools and has held a variety of roles during that time, including the health & safety chairperson, class representative, and membership chairperson. As Downey’s Leapfrogs and Extended Day Frogs teacher, her goal is to meet all of the children where they are developmentally and help them progress from that point using developmentally appropriate activities and materials. She is looking forward to learning more about the families joining the class.
To register for Leapfrogs, click here.