We have an ambitious pre-k program that prepares the kids for kindergarten both socially and academically. Through having a 5-day program the kids will be reading and writing confidentally by the end of the year. In having no more than 12 kids per class the children get the individual attention they need to progress academically, but we also get our two pre-k classes together for fun activities where they learn to be in the larger social groups that they will experience in Kindergarten.

Our curriculum covers and exceeds both the Kindergarten Individual Screening/Skills Test (KIST) assessment taken by every child before entry to kindergarten in the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD), and the DIBELS assessments used by CUSD during the Kindergarten and elementary years.

We have developed an integrated reading and writing program, founded upon current research guidance and best practices, that provides the kids with the tools and confidence to progress rapidly. For example, prior to teaching reading the kids will lean how to split words up into their constituent sounds (phoneme segmentation), and to blend letter sounds together to form words. Learning through fun is also part of our approach – the kids love playing hangman using words or sentences taken from their reading books. We teach Zaner-Bloser (ball and stick) handwriting, the same as taught by CUSD schools.

Kids learn more than counting and simple arithmetic, including learning about money, telling the time, tallying, graphing, and measuring – for example, the kids get to determine how big their classrooms are by laying themselves out end-to-end. We introduce kids to techniques they will learn about in Kindergarten, such as number bonds (how many different ways to make a number), part of the common core standards. Not only do the kids conduct a hands-on science experiment every week, in our pre-k classes they will learn about the steps scientists take to advance hypotheses – and that failure is part of the process!

Having fun is an important part of our school, and for gross motor skills you will see the kids having team races and obstacle courses – such as laser mazes built with red yarn done to the Mission Impossible theme music – even kicking football goals in sports week, and a weekly yoga lesson.

The curriculum goals are listed below by category.

Language & Communication

  • speaks clearly with few pronunciation or grammatical errors
  • uses “and,” “but” and “then” to make compound sentences
  • uses modal words like “can,” “will,” “should,” and “might”
  • refers to causality by using “because” and “so”
  • uses mental state words such as: know, don’t know, forget, remember, wonder
  • knows complex emotion words such as: surprised, proud, curious
  • recognizes the humor in simple jokes; makes up jokes and riddles
  • generates a series of 4-5 rhyming words
  • names 4-5 words that begin with the same sound
  • follows multi-step directions
  • knows time words such as: yesterday, today, tomorrow, morning, afternoon, night, before, after
  • waits for a turn in a group conversation
  • uses past and future tenses; learning to use past tense of irregular verbs: went, caught, swam, etc.
  • knows days of the week, months and the seasons
  • uses words representing physical relations or positions, such as: over, under, above, below, beside, in front, behind, inside, outside, between, top, bottom, left, right, before, after
  • understands comparatives like loud, louder, loudest

Reading & Writing

  • knows most uppercase and lowercase letters
  • writes legibly most upper and lowercase letters
  • understands that letters represent the sounds in spoken words
  • associates letters with their sounds (phonemes)
  • writes a few words correctly from memory such as their name, “no”, “yes”, “mom”, “dad”
  • isolates the beginning and ending sounds in simple words (phonics)
  • knows that writing goes from left-to-right and top to bottom
  • knows that the names of the author and illustrator are on the cover of the book, along with the title of the book
  • understands difference between make-believe and realistic (fiction and non-fiction) stories/books

Numbers & Counting

  • counts to 100 by rote
  • counts by tens to 100
  • counts up to 30 objects
  • counts backwards from ten
  • reads and writes numbers up to 100
  • knows ordinals from first to tenth
  • understands simple addition and subtraction equations using numbers up to five
  • adds/subtracts with up to 10 objects
  • understands the concept of half
  • understands and make simple graphs
  • begins to use ruler to measure length

Social & Emotional

  • cleans up without constant supervision
  • plays cooperatively, be generous, take turns, share toys
  • enjoys imaginative play with other children
  • shows concern and sympathy for others
  • suggests ways to resolve conflicts
  • uses words to express emotions and preferences
  • improved ability to calm oneself, uses coping strategies
  • wants to try new experiences
  • enjoys and often has one or two focus friendships


  • draws a person with at least 6 body parts
  • draws, names, and describes pictures
  • forms rectangle from two triangular cuts
  • understands concept of same shape (congruence)
  • shows some understanding of moral reasoning, such as fairness, good or bad behavior, good choices
  • builds three-dimensional structures with small cubes by copying from a picture or model
  • can identify and sort by multiple properties such as size, color, shape, function
  • recognizes and extends simple patterns
  • knows how to follow routines in emergency situations and/or seek help
  • learns when and how properties can be changed , such as mixing colors, and solids to liquids
  • arranges three pictures to tell a story
  • can use the toilet independently

Fine Motor Skills

  • copies geometric shapes, such as triangles, rhomboids, pentagons, hexagons, and octagons
  • can cut with scissors on a line continuously
  • demonstrates good control of pencils, crayons, and markers; colors within lines well
  • folds paper diagonally when shown how
  • clip papers together
  • can button, zip, and tie shoelaces

Large Motor Skills

  • can stand on either foot for at least ten seconds
  • can jump with both feet, hop, and gallop
  • can walk forwards or backwards toe to heel
  • can skip with alternating feet
  • mastered the low balance beam (wide)
  • can throw am object underhand to a target 10 feet away
  • can kick, catch, and bounce a ball
  • can jump over a low and narrow object