Kindergarten options at Daycroft Montessori School (www.daycroft.org) of Ann Arbor include a full-day program, a half-day program, a mix of half-days and full days, and a young 5’s program.
Space is available in the kindergarten classroom at Daycroft’s Preprimary Campus (preschool and kindergarten) at 100 Oakbrook Drive, in the Briarwood Mall area.
Parents who may wish to enroll their child in any of Daycroft’s kindergarten programs are invited to contact Samantha Gilson, the school’s admissions director, at (734) 662-3335 or[email protected] to learn more. Parents may also schedule a school tour.
Core Learning Plus Specials
“Daycroft can be the perfect choice for a child who may not be quite ready for a full day of school,” says Michele Buchanan, Daycroft’s associate head of school and education director. “With public schools in the area moving to full-day kindergarten only, we’re accommodating parents who may be looking for other kindergarten schedules.”
According to Buchanan, Daycroft has structured its kindergarten program at the Oakbrook campus to serve both full-day and half-day students. Core learning using Montessori materials mainly happens in the morning, while the afternoon is largely dedicated to cultural studies and specials.
As Buchanan notes, “Parents can mix half-days and full-days within any given week. This is especially helpful when parents want their half-day morning student to participate in selected afternoon offerings.”
Daycroft’s kindergarten curriculum focuses on practical life and sensorial education, language arts, mathematics, and science and cultural studies. It also includes music, art, Spanish, physical education, and library. The curriculum is fully compliant with Michigan’s Common Core Standards.
Daycroft’s Young 5 Program
Parents of a young 5 child are often unsure of whether their child is ready – socially, emotionally, and academically – for kindergarten. The good news: “We can meet a young 5’s needs within our kindergarten classroom at Oakbrook” says Buchanan.
Young 5 children move at their own pace within Daycroft’s prepared environment. This, per Buchanan, fits with the school’s Montessori-style approach of mixing multiple ages in preprimary classrooms, and multiple ages and grade levels in elementary education.
Whatever the young 5’s schedule – full days, half-days, or a combination – Daycroft’s kindergarten teachers start by assessing the child’s status before schooling begins. A personalized learning plan helps them monitor the child’s progress. Then, late in the school year, Daycroft reassesses to determine the child’s needs for the following year.
“The child may move on to our Grades 1 and 2 classroom,” says Buchanan, “or we may recommend to parents that their child stays for another year of kindergarten.”
The Daycroft Difference
“Here, children learn in a warm, caring, nurturing environment with true cultural diversity,” says Diane Mukkala, Daycroft’s head of school.
Two full-time teachers in each Daycroft classroom assure that students get individualized attention. The children, guided by Daycroft’s teachers, make choices in the classroom. “We recognize that children have a natural desire to learn,” says Mukkala. “Children learn best when they can explore and discover in their own styles.”
This, she adds, helps students develop to their potential. “Our students are fully engaged,” she says. “They love to learn!”
More information is available at www.daycroft.org.
About Daycroft Montessori School
Daycroft Montessori School blends the distinctive student-centered teaching methods of Maria Montessori with traditional and progressive education. This helps Daycroft accomplish its mission: to provide a personalized learning environment that appreciates individual differences, nurtures the whole child, and enables students to develop at their own pace and achieve to their potential.
Daycroft is one of Washtenaw County’s leading private schools. It began as a preschool program in 1968. Daycroft has since grown to include a full-day or half-day kindergarten program, a young 5’s program, an elementary school program through 6th grade, before-school and after-school care, summer camp programs, and enrichment classes.
Daycroft has earned accreditation from the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS; www.isacs.org). It is a member of the Association of Independent Michigan Schools (AIMS;www.aims-mi.org), the American Montessori Society (AMS; www.amshq.org), and the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA; www.montessori-namta.org).
Daycroft Preprimary School (preschool and kindergarten) is at 100 E. Oakbrook Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Phone: (734) 930-0333.
Daycroft Elementary School (grades K through 6) and Daycroft’s administrative offices are at 1095 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Phone: (734) 662-3335.