day school

Preschool & Kindergarten

Our Program Philosophy

Our first goal for our early education program is to enrich each child’s personal relationship with their Creator. In so doing, we hope to tap into some of their spiritual gifts and help develop those gifts as we learn and study together about our Creator. We feel it is very important to validate each child in who they were created to be.

Our desire is that each child becomes comfortable in the school setting, feels learning is fun, and finds joy in who they are. We wish for each child a smooth transition and firm foundation for the rest of his or her education.

Our Preschool and Kindergarten programs combine both academic and developmental growths. We strive to help the whole child develop, keeping in mind that each child has a unique learning style. One of the reasons we provide an all-day Preschool program and Kindergarten program is to give each child the tools they need to be successful and make each year’s transition as seamless as possible.

We strive to give each child as much of an individualized program as possible.

Program Details

Our program serves boys and girls ages 3 years old through 5 years old. Classes are held from mid-August through late May, Monday through Friday, with children attending full days.

The Preschool program is for children who are at least 3 years old by August 15 of the entering year. The class meets daily for full days: Monday through Thursday, 8:15 am to 3:30 pm and on Fridays, 8:15 am to 12:15 pm.

Kindergarten meets daily for for full days: Monday through Thursday, 8:15 am to 3:30 pm and on Fridays, 8:15 am to 12:15 pm.

Preschool Program (Ages 3 – 4)

Our Preschool program gives each child the opportunity to explore social development, academic development, and personal growth. In language arts we address phonics, pre-reading skills and early handwriting practices. Language arts are taught using the Linda Mood-Bell method that is a multi-sensory learning experience. Every week, students have the opportunity to read to a therapy dog, and have a reading buddy from 3rd and 4th grade read to them.

Pre-math skills are taught using multiple intelligence. The goal is that each child will have number recognition up to 30 and be able to group and sequence. Much hands on learning is done both for fun and to cement what they have learned.

Bible is taught every day. Students learn stories and a memory verse each week. Students also attend chapel each Friday.

Kindergarten Program

Our Kindergarten curriculum includes and individualized reading program where children are taught at their own instructional level. The multi-sensory method of Linda Mood-Bell is also used. The Language Arts block of the day includes reading, spelling, phonics, handwriting, and 1-4 theme books each month. Reading assessments are done using the standardized DIBELS. test, which checks the five areas of literacy. Every week, students have the opportunity to read to a therapy dog, and have a reading buddy from 3rd and 4th grade read to them.

Math is taught using multiple intelligence with the goals of number recognition up to 100, count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, and do simple addition and subtraction.

Bible is taught every day. Students learn stories and a memory verse each week. Students also attend chapel each Friday.

Specials

Each child at Vista Ridge Academy attends a Specials class every day.  The atmosphere is fun, non-competitive, creative and developmentally appropriate.

Music
The Music Program at Vista Ridge Academy is designed to teach the children the language of music through singing songs, listening to live and recorded music and exploring instruments and sounds. The children intuitively learn to understand, and sing in, a variety of keys, tonalities and meters. The program fosters a love of music, and, with gentle guidance from the teacher, students are encouraged to take more and more musical risks as they experience successes. Students attend Music twice a week.

Physical Education (P.E.)
Vista Ridge Academy uses the SPARK curriculum for P.E. SPARK strives to improve the health of children by disseminating evidence-based Physical Education program to teachers and recreation leaders serving Pre-K through 12th grade students. Students attend P.E. twice a week.

Technology
The Technology program for Preschool and Kindergarten at Vista Ridge Academy is designed to teach students the basic skills of using a computer. Fine motor skills are developed through the use of the mouse and keyboard on ABCya.com, the leader in educational games for kids. Students attend Technology twice a week.

Art
Each week, students learn basic art theory and skills.  Students practice and gain fine motor control and strengthen eye-hand motor coordination. By holding paintbrushes and learning how to control paint, crayons, scissors, and other art tools, children gain the skills necessary for later writing activities as well as a feeling of control over themselves and their world. Awareness of colors, shapes, forms, lines, and textures result as children observe these and try to replicate them through art. Students attend Art once a week.

Sandy Hepp
Director of Early Childhood Education

Sandy Hepp has been teaching in early childhood education for 25 years. Her career at Vista Ridge Academy began in 2014. She has her directorship degree and a Professional Teaching Certificate from the Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Sandy is a state certified Early Childhood Education director and teacher. Sandy’s specialty is discovering how each child learns best and adapting the curriculum so that each child meets success. Her passion and ability to see each child as a child of the King has kept her classroom a lively place over the years.