Why is Mountain Hill School so Special?
Our curriculum is unique and created by our teachers and administrators as a team. We don't follow one specific educational theory; instead, we have worked together to take what we believe to be the best features from multiple models, including High-Scope, Creative, Theme-Based, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, and others, to form the ultimate curriculum that truly works, as it is based on real experience combined with theory. Our goal is to have a class that is engaging as well as instructional. Our teachers continue to grow and learn and challenge themselves along with the children, and our curriculum will grow and change with them.
Our school, on its expansive property, offers many opportunities for the children to get outside, including nature trails, a barn, farm animals, and our park-like playground, and we make it a priority to take advantage of this. We realize that children who play regularly in a natural environment show advanced motor fitness and more imaginative and creative play, and we believe that children should have the opportunity to explore and play outside every day.
We offer some exciting supplemental activities to our programs. One week of each month is set aside as “Barn Week,” where a classroom and activities are set up in the barn for all of the classes to use and enjoy. We also offer a Music Enrichment program where we have guest professional musicians come to share their talents and broaden our musical experience. In our Pre-K and Kindergarten programs, we offer Science Enrichment where each month, a real “scientist” from “What Matters for Kids” joins us to conduct hands-on experiments with the children. Our Kindergarten and Full Day Pre-K programs have the added benefit of Spanish once a week and Yoga classes every other week.
It is very important for parents to be involved in the education of their children, and it is equally important for the children to realize that their parents are interested in their school. Parents are always welcome if they want to set up a time to come in to read or share a special talent with their child's class. Other opportunities to stay connected, volunteer, or to come in and be a part of the school include:
- The Fall Festival: In early October, we have a fall festival where we ask for parent volunteers to help for the day. We have a hay ride, a pumpkin patch, crafts, and many other games and activities, all on the grounds of the school.
- Parent/Teacher Social: Held in the fall, this is a favorite of many of our parents. It is a great night to get out and socialize with other parents and with the staff from their child's school.
- Spring Fun Day: This a themed day held in May where parents can volunteer to help; it is an entire school day held outside with activities and games for the children to enjoy.
- Mother's Day Teas: Just in time for Mother's Day, we have a Mother's Day Tea. Moms are invited into their child's class for some special pampering and entertainment.
- Parent/Teacher Conferences: Twice a year, parents have a scheduled opportunity to conference with their child's teacher to discuss progress and address any issues or concerns.
- Calendars: Each class offers a monthly calendar to provide an overview of the activities that will take place in the coming month. Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes also have weekly or bi-weekly newsletters.
- Daily Communication: Our teachers use a program called Seesaw to send home an overview of the day's activities and, oftentimes, pictures taken during class time. This is also used to provide children with some additional learning activities outside of school for a home/school connection.
- Email Communication: We send school updates and communication primarily through email. We often send pictures of the children engaged in special activities via office email as well.
Giving Back: We believe school should help to teach children honesty, responsibility, and consideration for others, and our teachers encourage all of these characteristics regularly in their classrooms. We take teaching these characteristics a step further through our Peace Builder program. Our code of conduct is based upon the Peace Builder Pledge, the vocabulary of which is used school-wide and has become a part of our daily lessons. We recite the pledge and talk about what it means to be a Peace Builder, which encompasses qualities like being a good friend, having empathy, telling the truth, making good choices, and using kind words. During the school year, we have a school-wide monthly Peace Builder activity like our annual “giving tree,” where we “adopt” less fortunate children during the holiday season, or our “chain of kindness,” where the children's good deeds are noted through a paper linked chain and added onto throughout the school year. Our Peace Builder program encourages the children to become everyday heroes with small acts that can make big changes!
Our Faculty: Our teachers and our entire staff pride themselves on working together as a team. We have low to no turnover, and many of our teachers have been with us for more than 10 years. All of our head teachers have either their degree in Elementary Education or a minimum of a Group Teacher certification combined with 15-plus years of experience. Many of our assistant teachers also have their degrees in education or are working toward it. Everyone on staff has been trained in CPR, CPR with an AED, and First Aid, and we have an AED on the premises. All teachers continue their education with at least 12 staff development hours per year, and we hold twice-monthly curriculum meetings where we have the opportunity to coordinate and share ideas. We are extremely grateful for our teachers; they are focused on working to provide the best experience possible, and they truly care about making a difference in the education of young children.
Summer Camp: We offer a summer camp program from the end of June through July. It is a fun and active camp where every day has a different theme with many activities, both inside and out.
Lunch: A lunch program is available for our 3-Year-Old and Pre-Kindergarten classes.
Early Drop Off: Available beginning at 8:00 AM