Why The Day School
- Early Childhood Experts
- Developmentally Appropriate Practices
- Parent and Student Resources
- The Role of Play
The Day School has chosen to focus on the early childhood years in order to provide high-quality learning experiences for children during the most impressionable years of their lives. Our teachers and staff understand child development and how to teach young children using appropriate and effective practices that nurture their development in the cognitive, linguistic, physical, social/emotional domains. We understand that a child's first school experiences set the tone for their ongoing education, and make it our mission to help them develop a love of learning that lasts a lifetime
Our teachers and staff are lifelong learners, receiving a minimum of 24 continuing education hours annually to stay current on research and best practices in the field. Additionally, The Day School employs a Child Development Specialist who is an expert in early childhood development to work with teachers on individual professional goals and proper implementation of curriculum to ensure we deliver excellence in all areas.
Our Child Development Specialist, Janel Perez, has worked in early childhood for many years as a counselor, early childhood intervention specialist and a child care trainer. She has extensive knowledge of childhood mental health, developmental milestones and family systems. Her Bachelor degree is in Family and Child Development, and her Masters is in Professional Counseling. Additionally, along with Director, Ashley Hickey, Mrs. Perez hosts "coffee and conversation" for The Day School families to learn about and discuss topics in parenting and child development.
The Day School believes in the value of utilizing educational practices that are appropriate for the developmental level of children in order to maximize learning. Our practices are child-centered and backed by evidence-based research. This ensures the curriculum is delivered in a way that maximizes learning. Young children benefit the most from curriculum when they are engaged - making activity and investigation an imperative component in their educational experience. We provide them with opportunities to make choices related to activities and products, as well as encourage them to ask questions and engage in conversation with peers. Teachers provide focused, intentional teaching that builds on children’s prior knowledge.
We are committed to maintaining small class sizes with a low teacher-to-student ratio. This allows teachers to take the time to truly know each child, thus creating an environment that celebrates and builds upon each child’s unique qualities.
HPPDS is committed to walking alongside families to provide support and resources with the goal of success for every child.
We proudly work closely with Michelle McFarlin, SLP, Director of Texas Social Communication Connection. Should a parent and/or teacher have any concerns about a child's development, Mrs. McFarlin provides a free observation and initial evaluation for The Day School families. From there, she may make recommendations for further evaluation, therapeutic services or classroom strategies. Mrs. McFarlin has extensive experience in educational treatment and planning, early intervention and in-depth speech-language/social communication evaluations. The Day School also serves as a host to the Building Blocks and Bridge Builders small-group programs offered by Texas Social Communication Connection.
The Day School maintains relationships with a variety of professionals in the field, and our Director is happy to assist families in finding the right person or place for the goals they have for their child. We currently work with professionals in the areas of:
- Speech and Language Pathology
- Occupational Therapy
- Social and Emotional Learning
- Educational Testing
- Play Therapy
Students may receive services on campus during school hours with approved professionals.
All students in PreK4 and Kindergarten participate in small groups tailored to their developmental level with our Reading Specialist, Mrs. Johnson-Martin. These groups focus on targeted, individualized instruction in early literacy skills for all of our emerging readers and writers. Whether they are working on letter identification and sounds, beginning reading strategies, or fluency, all children are challenged appropriately based on their readiness.
Play is the highest form of research.
Play is part of everything we do at The Day School. Play allows children to become early scientists as they explore, manipulate and interact with their environment. It is through this play that children learn important skills in all areas of development, such as:
- problem-solving and conflict-resolution
- higher-order thinking
- language and vocabulary
- mathematical and scientific reasoning
At The Day School, we believe in the power of play, and know that it is necessary for meaningful learning.