Our curriculum is informed by a Reggio-Emilia inspired approach.
The purpose of child assessments is to evaluate language, cognitive, gross motor, fine motor, and social and emotional development. These evaluations provide teachers and families with information that will help decide if a child will need any further developmental screenings.
These assessments also provide information to inform planning for overall program improvements. Teaching teams will adjust their teaching strategies to meet the needs and interests of the children based on information gained from child assessments and parent knowledge. Teaching teams will also use child assessment outcomes to design activities or lesson plans that meet the needs and interests of the children. All assessments are shared with families by written report and parent/teacher conferences.
These conferences are done twice a year or as needed per individual child plan. During these conferences families are given the opportunity to raise questions or concerns about how the assessment methods will meet their child’s needs and to contribute to the learning process by sharing their knowledge of their child and family culture with the teacher.
Families are provided information within our Parent Handbook that explains how teaching staff or others have been trained to conduct child assessments. Assessments are administered by the child’s primary teachers. It is our goal to demonstrate continuity of care by keeping children with the same primary teacher for a minimum of nine months; especially with children under the age of 3. This practice helps to ensure healthy relationships so that teachers are able to authentically assess their students.
Transition to Kindergarten
We provide your child with rounded experiences, including field trips and enrichment classes, in a secure setting with a low 10-1 adult to child ratio.
We were founded on the belief that all children should have access to the highest quality early experiences. This means that we offer the highest quality care in a safe and secure setting where positive relationships are the foundation for experience-based learning. We meet the individual needs of children through our Reggio Emilia inspired curriculum, where children's wonderings are the catalyst for learning.
It is our commitment and passion that children and families in La Porte County will be prepared for school and develop a genuine love of life-long learning. This means that children are provided with rounded experiences to nurture growth in all eight areas of development. Here is a list of the school readiness goals for children that are entering kindergarten:
Language and Literacy Development
Children will: 1) engage in pre-writing activities (e.g. drawing, tracing, cutting, and scribbling) and develop progressively in their use of writing to convey meaning; 2) use oral language through conversations with adults and peers to develop proficient two-way communication skills and increase use and understanding of varied vocabulary; 3) understand print awareness (that print conveys meaning), identify letters of the alphabet, and produce sounds associated with letters; and 4) be read to throughout the day (e.g. picture books, poetry, etc.) in order to develop foundational reading skills as demonstrated by telling a personal or fictional story connected by a sequence of events. Children who are dual language learners will demonstrate increased competency in their home language while developing proficiency in English.
Mathematics Development and Scientific Reasoning (Cognition)
Children will: 1) understand the relationship between written numbers, counting, sequence, and quantities up to the number 10; 2) engage in activities that promote higher order thinking skills, such as: comparing, classification, computation, problem solving, sequencing, patterning, and algebraic thinking; 3) use observations and problem solving skills to make predictions and gain an understanding of new situations and activities; and 4) investigate problems, propose hypotheses, and describes observable phenomena.
Approaches to Learning
Children will: 1) manage emotions, follow classroom expectations and routines, and will take responsibility for materials and their choices; 2) maintain focus, engage in purposeful play, persist in tasks, and follow multi-step directions with minimal adult support ; 3) engage in activities that demonstrate growth in creativity, independence, and determination; 4) demonstrate flexibility in thinking and behavior, incorporate different problem-solving strategies, and transition successfully between activities; and 5) demonstrate an eagerness to learn and take initiative when investigating new topics.
Perceptual, Physical and Motor Development
Children will: 1) demonstrate control, strength, and coordination of large muscles while utilizing perceptual information to guide movements and interactions with people and materials; 2) demonstrate increased fine motor control in tasks which require hand-eye coordination and use a pincer grasp while utilizing tools for writing; 3) engage in activities that introduce and promote independent living skills along with health and safety (i.e. how to dress, wash hands, brushing teeth properly, and toilet independently).
Social and Emotional Development
Children will 1) develop positive relationships, engage in prosocial behavior and cooperative interactions with adults and peers; 2) demonstrate the ability to follow positive expectations, resolve conflict with peers and adults, as well as understand and exhibit empathy and sympathy; 3) identify and label emotions such as: happiness, sadness, anger, excitement, etc.; 4) engage in activities that help manage emotions and promote self-regulation; 5) recognize their own abilities and interests, express confidence, and develop a sense of belonging to a community.
Practice Based Coaching
At Paladin, we will use the Head Start recommended model of Practice Based Coaching (PBC) as a system for supporting teachers. PBC is a cyclical process which encompasses: 1) planning goals and action steps; 2) engaging in focused observation; and 3) reflecting on and sharing feedback about teaching practices. PBC occurs within the context of a collaborative partnership. Each component in the cycle is designed to inform teachers of what actions are taken during the subsequent component. The cyclical nature of PBC emphasizes that expectations and desired outcomes of coaching are regularly reviewed and updated. The coach(es) will conduct classroom observations, the coach(es) will discuss the observation results with the classroom teaching staff and the Education Director. The coach(es) will determine classroom coaching plans and will begin to design coaching plans and intensive coaching plans for all classrooms that would benefit from additional support.
Located in the heart of the Edgewood Neighborhood in Michigan City.
Niemann School; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County
Bethany Lutheran Church; Home of Head Start of LaPorte County
All Sites Are Equipped With
- Closed circuit monitoring of every room
- Secured entry system
- Radio Communication System
- One-touch emergency call buttons
- Strict adherence to licensing, health, and fire regulations
- ADA accessible and developmentally appropriate fenced-in playgrounds
- Comprehensive staff training on safety drills, emergency procedures, and active supervision.
Ready to Help?
We need your support! With your gift, Paladin will continue our work to protect the rights of people with disabilities and support their full inclusion and participation in the community. May we count on you today?