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Early Childhood (ages 2-5)

An ECP teacher works with a student on an art project.

Our lively academic program begins when children need it most.

Research on cognitive growth indicates that the early years of a child’s education represent the most critical time for their development. In fact, researchers from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine have found that the human brain develops the vast majority of its neurons, and is at its most receptive to learning, between birth and three years of age. The earlier a family can invest in their child’s education, the better.

A nature lesson with Ms. McNamara in the outdoor classroom.

We view play as an essential part of our curriculum. By playing, children establish and enhance their creativity, social acuity, resilience, problem-solving capabilities and understanding of sequencing and cause and effect.

Amanda Irwin, Early Childhood & Primary School Director

An early childhood student does artwork in the morning.

Old Trail takes full advantage of this critical time of growth.

Expert teachers in the early childhood division instill academic skills in language arts, math, Spanish and more, nurturing qualities like independence and resilience that will benefit preschoolers as they continue their education.

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We foster healthy growth in all areas.

Teachers in our Early Childhood Program are experts in child development and know how to nurture each child’s healthy social, emotional and intellectual growth. A child’s happiness affects their ability to learn, so we ensure your child learns in a positive, supportive preschool environment. From healthy eating to community outreach, our youngest children begin practicing the habits they’ll carry for life.

Two ECP children sit on the floor and read together in a classroom.

Old Trail School is to a child's well-being and growth, like fertile soil is to an acorn.

Kathi Jackson Holland, Alumni Parent

Overview and Philosophy

Inspired by Reggio Emilia and Montessori philosophies, our Early Childhood Program supports the whole child and stresses social and emotional learning in an environment that values diversity, intelligence and school success.

Play is a key factor in creating strong language and communication ability, critical thinking, problem solving and executive functioning. Through play, children integrate language development as well as all types of learning—physical, social, emotional and intellectual.

  • As your child grows, we place an emphasis on the learning process with a balance of opportunities for small-group, large-group and individual learning experiences.
  • Learning environments balance child-initiated activities and teacher-directed instruction; with guidance from teachers, children explore classroom spaces designed to cultivate self-help skills, problem solving, independence and resilience.
  • Instructional materials and discussions prompt spontaneous and instructive play in the classroom and draw a developmental progression in the content of reading, math, writing, art, science and social studies.
  • Children travel to other classrooms on campus for instruction in physical education, music, Spanish, makerspace and library time.
A kindergarten teacher encourages her student in the hallway.

Research shows that students will have a love of learning if parents and teachers work together to understand the unique qualities of each child. Together we will discuss your child's strengths and learning styles. Our Early Childhood Program creates a parent-school relationship that supports a learning environment for children to develop to their fullest potential.

Enrollment Options

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Early Childhood Curriculum