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Roswell, Georgia 30075

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1055 Willeo Road

Roswell, Georgia 30075

From Caterpillar Journeys to Social-Emotional Learning: Private School Preschool and Pre-K Life at High Meadows

High Meadows private school preschool and prek

At High Meadows, we have a private school preschool & pre-kindergarten program unlike any other:

Recording a caterpillar’s journey to become a butterfly; learning to write your name with items found on nature walks; feeding and playing with campus farm animals; exploring transportation methods around the world; watching how changing seasons affect our pond habitat… these fun, engaging activities are what Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten learning looks like at High Meadows! Each day, our campus inspires students to engage in joyful discovery and develop respectful connections to the natural environment.

“Children get to experience true exploration at High Meadows,” said Laura Nicholson, Director of Admission. “We encourage them to learn about the world by experimenting with it, tinkering with items in classrooms and nature, and interacting with one another. During their play, they practice important helping, problem solving, communication, and social skills, and begin their academic learning.”

Student Inquiries Drive Learning

Students’ questions drive class learning, which is a different approach than following pre-set learning agendas.

“We start with a central idea or provocation to get kids thinking about a topic,” said Gail Albert, a Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten teacher. “The kids’ questions guide our learning, which helps build critical academic skills they will use in later grades. For example, they learn science skills as they hypothesize solutions to questions and make charts about what class members think are possible answers.”

Earlier this year, students explored the central idea that everything is made of materials that have distinct properties. The lines of inquiry they explored were the use of different materials, how materials can be changed and/or combined, and the composition and physical properties of different materials. Students looked at items they found at home and on nature walks, sorting them by type and how they might be use. Then, they measured them and sorted them again.

“We do a lot of math and literacy learning that looks like play,” Albert said. “We encouraged kids to use their minds and imaginations to do different things each day with the same materials. Some made ramps from their materials, while others explored how magnets work.”

Connections Classes Enrich Learning Opportunities

In addition to play-based learning, Preschoolers and Pre-Kindergarteners go to Nature, PE, Music, Library, Ponies/Animal Care, and Spanish classes as well as tend to class gardens and cook. Jennifer Lott teaches the Nature classes. This is her 37th year teaching at the school, and her 39th year working at High Meadows Camp.

“In Nature class, we go on discovery hikes in the woods and explore special places on campus like Merlin’s Pond, the Water Garden, and the Grandfather Tree,” she said. “We identify all kinds of creatures, including salamanders, stink bugs, katydids, snails, caterpillars, and snakes – whatever I can catch,” she said. “We look at what they eat, how they live, their habitats, and how they impact our environment.”She noted they also explore farm, zoo, sea, and domestic animals and learn to identify venomous and stinging creatures. The students love playing games like animal tic-tac-toe and Pictionary.

“I love it when students get used to walking around the woods and gain independence and confidence. They go from hugging my legs to being leaders and share facts they’ve learned on our walks,” Lott shared.

Emphasis on Social-Emotional Development

Beginning in Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten, High Meadows teaches social and emotional skills along with core academic subjects, a combination that provides the foundation students need for long-term academic success and personal growth. At the beginning of each year, teachers guide students to create classroom agreements emphasizing kindness and respect.

“Our goals are to help children develop individually, be self-reliant, and have a loving space. Everything we do is with that in mind,” Albert said. “We hold class meetings where we acknowledge good things others have done. We also talk about how to be a communicator or risk taker as well as reflective, caring, and principled, behaviors that are part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program’s Learner Profiles. These are the habits that students build upon each year at High Meadows.”

Also, students have rotating jobs each week, such as Mathematician to count kids as they move to different classes, Electrician who turns on and off classroom lights, Chair Stacker, and Snack Helper. Kids take these responsibilities seriously, she noted.

Parents Reflect on Preschool Program

Tameka Phillips, mom of Jackson, a Kindergartener, and Penelope, a Preschooler, shared that her favorite parts of High Meadows’ Preschool program are the time children spend outside, the community feel of the school, and the emphasis on social-emotional growth. She noted that her son really enjoys Forest Fridays, and her daughter is developing a love for animals based on her school experiences.

“High Meadows focuses on the individual child, meeting them where they are and seeing what they need,” Phillips said. “We love the emphasis on helping kids navigate their social environment and their emotions. Teachers model how to resolve conflict, helping them figure out how to handle issues. They build on the natural strength of each child.”

Olga Thomas is mom to Daniela, a Pre-Kindergarten student. She and her husband toured High Meadows when Daniela was not yet one year old and loved it.

“We knew right away it was the school for her because it felt like home,” she said. “I feel so blessed to have Daniela there, and we are applying our son Nicolas to attend next year. The care and support from teachers are just wonderful. They celebrate each child’s differences, and we see how that positively impacts our daughter.”

To learn more about our preschool and pre-k program at High Meadows, call or visit us today.

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High Meadows School

1055 Willeo Road
Roswell, Georgia 30075



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Monday - Friday
8:25am - 3:15pm

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