Hills & Falls strives to provide a quality play-based education in a safe, diverse and nurturing environment with the support of a strong and cohesive parent/guardian and teacher community.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A COOPERATIVE?
The cooperative structure of Hills & Falls provides parents/guardians an opportunity to be actively engaged in their child’s learning experience. It enables parents/guardians to be a part of a community of families as well as to gain insight into their child’s development and education. Children realize that the personal efforts and contributions of their families are essential to the daily success of the school.
WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE SCHOOL?
Hills & Falls embraces a child-centered, play-based philosophy. We believe that play is one of the best ways to foster the social, physical, emotional and intellectual growth of young children. We encourage each child’s natural abilities by providing an environment where they are experimenting, experiencing and interacting with a rich variety of educational materials and each other. There is a focus on building social skills, especially conflict resolution. At Hills & Falls, we strive to address the needs of all children by meeting them where they are and helping them get to where they need to go.
HOW DO YOU TEACH MATH, SCIENCE AND READING CONCEPTS?
We believe in an emergent curriculum that is thematic and constantly evolving to meet the needs of each child in our program. We blast off into space, take trips around the world and make our own paper and pasta. Concepts and skills in the areas of language, literacy, science, problem solving and numbers are integrated into each curriculum unit. When a child has a special need, we work to individualize and adapt our program to meet those needs.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE BEHAVIOR ISSUES?
“Preventive medicine” and respect are at the core of behavior management at Hills & Falls. Each classroom teacher works to create a safe atmosphere of mutual respect. We equip children with the skills and strategies for resolving conflicts and being members of a group. Teachers redirect children, model behavior, suggest words or strategies and expand on teachable moments. When a teacher intervenes in a conflict you might hear: “What could you say next time?... What could you do next time?... How could we work this out?... Let’s practice ways we could say that.” We work progressively with children towards the behaviors we would like to see.
HOW DOES THE SCHOOL COMMUNICATE WITH PARENTS?
The communication between school and home is constant at Hills & Falls. We have weekly curriculum updates, regular communication from the co-presidents, school newsletters and an open door policy so that parents/guardians always feel welcome to talk with teachers or the director. Teachers hold conferences in the Fall and Spring (or more often by request) and provide parents/guardians with written reports of their child’s progress. There are parent mailboxes, classroom bulletin boards, a community bulletin board, and frequent emails.
WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS DIFFICULTY SEPARATING FROM ME?
We will work with you and your child so you both have a positive experience in the morning. Our goal is for children to feel secure and excited about transitioning into the school environment. An adult is always available to comfort your child if he or she is upset when you leave in the morning.
DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BE POTTY TRAINED TO ENROLL AT HILLS & FALLS?
Children do not need to be potty trained to enroll at Hills & Falls. We encourage using the toilet in a positive way without pressure and peers often have a large influence on the children. We try to mirror the approach used at home, if possible, for consistency. It is a collaborative effort. A diaper changing area is located in the bathroom of the school.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE ALLERGIES AT SCHOOL?
Hills & Falls practices a nut-free policy; however, we are housed in a building that is not nut-free. Children bring their own nut-free snacks and food. Additionally, the school sends home a list of “school friendly” snack suggestions, and emphasizes which popular brands are manufactured in nut-free facilities. All allergies are posted in the snack areas of each classroom. Children with an EpiPen are required to bring in their own snacks and special treats from home. The Handbook (required reading for all Hills & Falls families) clearly states our full allergy policy. EpiPens are kept in marked cabinets and all teachers are trained in their usage. Please see the director if you have more specific questions regarding your child and allergies.
HOW MUCH IS TUITION AT HILLS & FALLS?
Te Board of Directors sets the tuition each April for the following year.