Beginnings Preschool originally began as the Neighborhood Nursery School in 1981. There was one class of twelve 3 & 4 year olds, which meet in the Stillwater United Church.
The school was renamed in 1984. Separate classes for 3 & 4 year olds were initiated. Then in 1987 an additional 4 year old class was opened.
In September, 1991 Beginnings Preschool moved into the newly formed Stillwater Area Community Center in the former Palmer St. School. This allowed for an increase in class size while still following the voluntary guidelines for nursery school programs, as stated by the New York State Education Department. As enrollment increased more classes were added. A Pre-K class was introduced in Sept. 2003
The school has continued to grow while developing an excellent reputation for its curriculum as well as cooperation in working with the public school districts and other programs, such as Head Start, Helping Hands, Vo-tec, and Hudson Valley Community College. It has become a model for other prospectus in the area.
Curriculum at Beginnings Preschool is based on developmentally appropriate practices as set by the National Assoc. for the Education of Young Children. It also follows NYS Standards for Preschools. A balanced program of both structured and non-structured activities is offered in a loving environment. The achievement of self-esteem and good character behavior is promoted, so that they will become lifelong skills.
The Three Year Old Class stresses socialization, development, and self-help skills. The children are introduced to the school routine while learning such skills as listening, sharing, cutting, painting, counting, and communication. They are encouraged to grow in their independence and self-esteem, at the same time as understanding that there are limits.
The Four Year Old Class includes all of the previous components, but at a higher skill level. In addition there is a larger focus on early literacy and other kindergarten readiness abilities, such as the alphabet, writing, and letter and number recognition.
The Pre-K Class strengthens all of the above mentioned skills while adding enrichment competences such as cooking, writing books, problem solving, and team work. There is also a very strong concentration on early literacy with daily exposure to the written word.
All classes are taught by a qualified, experienced teacher and an aide. Parents participate by sending in snack to their child’s class. They may also take turns visiting the class and helping with special events. Monthly newsletters keep parents informed of the school’s activities.
A variety of special events are periodically planned. For instance, there may be:
* Apple Day
* Backwards Day
* Special Person Day
* Parent–Child Workshops, &/or
* Holiday Parties & Performances.
* Special visitors such as police officers, the fire department, the rescue squad, and local heath experts come to do presentations for the classes.
* All field trips are walking trips to the post office, the dentist, the library, the school bus garage, the Blockhouse, and local businesses.
The Beginnings Preschool follows the Stillwater Central School District’s calendar, with the school year running from September to early June.
Tuition is charged on a monthly basis with a once a year registration fee.
The Pre-K Class is held Monday through Friday,
meeting at 12:15pm-2:45pm -
Class size is limited to 15
The 4 Year Old Class is held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, meeting at 9:00am-11:30am -
Class size is limited to 18
The 3 Year Old Class is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, meeting at 9:00am-11:30am -
Class size is limited to 16.
For more information, please contact:
Dianne M. DeMidio, Director
Stillwater Area Community Center
19 Palmer St.
518/664-2515, ext. 12 or 13
361 Hudson Ave.
Stillwater, NY 12170