Our Mission and Values
The St. Andrew’s Cottage, a year-round early learning program of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, exists to offer a quality learning experience to young children from families in the greater New Orleans area without regard to race, religion, gender, or ethnic origin for admission.
The mission of our larger school community is as follows: St. Andrew’s Episcopal School strives to educate the mind, body and spirit of children by promoting academic excellence and social responsibility in a small, nurturing environment that values faith, reason, and diversity.
To that end, St. Andrew’s Cottage is designed to nurture the development of all children in attendance. The curriculum is child-driven and reflects scholarly literature regarding early childhood enrichment and mental health. Our goal for each participating child is two-fold: to fulfill his/her potential for intellectual, social, and emotional functioning; and to be prepared to succeed in school and in life.
Our 12 month early childhood program serves children 12 months to 3 years of age. The program is open Monday – Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. Nutritious meals and snacks are included in the cost of tuition. Our program is designed to support the total development of young children through high-quality interactions. Through intentionally planned activities and learning center experiences, teachers facilitate the development of cognitive, expressive and receptive communication skills, as well as fine and large motor skills. In full realization that children learn as much from their interactions with each other, social interaction, indoor and outdoor play, and small group experiences are a valued part of our curriculum.
Several components work together to create an inspiring and appropriately challenging setting:
-Guiding questions identified by teachers for areas of study each week;
-Carefully selected and intentionally presented materials presented in learning centers with which children can explore, manipulate, and create;
-Books, stories and songs that build depth in relevant topics, areas of interest, and areas of study;
-Whole group experiences that build a shared vocabulary for understanding new concepts;
-Facilitated play experiences that shape pro-social behaviors, including self-regulation techniques, conflict resolution strategies, richer schemas of play, and rich contextual knowledge;
-Language modeling practices that support a growing expressive language in young children;
-A collegial setting among teachers in the program that supports the value of supporting curiosity, exploring concepts deeply, and the continuous growth and learning of adults and children
Parents will receive regular feedback on their child’s interests, friendships, growth and progress and are asked to share information that supports our knowledge of and service to the children in our care.
The faculty of the Cottage view ourselves as partners and collaborators with parents in creating a dynamic and responsive program for children.
Our teachers develop weekly lesson plans that support children’s growth in all domains. Teaching Strategies’ Objectives for Development and Learning guide our planning, teaching and response. To build social-emotional development, teachers use strategies and activities from the Center on Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. We also use a story telling/story acting curriculum for literacy development with our three year olds. Twice a year, teachers meet with parents to discuss the child’s development in communication, gross and fine motor skills, personal-social skills, and problem solving. Together, parents, teachers, and leadership set age-appropriate goals that support the child’s learning with love, compassion, and patience.
With the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, St. Andrew’s Cottage opened a 1-year-old class. The program is open Monday – Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. Nutritious meals and snacks are included in the cost of tuition. (A child must be 12 months by their first day to be eligible for the 1-year-old class.)
In the Cottage, we play. Our emphasis is on social-emotional development and making learning fun. The classrooms are set up for different kinds of play: blocks, fine motor, dramatic play, and looking at and reading books. These areas develop in complexity, as the children get older. Children spend a lot of time in centers of their choosing during the day: they practice sharing toys and space with other children, negotiating who will play different roles in the dramatic play area, and exploring different materials in the art area. All learning is integrated in our early childhood classes, and children are developing socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively throughout the day and during routines and free play.
Children come together for meals and snacks. They are provided a morning snack and lunch, and a lighter snack in the afternoon. Mealtime is an opportunity for children and teachers to talk with each other to build vocabulary and language.
Teachers integrate the Project Approach into their curriculum and regular lesson plans. The Project Approach is based on teaching strategies which help teachers to follow the children’s interests and then plan ways to explore with the children. Teaching and learning is an interactive process which helps children to explore and learn while building their curiosity allowing them to question, problem-solve, create and grow as individuals.
Twice a year, teachers meet with parents to discuss the child’s development in communication, gross and fine motor skills, personal-social skills, and problem solving. Together, parents, teachers, and leadership set age-appropriate goals that support the child’s learning with love.
1 year olds
Our 1’s grow so much in their first year at St. Andrew’s! At the beginning of the school year, they learn about what happens here: that they can go to their teachers for comfort and help, that school is a place where they can have fun with friends. The 1’s sing throughout their day, listen to lots of books in small and large groups, and begin to explore how to use different art and fine motor materials.
2 year olds
Our 2’s program builds on the sense of belonging the children already feel. They play with each other more, so dramatic playand block areas are always busy! Teachers begin to use large group/circle time to introduce new concepts or words, and teachers use small group work to use more challenging materials. They also go outside twice a day for about an hour each time. Teachers often take books, blocks, or other toys outside as well, in case some children don’t feel like running around.
St. Andrew’s Cottage enrolls students 18 months – 3 years old through our waiting pool. Parents who wish to enroll their children in St. Andrew’s Cottage must complete the on-line waiting pool form: St. Andrew’s Cottage Waiting Pool Form. As soon as a spot becomes available we will contact you.
Please contact Lisa Witter, Director of Advancement, Enrollment & Financial Aid at 504-866-6553 for the following reasons:
- Add your child(ren) to the St. Andrew’s Cottage Waiting Pool
- Remove your child(ren) from our Waiting Pool
- Schedule a tour
- Have Questions
- Want your child to continue at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School for Pre-Kindergarten – 8th Grade parents must formally apply and follow admissions procedures.