The VPK Curriculum for the School District of Manatee County is framed by the Florida Learning and Developmental Standards for Four-Year Olds (2011). The standards describe the developing skills four-year olds should know and be able to do by the end of their prekindergarten year. The curriculum is designed so that students are learning and growing toward these standards-based outcomes with individualized support and attention in a collaborative setting. The curriculum encompasses development in eight areas essential in early childhood: physical, social and emotional, language and literacy, mathematical thinking and reasoning, scientific inquiry and reasoning, social studies, and creative expression through the arts. Within the framework of standardized learning outcomes, the curriculum includes a scope and sequence for teaching and learning over the school year with opportunities for teachers and partnering paraprofessionals to support children according to their individual learning needs. The curriculum documents include a year-long curriculum map summarizing key learning outcomes with more detailed learning goals provided in the quarterly unit guides for scientific inquiry, literacy and language development, and mathematical thinking and reasoning. The High Scope Preschool Curriculum along with a variety of materials provide teachers instructional support for implementation of the curriculum for academic subject-area learning in these eight areas. Additionally, the district curriculum with the High Scope program and Conscious Discipline extend learning goals to include children’s growing aptitudes of self-regulation and independence, curiosity, cooperation, persistence, creativity, decision-making and problem solving.
Assessing and Communicating Children’s Progress
The Early Learning Department with prekindergarten teachers value on-going, two-way communication with parents and families. It is our goal to consistently communicate the successes and challenges your child is experiencing so that parents and caregivers are informed about their child’s progress toward meeting expectations and together we can support your child toward success. Instruction and assessment go hand-in-hand and you will find that your child’s teacher conducts formal and informal assessments regularly and in a variety of ways to monitor your child’s progress toward the end-of-year expectations defined by the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards for Four-Year Olds (2011). The valuable assessment information is used so that teachers are able to adjust instruction to meet your child’s changing needs as well as to communicate to you about your child’s progress. Each year there are regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences at the end of first quarter and third quarters when you will meet with your child’s teacher to review the Prekindergarten Progress Report provided to parents at these two intervals. As the conference dates approach, your child’s teacher will send information about scheduling your conference at a time that will meet your needs. In addition to these parent-teacher conferences, teachers welcome written communication and telephone calls should concerns arise or if you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your child’s progress.
Our Qualified Teachers and Staff
Every classroom follows a state approved VPK curriculum and students are taught by specially trained and/or certified teachers who are assisted by talented teacher aides. Each classroom will be staffed with one teacher and one teacher aide for every 18 to 20 students.