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ParkSchool

(ages 2-4)
Introducing ParkSchool Sprouts (2’s), Saplings (3’s), and Mighty Oaks (4’s).  ParkSchool combines the best of our popular programs along with STREAM (Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) educational methods, that provides your child with a new level of learning and discovery. Successful beginnings for a bright future… 

 

 

                                      

Select A Page:

Individual Day Option Now Available!

      Registration for Winter/Spring Session is happening now! 

At ParkSchool… we took feedback from you, our loyal customers, to create an early-learning classroom environment designed to encourage your child to question, explore, and discover.  Our unique curriculum nurtures your child’s curiosities and individuality, builds self-confidence and social skills, and prepares your child for kindergarten. ParkSchool provides your child with a Successful Beginning for a Bright Future.

  • Exposure to Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STREAM)
  • Gain an appreciation for the natural world
  • Development of sensory, cognitive, and motor skills
  • Opportunity to cultivate meaningful friendships and peer collaboration
  • Attain independence through critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Build confidence through the exploration of self-expression and creativity.

ParkSchool prepares your child for the next important step.  Ready… Set… Kindergarten!

Partnering with Parents in Education

A partnership between you and our teachers sets up your child for success. We engage parents through in-person conversations, written updates, and an online platform to provide you continued insight regarding your child’s learning experience.

Additional parent/teacher engagements include an informative parent meeting prior to the start of the fall program and an open house where you can view your child’s classroom environment.

Schedule

  • Early Risers 7:15-9:15 am
  • Morning programs 9:15am-12:15pm (includes lunch)
  • Afternoon programs 12:45-3:45 pm (includes an afternoon snack, no lunch)
  • Afternoon Adventurers 3:45-5:45pm
  • For details on the 2-year-old Programclick here
  • For details on the 3-year-old Programclick here
  • 4 year-olds can prepare for full-day kindergarten with full-day ParkSchool, for details, click here

Age Groups

An important goal of ParkSchool is preparing each child for kindergarten. To ensure children learn alongside their peers, age groups are based on the age of each child as of  September 1 (consistent with North Shore School District 112).

Nutrition

  • The morning program includes a healthy morning snack and lunchtime (lunches brought from home).
  • Afternoon participants should arrive to class having had lunch; an afternoon snack will be provided.

Important Dates

  • November 30: Last day to register for Winter/Spring with Monthly payments
  • December 13: Last day to register for Winter/Spring ParkSchool Express

Contacts

Sara Stanke, Recreation Supervisor 
847.579.3123
sstanke@pdhp.org
Meghan Meredith, Naturalist 
847.579.4183
mmeredith@pdhp.org
Registration Office 
847.579.3128
registrations@pdhp.org

 

 

 

 

Philosophy

We believe that creating a strong love of exploration and curiosity early in a child’s life establishes a pattern of lifelong learning. Success is measured by nurturing and celebrating each child’s individual development. We embrace experiential project-based activities that enable children to discover their true potential—methods that encourage them to question, explore, and discover. It is through ParkSchool’s unique blend of a supportive warm environment and discovery-based play that children can truly expand their imagination, acquire a confidence and inquisitiveness that allows them to establish a Successful Beginning for a Bright Future of Learning.

Our Team

Every child deserves a positive early learning experience in an environment that encourages self-expression and discovery. Combined, our teachers have dedicated over 100 years to the growth and development of children in the Highland Park community. Their experience and education make them uniquely qualified to create an ideal classroom environment; while giving you the comfort of knowing professionals are caring for and nurturing your child’s special qualities and talents.

 

Amy Banner
Amy has been a Naturalist with Heller Nature Center at the Park District of Highland Park for a short time, but has worked in the outdoors or with children for over 10 years. Throughout her professional life, she has been an outdoor educator, naturalist, coach, and camp counselor. In these positions, she taught elementary and middle school students about the wonders of their ecosystems and the importance of teamwork. She loves being outdoors to look for wildflowers or wildlife and enjoys the atmosphere of a campfire or a clear night sky.
Samia Bokhari
After earning a degree in Business, Samia joined the ParkSchool team and has brought unique perspectives and experiences. As a Teacher’s Aide, she works closely with children ages 1- 5 yrs old and brings laughter and enjoyment to our classrooms. Her nurturing personality and desire to make positive changes in childhood education stems from her involvement in local PTOs and holding school board positions.
Lori Cohen
Lori has a Bachelors of Science degree in Art Education and is the lead Art Specialist for ParkSchool. Her creative nature and science based art programs have been engaging children for over 30 years. She focuses on PreK-8th grade and most recently has become an integral part of our summer camp art programs. Lori continues to develop successful curricula to compliment ParkSchool's STREAM educational approach. Much of her inspiration comes from her love of hiking and being outdoors.
Belle Kolman
Belle’s education background is in Early Childhood Development and she has been in the field for over 25 years. Most of these years have been at the Park District of Highland Park with a focused experience on ages 1-10 yrs old. Belle continues to successfully develop and implement engaging programs that are well known throughout the Highland Park community. Her long tenure with the Park District of Highland Park is representative of her commitment to enrich ParkSchool programs and the lives of children and families through high quality early education. Belle is excited to manage the Saplings (3 year old) program for ParkSchool.
Meghan Meredith Meghan has an extensive environmental education background with an Illinois Teaching License and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies. She has 6 years of public school teaching and has been involved with several environmental education programs within Chicagoland. Meghan loves to share her passion for learning outdoors. Here at the Park District Meghan has used her creativity and passion to develop several learning experiences for all ages within the community. Much of her teaching style comes from her enthusiasm, knowledge and curiosity in nature. Meghan looks forward to managing Heller Nature Center's Mighty Oaks Nature Program (4 year old) for ParkSchool.
<Debbie Powell
Debbie is an extremely qualified candidate with 12 years of experience working directly with children ages 3-5, as well as a formal education with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development; Early Childhood Education, Minor in Psychology and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Debbie’s most recent roles include teaching pre-k and kindergarten programs at local Northshore Nursery Schools. During this time, Debra planned, developed, and implemented multifaceted curriculum for three and four-year-old preschool children as well as for Kindergarten; similar to ParkSchool. As an educator, Debra also has extensive experience communicating professionally with parents and co-workers.
Ginny Schwalbach
Ginny began her journey with the Park District of Highland Park in 1985 after earning a degree in Child Psychology. She has been in the field of early childhood education and enrichment for over 34 years. Ginny has developed revolutionary programs which have become main stays in the Highland Park community for early childhood enrichment. Her strengths lie in her ability to captivate, engage, and provide a unique learning environment for children. She continues to update her programs to meet contemporary standards of early childhood education while collaborating with parents on an individual’s interests and needs. Ginny is excited to oversee the West Ridge Center's Mighty Oaks (4 year old) program at ParkSchool.
Natalie Thompson
Natalie has spent 12 years as the head of stage crew for a children’s theater program grades 3rd-5th. She currently leads our programs for ages 1-3 yrs old for the Park District of Highland Park. Natalie has been instrumental in making Mom’s Morning Away a continued success. Her passions lie in creating new and exciting art projects as well as incorporating the latest trends in early childhood enrichment. Her patience, nurturing and calm voice and inviting personality resonate with the youngest of our children. Natalie looks forward to managing the Sprouts (2 year old) program for ParkSchool.

 

Individual Day Options Now Available!

Sprouts  (Age 2 as of  Sept. 1, 2019)

ParkSchool curriculum is designed to support kindergarten preparedness, social skills and a mastery of fine and gross motor skills through our STREAM based education approach. What is STREAM? STREAM is education based in Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Art, and Math!  Your child will participate in our STREAM play-based lessons and proactive collaborative problem-solving skills daily. Our teachers customize each Pre-K lesson plan to provide opportunities for independent discovery, cooperative learning and outdoor playtime to help each child develop skills for kindergarten success.

Your child will engage in peer interactions with positive encouragement and play-based activities that focus on colors, numbers, senses and shapes. Our instructors use thought provoking questions that enhance cognitive stimulation as well as physical activities for the development of fine and gross motor skills. Your child will build confidence, independence, a love of learning, and an appreciation for the world through hands-on exploration.  Our Sprouts program is a wonderful first step in your child’s successful education.  Location: West Ridge Center. Potty Training not required to participate. Register for a morning OR afternoon program only. 

Nutrition

  • Morning program includes a healthy morning snack and lunch time (lunches brought from home)
  • Afternoon participants should arrive to class having had lunch; an afternoon snack will be provided.

Funology Friday (Ages 2-4)

The fun continues on Fridays! Our focus is on fresh and exciting themes that captivate the imagination within your child. Fast paced games use all five senses, messy art projects promote creativity and crazy concoctions based on science invite inquiry. Includes a healthy snack, exercise, and fun brain games.  Choose Your Location: West Ridge Center or Rosewood Beach Interpretive Center.   Funology Fridays at Rosewood are nature themed.

Before/After Care

Early Risers
Drop your child off at West Ridge Center beginning at 7:15am. Children will be cared for in a welcoming environment and engage in games and activities with their peers. Early risers will be escorted to their Parkschool classroom by 9:15am. (Pair with a Parkschool morning program)

Afternoon Adventurers
Afternoon Adventurers will be escorted from their ParkSchool classroom to the Afternoon Adventurers classroom. Children will be provided a light snack and an opportunity to engage in games with their peers. Pick-up is anytime between 3:45-5:45p. (Pair with a Parkschool afternoon program)

Sprouts Schedule & Fees
(Location: West Ridge Center)

[table “190” not found /]

WinterSpring Session: Jan 6 - May 29
(Choose morning OR afternoon)
TimesDays (Register for M/W, Tu/Th, or individual days)Program Fee
Early Risers
7:15-9:15am
Mon & Wed$836/886
Tue & Thu$880/930
Fri$418/468
Morning
9:15am-12:15pm
Mon & Wed$1710/1760
Tue & Thu$1800/1850
Mon$855/905
Tue$900/950
Wed$900/950
Thur$900/950
Fri$855/905
Afternoon
12:45-3:45pm
Mon & Wed$1710/1760
Tue & Thu$1800/1850
Mon$855/905
Tue$900/950
Wed$900/950
Thu$900/950
Fri$855/905
Afternoon Adventurers
3:45-5:45pm
Mon & Wed$836/886
Tue & Thu$880/930
Fri$418/468

 

Individual Day Options Now Available!

Saplings (Age 3 as of  Sep. 1, 2019)

ParkSchool curriculum is designed to support kindergarten preparedness, social skills and a mastery of fine and gross motor skills through our STREAM based education approach. What is STREAM? STREAM is education based in Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Art, and Math!  Your child will participate in our STREAM play-based lessons and proactive collaborative problem-solving skills daily. Our teachers customize each Pre-K lesson plan to provide opportunities for independent discovery, cooperative learning and outdoor playtime to help each child develop skills for kindergarten success.

Designed around the philosophy that each child is a unique individual. Our goal is to encourage independence, introduce group collaboration, the development of critical thinking and socialization skills. Students are exposed to letters, numbers, cooking, art, stories and circle time. Advancing fine and gross motor skills development is an integral part of each day. Number and letter recognition are the foundation for progression to the Mighty Oaks.Location: West Ridge Center. Potty Training not required to participate. Register for a morning OR afternoon program only. 

Nutrition

  • Morning program includes a healthy morning snack and lunch time (lunches brought from home)
  • Afternoon participants should arrive to class having had lunch; an afternoon snack will be provided.

Funology Friday (Ages 2-4)

The fun continues on Fridays! Our focus is on fresh and exciting themes that captivate the imagination within your child. Fast paced games use all five senses, messy art projects promote creativity and crazy concoctions based on science invite inquiry. Includes a healthy snack, exercise, and fun brain games.  Choose Your Location: West Ridge Center or Rosewood Beach Interpretive Center.   Funology Fridays at Rosewood are nature themed.

Before/After Care

Early Risers
Drop your child off at West Ridge Center beginning at 7:15a. Children will be cared for in a welcoming environment and engage in games and activities with their peers. Early risers will be escorted to their Parkschool classroom by 9:15a. (Pair with a Parkschool morning program)

Afternoon Adventurers
Afternoon Adventurers will be escorted from their ParkSchool classroom to the Afternoon Adventurers classroom. Children will be provided a light snack and an opportunity to engage in games with their peers. Pick-up is anytime between 3:45-5:45p. (Pair with a Parkschool afternoon program)

Saplings Schedule & Fees
Location: West Ridge Center

[table “190” not found /]

WinterSpring Session: Jan 6 - May 29
(Choose morning OR afternoon)
TimesDays (Register for M/W, Tu/Th, or individual days)Program Fee
Early Risers
7:15-9:15am
Mon & Wed$836/886
Tue & Thu$880/930
Fri$418/468
Morning
9:15am-12:15pm
Mon & Wed$1710/1760
Tue & Thu$1800/1850
Mon$855/905
Tue$900/950
Wed$900/950
Thur$900/950
Fri$855/905
Afternoon
12:45-3:45pm
Mon & Wed$1710/1760
Tue & Thu$1800/1850
Mon$855/905
Tue$900/950
Wed$900/950
Thu$900/950
Fri$855/905
Afternoon Adventurers
3:45-5:45pm
Mon & Wed$836/886
Tue & Thu$880/930
Fri$418/468

Individual Day Options Now Available!

 

Mighty Oaks (Age 4 as of  Sep. 1, 2019)

ParkSchool curriculum is designed to support kindergarten preparedness, social skills and a mastery of fine and gross motor skills through our STREAM based education approach. What is STREAM? STREAM is education based in Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Art, and Math!  Your child will be able to participate in our STREAM play-based lessons and proactive collaborative problem-solving skills daily. Our teachers customize each Pre-K lesson plan to provide opportunities for independent discovery, cooperative learning and outdoor playtime to help each child develop skills for kindergarten success.

Focus on active involvement and group collaboration. Our goal is to promote individualized opportunities to evoke creative and more advanced critical thinking. Your child is exposed to amazing experiences including erupting volcanos, icky sticky slime, and larger than life engineering – experiences that empower your child to ask questions about the world around them and the unlimited possibilities.  Location: West Ridge Center

Nutrition

  • Morning program includes a healthy morning snack and lunch time (lunches brought from home)
  • Afternoon participants should arrive to class having had lunch; an afternoon snack will be provided.

Prepare for full-day kindergarten with full-day ParkSchool

…by combining a morning ParkSchool West Ridge program with an afternoon Mighty Oaks Nature program, round-trip transportation is provided for your child. Mighty Oaks are shuttled from West Ridge Center to their nature program at 12:15pm. After the program has concluded at 3pm, students are transported back to West Ridge Center for Afternoon Adventurers or parent pick up.

Mighty Oaks Nature Program (Age 4 as of  Sep. 1)

Our goal is for your child to grow a strong sense of self, mindfulness, creativity, exploration and empathy in our connections to one another and the natural world. Classes spend every day outdoors learning in various environments, from the beaches and ravine of Rosewood to the woodland and prairie of Heller.  Nature is the driving force behind child-led learning through play, sensory, gross and fine motor activities and  creative expression. Location: Heller Nature Center/Rosewood Beach Interpretive Center

Funology Friday (Ages 2-4 as of Sep. 1)

The fun continues on Fridays! Our focus is on fresh and exciting themes that captivate the imagination within your child. Fast paced games use all five senses, messy art projects promote creativity and crazy concoctions based on science invite inquiry. Includes a healthy snack, exercise, and fun brain games.  Choose Your Location: West Ridge Center or Rosewood Beach Interpretive Center.   Funology Fridays at Rosewood are nature themed.

Graduation Ceremony

ParkSchool graduation is hosted at the end of the school year. Parents and relatives are invited to attend the ceremony to recognize and celebrate the culmination of early childhood and great things our Mighty Oaks have accomplished!

Before/After Care

Early Risers
Drop your child off at West Ridge Center beginning at 7:15a. Children will be cared for in a welcoming environment and engage in games and activities with their peers. Early risers will be escorted to their Parkschool classroom by 9:15a. (Pair with a Parkschool morning program)

Afternoon Adventurers
Afternoon Adventurers will be escorted from their ParkSchool classroom to the Afternoon Adventurers classroom. Children will be provided a light snack and an opportunity to engage in games with their peers. Pick-up is anytime between 3:45-5:45p. (Pair with a Parkschool afternoon program)

Mighty Oaks Schedule & Fees

 

WinterSpring Session: Jan 6 - May 29
LocationTimesDays
(Register for M/W, Tu/Th, or individual days)
Program Fee
West Ridge CenterEarly Risers
7:15-9:15am
Mon & Wed$836/886
West Ridge CenterEarly Risers
7:15-9:15am
Tue & Thu$880/930
West Ridge CenterEarly Risers
7:15-9:15am
Fri$418/468
West Ridge CenterMorning
9:15am-12:15pm
Mon & Wed$1710/1760
West Ridge CenterMorning
9:15am-12:15pm
Tue & Thu$1800/1850
West Ridge CenterMorning
9:15am-12:15pm
Mon$855/905
West Ridge CenterMorning
9:15am-12:15pm
Tue$900/950
West Ridge CenterMorning
9:15am-12:15pm
Wed$900/950
West Ridge CenterMorning
9:15am-12:15pm
Thur$900/950
West Ridge CenterMorning
9:15am-12:15pm
Fri$855/905
West Ridge CenterAfternoon
12:45-3:45pm
Mon & Wed$1710/1760
Heller Nature Center/Rosewood Beach Interpretive CenterAfternoon
1:00-3:00pm
Mon & Wed$1295/1345
West Ridge CenterAfternoon
12:45-3:45pm
Tue & Thu$1800/1850
Heller Nature Center/Rosewood Beach Interpretive CenterAfternoon
1:00-3:00pm
Tue & Thu$1295/1345
West Ridge CenterAfternoon
12:45-3:45pm
Mon$855/905
West Ridge CenterAfternoon
12:45-3:45pm
Tue$900/950
West Ridge CenterAfternoon
12:45-3:45pm
Wed$900/950
West Ridge CenterAfternoon
12:45-3:45pm
Thu$900/950
West Ridge CenterAfternoon
12:45-3:45pm
Fri$855/905
Heller Nature Center/Rosewood Beach Interpretive CenterAfternoon
1:00-3:00pm
Fri$622/672
West Ridge CenterAfternoon Adventurers
3:45-5:45pm
Mon & Wed$836/886
West Ridge CenterAfternoon Adventurers
3:45-5:45pm
Tue & Thu$880/930
West Ridge CenterAfternoon Adventurers
3:45-5:45pm
Fri$418/468

 

Resident registration begins November 13 at 7am.           Deadline for Winter/Spring session payment plan option is November 30.

Choose Your Child’s Program… 4 Easy Steps

  1. How do I know which class to choose?
    • Choose the program based on your child’s age as of Sept 1, 2019.
  2. Can I choose the length of my child’s day?
    • YES, choose mornings OR afternoons for West Ridge Programs. Add Early Risers OR Afternoon Adventures to extend your day.
      • Four-year-olds have a full day option.  Register for a West Ridge and Nature program. (Transportation shuttle included.)
      • Nature programs are also available as stand alone programs.
  3. Can I choose the number of days my child attends?
    • YES, each day is different! Sign up for multiple days for a well rounded pre-k experience.
    • Register for each section to create a 5 day schedule for your child.
  4. Can I sign up for the Winter/Spring session now?
    • YES, Winter/Spring session is available for registration.

Discounts & Scholarships

ParkSchool Payment Options
(not available for Individual Day Option)

Enrichment opportunities should be accessible to everyone. With no added fees, our ParkSchool payment plan allows you to make equal installment payments over the course of several months. For your convenience, these payments are automatically deducted from the credit card used at the time of registration.

Winter/Spring Session : Six Equal Installments (deadline to register:  November 30)
• 1st installment due at the time of registration
• Next five equal installments due on the 5th of each month December-April

 

 

 

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Early Bird Registration For Summer Camp Is On! 

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