Early Education (Junior Kindergarten & Kindergarten)

The Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten program at NSU University School is designed to set the stage for a life-long love of learning and provide the youngest students with a strategic advantage as they begin their educational journey. This one-of-a-kind program offers a student-centered, personalized, and caring environment where young minds can flourish and grow, and where students’ individual needs come first.

Passionate and well-qualified educators capitalize on an innovative classroom design and exceptional resources to facilitate collaboration, active learning, and student-driven inquiry. Through the design of interdisciplinary thematic units of study, teachers in NSU University School's Early Education Program empower students' curiosity, intellectual competencies, and physical growth. In the Early Education classrooms and throughout the Lower School, children feel safe, with a sense of belonging and part of a bigger whole. Additionally, the school works to ensure that each student’s school experience is joyful and engaging.

Click here to learn why an early start at NSU University School is worth the investment.

Curriculum

LANGUAGE

In the classrooms of our youngest students, language-rich environments allow children to grow in their capacity for verbal expression, listening, and early literacy skills as they read books, sing songs, play games, and participate in activities designed to support developing comprehension and critical thinking skills. Students learn the essential components of reading and writing through word play, rhyming, singing, making lists, and learning letters, sounds, and syllables.


The Handwriting Without Tears curriculum helps build a strong writing foundation as students practice pencil grip and learn proper letter formation. To reinforce these skills, children write their names, label pictures, make signs and charts, write simple books, create stories, and even compose their own poems. Children study various authors and modes of written communication such as poetry and folktales, and learn to identify the main characters, setting, and sequencing of stories.


MATH

The math program focuses on developing an understanding of mathematical concepts including patterning, ordering, sorting, classifying, graphing, measuring, counting, tallying, and number sense. We know that mathematics learning is active, therefore, children are encouraged to explore and represent ideas, discover relationships, ask questions, study patterns, and support their answers.

Emphasis is placed upon the interrelationships among numbers and numeration, operations and computation, data and chance, geometry (2-D and 3-D figures), measurement (time, money, distance), and algebraic thinking. Teachers implement a wide variety of teaching strategies, allowing each student to develop strong number sense and learn to apply mathematical concepts to solve authentic problems.

SCIENCE, INNOVATION, AND INQUIRY LABS

Children are naturally curious; this quickly becomes evident as one observes them interact with the world around them. Our youngest students learn about science by doing science. Hands-on activities, carefully crafted experiments, and regular visits to our science lab expose students to the scientific process of hypothesizing, classifying, comparing, making predictions, observing and drawing conclusions.


Many of these concepts carry over into the Innovation Lab where students explore concepts of engineering, programming, robotics, and STEM skills through hands-on activities and experiential methods.


The Inquiry Lab is designed to stimulate curiosity and drive learning through inquiry and observation. Active explorations, interactions, and discussions with peers and adults guide our young children in their pursuit of knowledge. Children learn to determine answers to questions, which are naturally derived from curiosity and their everyday experiences.


Technology is naturally embedded into many activities in the science, innovation, and inquiry labs, as well as in their classrooms every day. The labs lend themselves to guided and authentic discovery, building each student's interest in the evolving world in which we live.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Integrated thematic unites with overarching essential questions provide a framework for learning. Social studies provides an opportunity for students to learn about themselves and how they fit into the larger community. Teachers help students recognize and appreciate similarities and differences among themselves as individuals, the communities in which they live, and a variety of cultures throughout the world. Thematic units also highlight celebrations that take place throughout the year and in a variety of cultures.


ART APPRECIATION

In addition to our specials rotation that is inclusive of art classes, children participate in a classroom-based art appreciation program that consists of a combination of thematic-based activities and introductions to great artists. Throughout the year, children explore a variety of art concepts and techniques through open-ended and hands-on art experiences.

Exposure to renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Georgie O'Keeffe, and Michaelangelo provide children with a basic cognitive foundation in art and history and an awareness of artistic vocabulary including lines, shapes, colors, form, texture, and composition.


CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

A cornerstone of our school that truly sets us apart is our commitment to character development. Activities are designed to develop children's self-esteem, enhance their self-concept, and foster positive feelings toward learning, as well as acceptance of others. Cooperation, integrity, determination, responsibility and respect are some of the principles we value as a school community and that we promote in character education lessons and community meetings.

Play inside and outside of the classroom provides opportunities for children to interact socially with one another, solve problems, and resolve conflict. Our school provides a safe and nurturing environment where children grow self-confidence and develop the social skills necessary to build positive friendships and become good citizens.

After School Programs

Each Junior Kindergarten student is entitled to one free Choice Class option during the school year, which includes:

  • Ballet
  • Gymnastics and Tumbling
  • Once Upon a Time Crafts
  • Jazz
  • Painting
  • Critter Crafts
  • Cheerleading
  • Little Sticks Lacrosse
  • Junior Soccer Skill and Drill
  • Musical Theatre
  • Hip Hop


We also offer a number of other classes to choose from that are fee-based such as:

  • Cooking for Kids
  • Golf Squad
  • Silly Scientists
  • Junior Aerospace Engineering
  • Taekwondo
  • And more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you accept the VPK voucher or McKay Scholarship?

A: We accept neither. However, we are currently offering a Junior Kindergarten Enrollment Tuition Bundle with savings valued at $4,200. The bundle includes:

  • Morning and after care ($2,750 value)
  • 1 free after school activity included (up to $200 value)
  • Waived matriculation fee ($1,250 value)

Q: Do JK/K students have nap time?

A: Junior Kindergarten students have regularly scheduled Quiet and Relaxation Time every day for a half hour right after lunch. Students are provided with mats; they bring their own small blanket and lovey. They also have the option of reading books and listening to quiet music to recharge.

Q: What kind of accommodations do you have for children who have learning disabilities?

A: The Learning Center (TLC) is a fee-based program available to students in NSU University School's Lower School, beginning in kindergarten. TLC teachers are experienced in teaching students who benefit from an added layer of support in reading, math, and/or writing. TLC provides students with a double-dose of instruction in the academic area of need, using research-verified instructional strategies in a small group setting. To read more about TLC, click here.

Students in grades 1-5 are eligible for our BRIDGES Program -- an innovative, personalized, and technologically rich educational experience for students who have mild to moderate learning disabilities and average-to-gifted intelligence. For more information about BRIDGES, click here.

On top of these resources, teachers have regular meetings with parents to discuss the home/school partnership and educational outcomes.

Q: What is the average class size?

A: Each junior kindergarten class typically has 12-15 students and is led by teacher and teacher assistant. Each kindergarten class typically has 15-18 students and is also led by a teacher and teacher assistant.

Q: Do you have half-day options available?

A: Junior kindergarten and kindergarten students are required to attend classes for the entire school day, which begins at 8:00am and dismisses at 3:10pm.

Q: What are the benefits of an early start at NSU University School?

A: More than 50 percent of our graduating seniors began their educational journey in our Early Education Program and are known as our "Lifers." They are often the highest achieving, most involved students in their class who form a strong, life-long support system at our school.

Click here for more information on why your child's education should begin at NSU University School and is worth the investment.

Q: Is lunch included in the cost of tuition?

A: Yes -- lunch and snacks are included in the cost of tuition. We offer a variety of high quality, nutritious foods that fit all dietary needs. For more information on our all-inclusive lunch, click here.


If you have a question that was not addressed here, please reach out to uschooladmissions@nova.edu.

If you are ready to begin the admissions process, click here.

JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN ENROLLMENT DISCOUNT

We are currently offering a Junior Kindergarten Enrollment Tuition Bundle with savings valued at $4,200. The bundle includes:

  • Morning and after care ($2,750 value)
  • 1 free after school activity included (up to $200 value)
  • Waived matriculation fee ($1,250 value)

aPPLY TODAY!

Faculty Highlight

Ms. Jeanette Payton

Ms. Jeanette Payton has made a profound impact at NSU University School for the last 39 years and is one of the dedicated and experienced junior kindergarten teachers and coordinators for our Early Childhood Program where young minds flourish in a student-centered, personalized, and caring environment.

Read more about Ms. Jeanette Payton

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