At USM, we are grounded in the belief that children are competent and capable. Our Preschool vision is to create a community where children approach each day with wonder, joy, and curiosity. Along with passionate teachers, children embark upon intentional explorations, balanced with purposeful play and meaningful academic skills. Within a safe and nurturing environment, children build relationships and develop the social-emotional competencies of kindness, empathy, and respect. Through the strong collaboration of our families and teachers, children will grow to be successful learners, leaders, and citizens.
USM offers the First Steps program for children who turn 3 years old between the start of the school year and Jan. 1. The First Steps program introduces children to Preschool in the form of three half-days (morning) per week, and prepares children for full day prekindergarten the following school year.
At USM, we know the early years are a window of opportunity to build a foundation of skills for future success as learners, leaders, and citizens. Rich experiences along with the very best teachers instill a lifetime love of learning for children.
Children’s ideas are sparked, allowing them to explore, discover, construct, represent, and convey their new knowledge. Small group projects in which children can co-construct knowledge are supported. There is intentionality as spaces are organized to spark children’s ideas allowing them to explore, discover, and represent those ideas in many ways.
By honoring children’s ideas and collaborations, we build a strong learning community in which children thrive. Children have the opportunity to work alongside faculty in world language, outdoor education, physical education, music, library, and more. Beyond these enrichment opportunities, the greater USM community provides access to experts in every field imaginable, from bee keepers to rocket scientists.
An unmatched campus provides endless learning opportunities. With access to over 120 acres, children learn to become naturalists. The intentional outdoor explorations connect children with language, critical thinking, and the natural world. Inside, children explore interests within a beautiful classroom environment that is carefully created with natural, recycled, and open-minded materials that invite creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, and self-expression.
USM preschool faculty are educators who value relationships with each child and the community. They have a passion for early childhood education and understand the needs of young children. Through the strong collaboration of our families and teachers, children flourish in an environment where they are known and loved.