STEPPING STONES SCHOOL
Hampstead Congregational Church
61 Main St. P.O. Box 158
Hampstead, NH 03841
The Hampstead Congregational Church founded Stepping Stones School in 1970 as a non-denominational, nonprofit, coeducational preschool dedicated to providing a warm, caring environment for learning. The school is guided by a five-member steering committee of church members, former parents, teachers and community members. The school’s directors are responsible for the day-to-day functions of Stepping Stones School. We seek to help children develop into self-confident, secure and happy people, while recognizing their individual gifts and capabilities. Stepping Stones is committed to meeting the unique and complex needs of the three to six year old child, encouraging social cooperation and personal autonomy, while fostering intellectual growth. In the school setting the child learns to adjust to a large social group and accept and appreciate the talents, faiths and cultures of others. We feel that learning to listen, sharing ideas, following directions, and enjoying the on-going process and completion of projects are important steps in developing life-long attitudes of accomplishment and fulfillment. Through language development and pre-reading skills, math, social studies, science, music, movement and art, Stepping Stones provides a creative learning environment including instructional and exploratory time.
The Hampstead Congregational Church sponsors and houses this non-denominational, nonprofit, coeducational program. We have five classrooms that are well lit and pleasantly equipped. New classroom space was added, and existing rooms were remodeled in 1998. Hadley Hall provides a large indoor area that is used in inclement weather or large group projects and programs. The school has access to a large meeting room for music and parent groups. A well- equipped kitchen is just footsteps from our classrooms for cooking activities. We have a playground area for daily outside play. A keyless security system assures the children are safe in our building.
We believe the teacher’s role is to help facilitate, with enthusiasm and knowledge, the child’s natural growth and abilities. All of our teachers hold BS degrees in Education and are certified teachers. Our staff has many years of teaching experience. We also have backgrounds in special education, creative learning and early childhood education. As a special note, most of our staff is former Stepping Stones parents. They have a unique understanding of the important role parents play in the student’s successful adjustment to school. Our student: teacher ratio is well below the state standards.
OUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
KINDERGARTEN (half-day academic, half-day enrichment or full-day program)
We offer an unique and flexible kindergarten program that complements or enriches the public school program. Children can attend our morning session, stay for lunch and catch the Hampstead Central School bus at the school to attend the half-day public school session. Another option for Hampstead children is to take the bus to our school after their morning public kindergarten session. They can have lunch at Stepping Stones and stay with us until 4pm for enrichment actvities. And our third option is to attend Stepping Stones as their primary kindergarten program in the mornings and remain for enrichment until 4pm. Children from other school districts may attend but we do not provide transportation to other school districts. For more information about our unique and flexible kindergarten program please us the contacts below.
PRE-KINDERGARTEN 4 YEAR OLDS
The Pre-Kindergarten Program is designed four year olds who are ready for more time in the classroom. The program is in session four mornings, Monday through Thursday, from 8:45-12:00. The student/teacher ratio is 10 to 1. Which is far below the state standards. The day includes greeting and group planning, small group instruction and activities in Language Arts and Math, daily snacks; small and large group activities in Science and Social Studies, plus Art, Music, stories and outside play. We use a whole- language and literature based reading program, including Alpha Time Phonics and Handwriting Without Tears. Math Their Way forms the basis of our math curriculum. There are several field trips and visits planned throughout the year related to the various classroom units of study. The Pre-kindergarten calendar runs from the second Monday in September to the last Thursday before Memorial Day. We observe the Hampstead Public School holidays, vacations and snow days. The exception is a two-week break during the Christmas Holidays.
PRE-SCHOOL FOR 3 AND 4 YEAR OLDS (THREE DAY OPTION)
The pre-school is open to children who are THREE by September 30 of the year they enter. The school is in session three mornings Tuesday through Thursday, from 9:15-11:45am. The student/teacher ratio is 10 to 1. In addition to this very low ratio, we have an aide working in the classrooms. The mornings include individual and group activities such as blocks, housekeeping, painting, sand and water play books, puzzles, games, cooking, art, music, science, pre-reading and math instruction (see description above). Several field trips and visits are planned that relate to the various classroom units of study. This program begins the third Tuesday of Sept. and ends the last Thursday of May before Memorial Day. We observe the Hampstead Public School calendar, with the exception of an extended vacation in December.
PRESCHOOL MORNING 2-DAY OPTION
This class is open to children who are three by September 30 of the year they enter. The morning program is Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9:15-11:45am. The maximum number of students is 8 per teacher or 10 to 1 if incorporated into the 4-year-old program. The program will begin the 3rd Tuesday of September and run until the week before Memorial Day in May. We observe the Hampstead Public School calendar, with the exception of an extended vacation in December.
This program is opened to all students as an extra enrichment session and others looking for an introduction to school. Children can sign-up on a weekly basis. The children will enjoy a variety of activities that will enhance their early education. Such activities will consist of arts and crafts, music, games, science, literature, and academics in pre-reading and math. The Enrichment classes are offered Monday through Thursday afternoons until 4pm. Children can make arrangements to stay at school for lunch. Price information available.
Parents are always welcome to visit the school. We appreciate their help on field trips and enjoy their participation in our units of study that may relate to their areas of interest. Communication and cooperation between parents and teachers are essential part of our program. We keep parents informed of school happenings with our newsletters and monthly calendars, plus with daily informal contact at pick up and drop off times. We welcome any information or inquiry that helps us to better understand your child’s needs. There are several times during the year which parents are requested to attend special events planned by the children, conferences, guest mornings and family night.
Children receive a snack each day. Parents are asked on occasion to provide a healthy snack or to contribute food to a special event or party. The snacks are wholesome and nutritious, and often prepared by the children themselves.
Children are welcome to celebrate their birthday (or half birthday) at school by bringing a special treat to share with their classmates. Arrangements are made for your child’s special day well in advance.
On most Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons parents may reserve a spot for their child on a “first come first served” basis for Lunch Bunch. The children stay at school for an extra hour to have lunch (brought from home) and play. There is a $5.00 charge per child for this activity.
Please refer to the tuition information attached. Payments are based on an annual tuition with 10 equal payments. The first payment is due at registration. No refunds will be made for children with extensive absences. Children who must leave the school will pay the full payment for the month during which they leave. Tuitions are due the first Tuesday of each month.
Children are required to have a medical examination with current immunizations prior to the opening of school. Any allergies should be reported to the school. Medical forms will be mailed out in May.
Our programs are carefully planned to meet the ongoing needs of each child. We believe that learning is a continuous process. We strive to make this school step a nurturing experience where individual talents are respected and developed. Stepping Stones School is a place to discover and expand, developmentally and academically, the world of the preschool child. We at the school are committed to maintaining the high standards of quality education that have helped provide the basis for our excellent reputation over the past thirty- five years.
For more information, or to arrange a visit, please feel free to call the school’s co-directors Terri Malcolm, 329-5938, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Paula Dowd, 329-5091. During school hours call 329-8215. Facebook Page