Preschool at The Frances Xavier Warde School

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PRESCHOOL at The Frances Xavier Warde School

PRESCHOOL (3 & 4 years old, 180 Students) Our philosophy The Frances Xavier Warde School (FXW) Preschool Program uses NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Program Standard Guidelines and follows the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards. Through guided experiences, our youngest learners delve into a wide range of topics and investigate these topics through long-term projects and themes. The social-emotional, physical, language, and cognitive development of a child centers around engagement in enriching classroom experiences. Our philosophy is to facilitate learning in developmentally appropriate ways.

We believe in n

P lay as the foundation for all learning


T he importance of social and emotional development with an emphasis on relationships, self-regulation, and initiative


N urturing growth mindset and sense of belonging in the community of the classroom


M odeling and fostering the development of empathy and compassion to enhance relationships


T eaching critical thinking skills through discussing, questioning and exploring


P roviding choices to foster motivation to learn and to experience the joy of learning


B uilding body awareness by strengthening gross motor and fine motor muscles


S upporting the religious and spiritual faith of all children through prayer and music


E ncouraging self-help skills to build independence and pride


C hild readiness for learning with sensitivity to individual differences and needs


P artnering with parents to establish goals in order to support and nurture children’s development

FXW teachers know that the best learning happens when a lesson sparks children’s interest and strengthens their curiosity and self-motivation. Together, we work to provide an environment that fosters a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.

What time does school start? The Preschool day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. The Extended Day Program (EDP) is available for Preschool students (2/3/5 full-day and PM Preschoolers only).

Who will be in my child’s classroom? There are 20 children in each classroom—a combination of 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds. Two certified teachers lead instruction in each classroom. The teacher student ratio is 1:10.

What does a typical day include? Preschoolers spend their time in their classrooms moving through large and small group and structured and unstructured activities. They explore the Imagination Station and playground each day. Our full-day Preschoolers also have lunch and a rest period.

Are there any specials? Each week Preschoolers have art, drama, library, music, and Spanish. In addition, they participate in the Blessings in a Backpack service project.

When is lunch/rest period? Children have lunch and rest from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Full day students rest for 1–1.5 hours each day after lunch. (They do not need to sleep, but they do need to rest quietly.)


Sitting down on the toilet or climbing up onto the

toilet (May involve a sub-step of pushing a stool over to climb up) n

Going to the bathroom


Wiping themselves (Parents need to know that a

child’s wiping may not be perfect) n

Getting up and pulling up pants/tights and underpants,

pulling down skirt, etc.

Toilet Training Toilet training is the step after potty training. Once your child is going on his/her own, you can help him/ her learn all the steps of bathroom self-sufficiency, which includes: n n

Identifying when they need to go oing to the bathroom or ask an adult to G use the bathroom


C losing the door


M anaging clothing independently

n n


Flushing the toilet

urning on the water and washing their hands with T one pump of soap Turning off the water and drying their hands with one

paper towel

Continuity of Care The FXW Preschool Program follows the Continuity of Care (COC) model. Children remain in the program with many of the same classmates over their two years in preschool. As a classroom comprised of 3, 4, and 5-year olds, mixed-age grouping has something important to offer everyone involved.


“The FXW teachers and staff put tremendous effort into turning an impossible situation into something that felt possible as a way to end the school year. We will forever be grateful for their dedication to learning and their support of our child during this challenging time.”

During Learning off Campus (LoC), FXW strives to provide a virtual learning environment based on research with special consideration for how young students learn and develop. We ask families, to the best of their ability, to follow a predictable schedule, that is flexible and easily managed as a family. Teachers may give a copy of their classroom schedules for reference and students should engage in indoor and outdoor play, LoC activities, regular meal and snack times and rest. Teachers will offer synchronous meetings through MS Teams with small groups throughout the week.

FXW uses Seesaw which is a digital portfolio platform to use with students in Preschool through Grade 4 selfcontained classrooms and specials classes.

—Jen Borchard, Preschool Parent

In preschool, 10-15-minute activities will be provided for each of the following content areas: Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Social Emotional, Early Literacy, and Math.

Teacher Feedback For students in Preschool, teachers will provide feedback on learning activities throughout the week. Because synchronous experiences will occur at varying times daily, the windows for feedback will vary classroom to classroom.

Learning Off Campus Activities Some examples of these exercises include:

Gross Motor Students are encouraged to move their bodies through sequences of frog hops, windmills, crab kicks, jumping jacks and other specific exercises that promote physical development. The exercises are presented in interactive videos created by teachers in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Fine Motor Students continue building strength and coordination of their hands by engaging in pre-writing tasks such as playdough making, transfer tasks using household materials, letter and number formation and connect-thedot activities. Teachers share recipes and ensure that all tasks can be done with a variety of materials available in the home.

Social Emotional Teachers continue building connections with students by saying the school prayer together, The Prayer of St. Francis, and having students share special intentions. Additionally, teachers support students in building selfawareness by reinforcing the routine of core practice, belly breathing and other self-regulation strategies through video and live check-ins.

Early Literacy

Check out our virtual learning environment! Click to play the videos.

Teachers choose books with rich vocabularies and strong story lines to read either live or in a recorded video. The live sessions provide opportunities for students to share alternative endings or answer questions about the book. The recordings allow students and families to watch on their own time and revisit a favorite story multiple times. Teachers provide lessons in pre-literacy skills such as rhyming, identifying beginning or ending sounds in words or alphabet activities for students to engage in daily.

Math Students build number sense and early math skills through activities such as sequencing numbers, estimation, counting practice, categorizing shapes, and seeing numbers in ten frames. Movement is often incorporated into the math lessons to further engage our youngest learners.

Continued Recommendations During Learning Off Campus For our preschool students, we encourage families to read nightly with their parents. This includes parent reading to child and child reading to parent.

The Frances Xavier Warde School is a Catholic elementary school in downtown Chicago that provides an academically excellent, valuesoriented education to students of all ethnic, religious, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds in a child-centered urban environment. As a keystone of its diverse community, The School provides need-based scholarships to 30 percent of its students, partners with its families, nurtures faith development for its Catholic students, and engages all students to learn about and respect other faith traditions. FXW follows a rigorous curriculum that enables students to grow, clarify their values, and develop decision-making skills and a sense of responsibility for themselves and the world they will inherit.


Campuses Preschool–Grade 3 Old St. Patrick’s Campus 120 S. Desplaines, Chicago IL 60661

Grades 4–8 Holy Name Cathedral Campus 751 N. State Street, Chicago IL 60654

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Contact Us 312-268-2558


It is the policy of the School not to discriminate in violation of the law on the basis of age, race, sex, gender, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability which are unrelated to the ability to work or enjoy the benefits of the School’s programs, facilities, or services. All persons are encouraged to apply.

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