Greater Albany Public Schools supports the social, emotional, and academic development of all of the three to five-year-old children in its preschool programs by fostering their innate capabilities and unlimited curiosity in the classroom, in the community, and within the larger world. GAPS Child Development Programs are free of cost.
In the summer of 2020, Greater Albany Public Schools earned a Preschool Promise grant from the State of Oregon’s Early Learning Division. Governor Brown’s Student Success Act directed a portion of the funds to support a publicly-funded, high quality preschool system in Oregon called Preschool Promise. GAPS is using this grant funding, plus SIA funds, for continued operations of the Waverly, Sunrise, and Tangent Child Development Programs.
The child development programs in Greater Albany Public Schools follow an Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching and Learning. Inspired by the philosophies of Reggio-Emilia, staff believe a teacher’s role is to facilitate learning by setting up engaging opportunities for all children to think, predict, wonder, and imagine. Using the natural sciences and expressive arts as particular subjects of inspiration, staff offer open-ended questions, intriguing dilemmas, and beautiful environments so that young children may take ownership of their learning as they make discoveries, find meaning, and uncover possibilities. Preschool staff believe in supporting the family, and developing partnerships within the larger community, so that children may grow up in the most nurturing and engaging environment possible.
The Five Habits of Mind inform the central goals of the district’s child development programs. Staff create opportunities for children in which they learn to:
- Focus attention to pursue an interest, gratify curiosity, respond to challenge, try out ideas
- Communicate ideas and emotions clearly and appropriately
- Make connections, note relationships and organize items based on observed details
- Collaborate with others to accomplish a shared goal
- Think strategically, creatively, reflectively to follow an interest or tackle a challenge
Sample Daily Schedule
|7:50am||Arrival: backpacks, handwashing, and optional exercise|
|8:00am||Breakfast: community table conversations|
|8:15am||Name recognition/writing; time with text|
|8:30am||Gathering time on carpet|
|10:30am||Clean up and outdoor play|
|11:00am||Gathering time on carpet|
|12:30pm||Lunch and outdoor play|
|1:15-2:30pm||Music and movement, snack, and dismissal|
The District Child Development Programs have a total of18 slots at each of its preschool programs, located at the Sunrise and Waverly Elementary schools, A majority of the slots are for income-eligible families through the Preschool Promise program. For these slots, families enroll through the Early Learning Hub. Application forms can be found HERE. The Tangent Child Development Program, which includes 17 preschool slots, is currently not a Preschool Promise site.
All district programs have limited, non-income-eligible spaces available. Staff has worked with the school district to create the following admittance criteria for these limited spaces:
- Child must be age three by September 1 of the beginning of the school year.
- Child must not turn age five (kindergarten-eligible) before September 1 of the beginning of the school year.
- Child must live in the attendance area of the elementary school for the Waverly and Sunrise programs.
District Early Learning Program Assistant
Sunrise Child Development Program
Sunrise Elementary School
Tangent Child Development Program
Tangent Elementary School
Waverly Child Development Program
Waverly Elementary School