Each session begins with outdoor time. Usually, the children spend about half (60-90 minutes) outdoors. The outdoor time includes a daily hike on the ODC property. The teaching staff considers the weather (cold, wind) and adjusts the amount of time accordingly. As a rule, though, the children spend a significant amount of time outdoors everyday, in all weather. Appropriate dress is important; the preschoolers come to school dressed to be outdoors.
Nature based learning can be a messy job! For this reason, it is important that your child come dressed for messy, outdoor play. Clothing that can be covered in mud, paint, clay, and other natural materials are a must everyday! Your child will need comfortable, closed toed, protective shoes that enable him/her to run, jump, and climb. Little Hawks have the opportunity to paint each and every day so clothing can get consistently messy! Also, comfortable clothes that allow children to move freely work best. We love to be active!
Layers of clothing for the changing weather and moving from outdoors to the indoors are needed for your child to enjoy a variety of activities. Each preschooler will need a backpack with spare clothes and inside shoes.
Clothing needs for each season include:
Fall: and Spring: Rubber boots, coat, rain suit or jacket and pants
Winter: Snow pants, winter coat, waterproof mittens, scarf, wool socks, hat, boots
Many parents order rain gear from oakiwear: www.oakiwear.com
Children who are three years old on or before September 1st and are toilet-trained (can use the bathroom independently) are eligible to register for the three-year-old session. (Tuesday and Thursday mornings)
Children who are four years old on or before September 1st are eligible to register for either of the four-year-old sessions. (Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings OR Monday through Thursday afternoons)
We only accept registrations for the upcoming year. However, we maintain a list of parents who are interested in enrolling in future years and notify them of upcoming registration dates. You can add your name to this list by emailing your name, your child’s name and birthdate to email@example.com.
We have a number of rain suits and boots that can be borrowed (yearlong checkout). Additionally, we have scheduled “swap days” in late summer to provide a time for parents to sell or trade rain suits that their children have outgrown.
Registration for the upcoming year begins in January. Registration for the 2017/18 year will be done online. To receive information about the registration dates (for the upcoming year or future years) and process, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and your child’s name and date of birth. If all sessions are filled, a waiting list will be started.
Residents of all area schools are welcome to enroll in Little Hawks Discovery Preschool. Currently, about half of our preschoolers reside outside of the Hamilton Community Schools.
A completed registration form and a deposit of $50 are required for registration. Additionally, parents must present a birth certificate for inspection. (We will not keep a copy, but must see an official birth certificate to verify the date of birth.)
The deposit is applied to the cost of tuition. If we are unable to enroll your child in the session you have requested, we will refund the deposit. If you withdraw after your child’s enrollment has been confirmed, your deposit is forfeited.
Before the start of the school year, parents will be required to complete a Student Information Record and forms related to walking field trips, photos and videos. Additionally, a health appraisal and current immunization record must be provided before preschool begins.
Tuition scholarships for the afternoon four-year-old session are available for qualified families through Michigan’s Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). The Ready for School Holland/Zeeland/Hamilton Initiative has also provided tuition assistance to qualified families enrolled in our three-year-old session. The Little Hawks Advisory Group Scholarship Fund provides a source of assistance for qualifying families who cannot access other resources. The same application form is used for all assistance; it is available on our website (www.littlehawks.org) along with income guidelines.
No, the Little Hawks Discovery Preschool is not a cooperative preschool; parents are not required to help at the preschool. However, we have a very active volunteer program in the Hamilton Community Schools called WISH (We’re Investing in the Students of Hamilton). Once parents (or other family members) have completed a WISH profile and a background check has been completed, they are qualified to volunteer in the preschool classroom.
If you have been approved as a WISH volunteer, you can sign up to help at the preschool. However, we are unable to accommodate parent visitations because of issues of space and safety.
We are unable to accommodate visitors to our preschool when we are in session due to issues of space, safety and privacy. We will schedule open house times when families are invited to meet our teaching staff and visit the classroom.
There are several professionally produced videos on our website that will give parents a good idea of what the Little Hawks preschool experience would be like. These videos were created at Little Hawks during regular sessions during the 2013/14 school year. View Videos.
Yes, snacks are provided by the Hamilton Community Schools’ Food Service and served “family style” each day. Typical snacks include items like fruit (canned or fresh), goldfish or graham crackers, yogurt, or cereal bars. Milk or fruit juice is also served daily.
Absolutely! Our curriculum is active, engaging and appropriate for the growing brain of a preschooler. Each week you will receive a newsletter explaining the learning activities and their connection to preschool learning and school readiness.
We use a research-based curriculum, Creative Curriculum, within a framework of nature-based learning. Each child is assessed through observation of behaviors and skills that form the basis for development of a successful learner.
Children learn letters and numbers through active engagement and “real” use. For example, children learn to recognize the letters in their name as they “check-in” and write letters as they label pictures of things discovered on a class hike. Little Hawks Discovery Preschool provides a print rich environment, both inside and outdoors, surrounding the children with the resources for them to learn through play.
The teaching staff observes and monitors the progress of each child as they learn letters and numbers. Small group activities provide daily opportunities for focused instruction and practice of readiness skills.
Special education services (for example, speech and language therapy) are provided through the school district where your family resides. Our teaching staff will help facilitate communication with the appropriate special education personnel.