The Chickpeas school year runs from early September through July, so nearly 11 months. Chickpeas generally follows the NYC DOE calendar (e.g., the first day of the school year), though there are fewer days off than in the public school (e.g., winter break, and, it’s worth saying again, July!). You can view this year’s calendar here.
UPK children (the 4s group) attend school five days a week. Children in the 3s usually attend three days a week, sometimes four or five. The classroom is limited to 20 children per day, which is made of twelve UPK 4 year olds, and eight 3 year olds. For the 3s, we try our best to accommodate the preferred schedule, but there is limited availability for more than 3 days per week. All Chickpeas children can attend field trips, music and movement classes, and any other special activities, even if those events or classes take place on their unscheduled days.
Drop-off is between 8 and 9 am, and pick up is at 3:15 pm. There is also an after-school program available from 3:15-6 pm. There is no pre-commitment required for the after-school program. Every day when you drop off your child, you write down what time you plan to pick them up. You will be billed an additional hourly charge for any time you use between 3:15 and 6 pm. So flexible!
A typical day:
8-9am Arrival/Sign in/Table Toys: Teachers greet families and children individually as parents sign in. Children use bathroom, wash hands, store belongings. Children then select a quiet activity such as table-toys, fine motor, puzzles or books at listening center.
9-9:20 Morning Meeting: Bring the group together for a song, story, and interactive discussion. It is a time to talk about the day’s activities and choices for the morning. Teachers will consider the needs of children who are not ready for large-group activities (e.g., hold two smaller groups, have one teacher sit close to children who need extra attention).
9:20-9:35 Bathroom/Wash Hands/Snack: Children wash hands and help set the tables. Snack is served at 3 tables, family style. Children practice sharing and passing snack. Children are guided in cleaning up and composting food waste.
9:35-11:15 Work/Center Time: Opportunity for child-initiated work/play in interest areas. Children choose the area in which they like to work, child with whom they would like to work, and the materials they would like to use. Teachers observe, ask open-ended questions, and make suggestions to extend children’s play and support their learning. Find opportunities to invite children to small group work. All centers are open.
11:15-11:30 Semi-Circle: Children gather on the rug in a semi-circle shape and three of them get a turn to show and talk about something they used or did at Work Time.
11:30-11:40 Collective Clean-up: Children are assigned teams and jobs and work to clean up materials from Work Time.
11:40-11:55 Story time: This is a time to sing favorite songs, recite finger plays and poems before the story. Teacher reads story and leads an interactive discussion about the text.
11:55-12:20 Lunch: Children help set the tables. Teachers sit with children and engage them in conversations about the day’s events, the meal itself, and topics of interest to children. Guide children in cleaning up after lunch, setting out cots/mats, and preparing for rest.
12:20-1:00 Work/Center Time: Opportunity for child-initiated work/play in interest areas. Children choose the area in which they like to work, child with whom they would like to work, and the materials they would like to use. Teachers observe, ask open-ended questions, and make suggestions to extend children’s play and support their learning. Find opportunities to invite children to small group work. All centers are open.
1:00-2:00 Rest/Quiet Time: Help children relax so they can fall asleep with music and back pats. Supervise rest area, moving about so each teacher gets a break. Provide quiet activities for children who don’t sleep. Adjust length of rest time to suit age of group and needs of individual children and time of year.
2:00 -2:10 Clean Up/Wash Hands/Snack
2:10-3:00 Outdoor play: Teachers supervise the playground toys and materials (climbers, slides). Teachers will observe and interact with children as they play ball games, blow bubbles, make nature discoveries, and so on. Teachers may design some small group activities children can choose. Teachers may extend study work outdoors, if appropriate. Teachers will help children to put away or carry in toys and materials.
3:00-3:20 Closing Circle: As parents and caregivers arrive, they are welcome to visit with class and observe their child playing in yard with peers. When it is time for students to leave, student may choose to have special “announcement” made by teacher, High 5’s, Hugs etc. with peers. There is also a brief transitional time to extended day for a portion of the children.