A Multi-cultural Language School for Children
Welcome to Caterpillar Preschool! We are a community of learners and educators who celebrate children's intrinsic curiosity. Through both Spanish and French language immersion programs, children naturally develop or enhance their target language by engaging in age appropriate, authentic, hands on learning experiences. Caterpillar Preschool strives to provide a successful learning experience for both children and their families by creating a community of dedicated individuals who value communication, respect, and growth. We come from all walks of life, forming a culturally rich environment with varying perspectives and backgrounds. Our goal, however, is what unifies us: providing a quality education for your children in a safe and nurturing way.
We are now enrolling for the 2013-2014 school year.
You may choose to send your child to one of the following programs:
- French Immersion (Half Day- 9:15-12:30)
- Spanish Immersion (Half Day- 9:15-12:30)
- Summer Program:
- June 18 - August 9
Currently the Caterpillar Preschool includes a full immersion program in the French and Spanish Languages for 2 ½ to 5 year olds. Both classes are taught by highly-experienced native French or Spanish speaking teachers. Each lead teacher is aided by a native-speaking assistant teacher, and employs a fun, play-based and full immersion curriculum appropriate for pre-school age children.
You may download our complete application package for our preschool and summer programs HERE.
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Our class sizes are small and have multiple ages in them. This allows for more individual teacher attention, and for the older children to help younger children, giving everyone a learning responsibility in the classroom.
The Caterpillar Preschool invites you to join us this summer for 6 weeks of summer fun! We offer both a French and Spanish language immersion half day program for children ages 2.5-5. You may choose to enroll your child for one week or up to 6 weeks of camp in either the French or Spanish language program. Our native language speakers will create authentic learning experiences both in and out of the classroom for your children to learn naturally. We take weekly field trips, enjoy water play and engage in arts and crafts, all the while learning a new language!
Please contact us to learn more about our program, or schedule a tour and information session.
|August||1||All forms and deposit due for September admission.|
|September||4||First day of school|
|September||10||Back to School Night|
|October||8||No School - Columbus Day|
|October||19||No School - Professional Development|
|October||31||"Let's Pretend Day"|
|November||11||No School - Veteran's Day Monday 11/12|
|November||5-6||No School - Parent - Teacher Conferences|
|December||3||All forms and deposits due for January Admission|
|December||19||to January 3 - WINTER BREAK|
|January||21||No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|February||18||No School - President's Day|
|March||4-5||No School - Parent Teacher Conferences|
|April||1-5||No School - SPRING BREAK|
|April||22||No School - Professional Development Day|
|May||27||No School - Memorial Day|
|June||TBD||End of the year celebration|
|June||14||Last day of school|
History of Caterpillar Preschool
The Caterpillar Preschool has evolved from several successful programs for young children hosted at Wisconsin Avenue Baptist Church at Tenley Circle in upper Northwest DC. These programs have included language immersion classes by CommuniKids, summer day camps which offered Spanish and French, and a small cooperative preschool known as the Caterpillar "Co-op." The Co-op began as a parent-directed, play-based informal activity. When it began to develop into a more structured Spanish immersion program, Wisconsin Avenue Baptist Church applied to the Board of Zoning Adjustment in 2007 for the necessary zoning approval for an organized child development center. The application was approved in 2008, and an expanded program (including French immersion as well as the existing co-op Spanish classes) was licensed by the Office of the State Secretary of Education in 2009.
Why should my child learn a second language when they are so young?
The brain is able to learn a new language most efficiently in early childhood. Experts agree that the earlier a child is exposed to and begins to learn a new language the better. In infancy, even short periods of interpersonal exposure to a new language can make a big impact on brain development.
Those that have studied another language; score higher on standardized tests in math and reading, have increased creativity, mental flexibility and better listening skills. Bilinguals have lower rates of dementia.
Researchers have discovered that children who learn a world language outside of their native tongue have a multitude of cognitive benefits. On standardized tests in reading, language arts and mathematics, they outscored those who had not studied a foreign language. SAT scores were significantly higher in both the verbal and math sections. These scores also increased in correlation with the increase in the number of years the foreign language was studied. Children that have studied a foreign language have enhanced listening skills and memory, greater cognitive development in areas of creativity, divergent thinking and higher order thinking skills, and mental flexibility. Moreover, they advance more rapidly in these cognitive abilities. Children that have studied a foreign language also are more open to and have a greater appreciation of other cultures. Additionally, these children have improved self-concept and sense of achievement.
- Occupational options increase with the addition of second and third language skills.
- Learning another language promotes an understanding and appreciation of the arts, sciences, literature and other aspects of a culture.
- Learning another language allows for a deeper pleasure of travel to countries that speak that language.
- Learning another language provides for the ability to communicate with an entire group of people that you would otherwise not be able to.
The children are in a total immersion classroom and our curriculum is play based. Our goals are to provide a nurturing environment and make learning a language fun! All of our teachers are native speakers and have teaching qualifications and experience. The teachers interact with the children only in the target language except in emergency situations, or in the case of certain behavioral issues, English will be spoken. However for the inappropriate behaviors, the teachers will speak English to the children and afterward the target language.
A child's day may include art, crafts, music and singing, stories, active outdoor play, and many other enjoyable and creative activities. Our goal is to make learning French or Spanish exciting and fun, allowing children to learn through play, not noticing that they are learning a (new) language.
Our classes are small so we can offer individual attention. Our classes have multiple ages giving everyone in the classroom a responsibility to learn and help teach the others.
Our goal is to give education opportunities to all children, which is why we offer a strong immersion program at an affordable cost. If some families are unable to pay the tuition, scholarships are available.
- The school admits children without regard to race, color, religion, national and/or ethnic origin.
- The School is open to children ages 2.5-5 years old who are toilet trained.
The children have lunch at school. Lunch is a great time for children to keep learning either French or Spanish. We describe what each of us has for lunch. It is also a good time to learn about manners.
Please contact us at (202) 237-1799 to schedule a tour and information session. Please download the Application HERE. Please download the Parent Handbook HERE.
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Application fee for all students: $50
A non-refundable deposit in the amount of one month's tuition is due on or before August 20, 2012 for September admission or December 10, 2012 for January admission to guarantee your child's spot in the Caterpillar Preschool. This amount will also cover tuition for the last month (June) of the 10-month academic school year. Those who elect to remove their child before the end of the school year, forfeit this option. The program is a year commitment.
Half Day (9:15-12:30):
|No. of Days||Days||Time|
We follow the DC Public School System for emergency closings:
- Late openings and emergency closings are announced on most radio stations after 6:00 a.m.
- When public schools are closed because of weather, we will be closed.
- When public schools have a two hour delayed opening, we will be closed.
- When public schools close early, we will close at the regular time.
Typical daily schedule
- 9:15-9:30 arrival / free play
- 9:30-9:45 – circle time
- 9:45-10:00 – sing songs
- 10:00-10:15 – snack
- 10:15-11:00 – activities art and craft
- 11:00- 11:30 – outdoor play
- 11:30-11:45 – reading
- 11:45-12:15 – lunch
- 12:15-12:30 – preparation for dismissal
For more information on the preschool and how to enroll, please email or call (202) 237-1799.