Each child applying for WHCS’s Kindergarten program must be five years old by September 1 to be considered for kindergarten. All students will be assessed for kindergarten readiness using the DRS-R2. (Developmental Readiness Scale)
Core Academic Curriculum Focus
At West Hills our Kindergarten and first grade programs are designed to be a sequential and continuous educational experience that lays the foundation for a successful K-8 education.
For reading development we utilize Wired for Reading. This is an evidence-based linguistics program for teaching reading, spelling, and vocabulary. Its multi-sensory, systematic approach has a strong record of success. This program’s engaging exploration of foundational reading skills and of our English language benefits all learners.
For handwriting development we utilize the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, which draws from years of innovation and research to provide developmentally appropriate, multi-sensory tools and strategies for student success. The program follows research that demonstrates children learn more effectively by actively doing, with materials that address all styles of learning.
Coupled with “Handwriting Without Tears,” our written language instruction utilizes the 6+1 Trait Writing. Students in Kindergarten begin the process of understanding the major components of writing composition: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation. These conceptual ideas are carried through their educational process at West Hills, culminating in outcomes that indicate advanced writing skills for our students.
Mathematics and science play prominent roles at West Hills. Beginning in Kindergarten, our students apply focused instruction, hands-on manipulatives, and cooperative learning to gain mastery. Our students utilize our science lab weekly to conduct experiments about how their world works. Intentional, focused and foundational are words that describe our commitment to science and mathematics.
Spiritual and Social Development
At West Hills students are free to express their relationship to Jesus in their writing, praying, singing and conversations. We help our students develop a clear understanding that God loves them and that they are unique individuals. Integrated in all our teaching is helping students to become “other-centered” by focusing on problem solving and building each other up with words and actions. Our “non-exclusion” approach to social interactions assures that all students can find friends and grow with their peers as they learn and develop.
Choosing Between our Half-Day or All-Day Kindergarten Program
We have strategically designed each of our kindergarten classrooms with both a half-day and all-day option. We concentrate our core teaching time during the morning, so every student is prepared for first grade. Our half-day students eat lunch with their friends and then are dismissed at 12:30pm. Our all-day students continue on with a rest time, additional enrichment activities and social development. Our program is structured so that students in our half-day program can move to all-day at any point in the year without changing classrooms or teachers. As you consider what might be best for your child, either half-day or all-day kindergarten, it might be helpful to look at what other educators say about the benefits of an all-day program at education.com.
Life in a WHCS Kindergarten Class:
WHCS offers a dynamic and multi-sensory approach to Kindergarten. Helping students begin their “big-school” education with confidence and support is a hallmark of our program. We concentrate on making sure each of our student’s basic needs are met:
- Inclusion – feeling that “I” am part of the group, where everyone is a vital member of the classroom family
- Competency – feeling that “I” can succeed by stretching students without frustrating them
- Control – feeling that “I” am one of the decision makers by offering students plenty of choices
- Affection – feeling that “I” am liked, and that I can like others
Meeting these needs creates classrooms where kids feel safe, loved and appreciated for the uniquely created individuals that they are!