Belchertown Day School is a fully locked facility with keypad entry for parents and caregivers. In addition to the number of teachers required for EEC licensing, BDS employes two additional floating teachers to supplement our program.
The Hummingbird Class is our toddler program serving our youngest children aged 15 months through 2 years 9 months. In this program, teachers focus on communication skills and language development as the groundwork for social growth. We feel it is important for children to learn to understand their feelings and personal needs, and to talk about them in some way. We believe that even before children are communicating verbally, they are sensing attitudes and feeling emotions that they want to understand. Listening to and acknowledging the feelings of young children contributes to their emotional development. Language use and development is integrated into all aspects of the program including cleanup, toileting and meals.
The Dragonflies and Crickets are the children in our pre-Kindergarten groups who are 3 to 5. Their primary focus is the development of social awareness and friendship and to later master basic skills of social interaction. The classrooms offer sensory play, arts and crafts, science and nature activities, dramatic play, small and large motor development activities, singing and dancing, and math. Language development occurs in the natural context of daily communication and forming friendships. The teachers in each classroom work in a team teaching approach. Children work on projects individually and in small groups, led by one of the classroom's two teachers. One of our main goals is to demonstrate how we can complete projects by working together. Each child has a role and all roles are important. Examples of this include the creation of a bulletin board on volcanoes, a pretend florist shop, and outer space exploration vehicle, and our flower and vegetable garden. Our goal is to introduce your child to a social environment where s/he can learn cooperation and participation in social groups through play activities and to grow intellectually through age appropriate academic activities.