There are many factors that make Tender Roots different than other schools, even other Reggio Emilia preschools.
Most Reggio Emilia inspired preschools have the feel of a cooperative. It is tied to the basic fundamentals of the approach. Tender Roots takes that fundamental a step further by being a true cooperative. Our parents are involved in all aspects of the school, including helping to run it and making decisions. Our Parent Teacher Collaborative (PTC) functions like a board but without the bureaucracy. This allows our PTC to be able to evaluate the program continuously throughout the year and make immediate changes to reflect the changing needs of our community. This is also possible due to our small size.
Authentic Assessment & Portfolios
Just as most preschools, we do not have report cards. We assess the children through authentic assessment, while focusing on Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences. Each child has a portfolio binder that contains their artwork, as well as documentation, through pictures, of them in each developmental area. Most parents are impressed how well we know their children and find the information in their child’s portfolio useful when pursuing future schools or enrichment activities.
At Tender Roots we believe in educating the whole family. We are teaching the children, along with the parents. We support parents in their everyday questions, understanding their children as learners, and planning for their children’s future educations. A weekly newsletter also supports parents in learning about the Reggio Emilia Approach and how to make it a part of their family’s life. In addition, we host a workshop on the preschool process for graduating families and offer individualized support throughout the entire process. We connect alumni with current families to help them through their parenting and educational journeys.
Our students also have to opportunity to go on several field trips. We strongly believe in getting our community out together and exploring the wealth of resources in our area. Most times the field trips are based on student interest but sometimes, it is on the lack of interest in an area. A good field trip can open a childs and parent’s mind to new things and opportunities.
Tender Roots is very proud of our admissions process. The preschool process can be a stressful time for parents and highly competitive in this area. We strive to remove that stress from families and change the way schools look at the admission process. We offer only private tours to parents, to allow them to ask personal questions and to talk openly about their children. This individualized attention is appreciated and contributes to the majority of parents touring, deciding to apply. We also do not evaluate children on their student visits. We consider this a time for them to evaluate us! The most important admission’s motto that we stand by, is that we feel, that if you found us, there is a reason why. There is a reason why you have not chosen another school and you were brought to us. For this reason alone, if we have a space available, it is yours! If we have a wait list, we will work hard to adjust things to make a space for you. We do not pick or chose families and believe all are welcome. This inclusiveness is what creates a rich community of families. They may be from different backgrounds, different countries and have different personalities but what they all have in common is the desire to stay with their children and to offer their children the best early childhood education available. This is our bond and what drives our community.