WSD offers a four day, full-day preschool (M-Th, with Fridays reserved for student home visits). Students arrive before 8:00 am and the day ends at 3:00 pm. During the day, students have reading, writing, ASL, calendar, math and science activities with art and social play infused throughout. The focus at preschool is learning to communicate with purpose. Staff encourages students to play with language and use it in novel ways. Role playing and Reader’s Theater are popular activities in the preschool classroom.
Preschool is highly thematic. All activities revolve around a theme, typically driven by the time of year. Research shows students at a young age learn better when connections are explicit, and language is “hooked” onto something they already know.
All preschool students participate in ASL activities such as story signing, signer’s workshop, and ASL poetry. Preschool students have PE for 30 minutes on a daily basis. Quiet time/nap time occurs daily for an hour and a half. The SLP, educational audiologist, school counselor and ASL aide are all part of the preschool classroom team. They are on a rotation cycle and work with students on spoken language, listening skills, social skills and ASL skills respectively. Daily communication with parents is emphasized. All preschool students have a communication log that is transported between home and school each day. Assessments at the preschool include: VCSL, P-Levels, the Brigance for Early Learning and other checklists. Preschool follows the Washington State Early Learning and Development Benchmarks, and students’ readiness for kindergarten is reported annually to OSPI for students that are ready to transition.