Academic Programs for Early Childhood

Academic Programs

Our Academic program builds upon the strong communicative and cognitive skills developed in our Pre Academic program with a project based academic structure. This program is intended to facilitate learning in core knowledge areas such as Language Arts, Science, and Mathematics for typically developing children ages 3.5 to 7. Additionally, the academic component of our program allows us to transition those students from our therapeutic program into a neuro-typical classroom as soon as they demonstrate the readiness.  These classes have a maximum of twelve students and last 2 hours and 45 minutes from 9:00 – 11:45. Beginning in the Academic Program, students have the option to stay for Extended Day classes from 12:00 – 3:00. Entrance into the academic classes is based upon testing, social maturity, age, and teacher recommendation. Parent/Teacher conferences happen three times a year in November, February, and June.   The November conference reports on the goals and strengths of your student.  The February conference gives a full report card with a skills checklist, curriculum overview, and student narrative.  The conference in June will give us a chance to report on the pre and post Academic Tests and the students’ Academic progress throughout the year.  Testing reports are sent home after the initial Academic Testing in the beginning of the year and the post Academic Testing at the end of the year.

Classes include:

  • Introduction to Kindergarten Ideas (IKI): This program begins at age 3.5.  Children in this class are introduced to more structure  and academics within the classroom through an experiential and multi-sensory learning approach.  In this class, we begin to introduce these children to our formal curriculums.  These curriculums include pre-literacy (Wright Skills), pre-writing (Handwriting Without Tears), and mathematics (Growing with Mathematics).  Science and social studies lessons are based upon the weekly theme.  Three half-days of attendance per week are required for this program.
  • Junior Kindergarten (JK): Students in this program must be 4 years of age by September 1st.  The primary focus of this program is to establish a solid foundation of knowledge in key academic areas expected in kindergarten programs.  Formal curriculums in this class include reading (Breakthrough to Literacy-Kindergarten level), pre-writing (Handwriting Without Tears), and mathematics (Everyday Mathematics).  Science and social studies are based upon the weekly theme.  Five half-days of attendance per week are required.  Participation in extended day is encouraged.
  • Senior Kindergarten (SK):  Students in this program must be 5 years of age by September 1st.  The curriculum focus in this class is more academic and traditional.  Students continue their work in the core knowledge areas, in addition to being introduced to pragmatic approaches to problem solving and continued focus on their social development.  Formal curriculums in this class include reading (Breakthrough to Literacy – First Grade level), handwriting (Handwriting Without Tears), mathematics (Everyday Mathematics), and science (FOSS Science).  Writing and Social Studies are based upon the weekly theme.  Five half-days of attendance per week are required.  Participation in extended day is strongly encouraged.
  • Extended Day (ED): Children 3 through 7 years of age are eligible to sign-up for our afternoon extended day program.  In this program students stay for lunch at 12:00 and have two, one hour classes following, at 1:00 and 2:00. Extended Day course work includes academic rotation (focusing on mathematics, science, writing, and reading), physical education, integration of technology (work with smart board, iPads, and computers), and fine arts (art, music, dance, and theater).  Parents can choose to sign-up for one through five days of extended day.
  • Afternoon Elective Classes: Afternoon Elective classes are offered outside of the Extended Program for students ages 2.5 and up that are not ready for a full day of school but would like to participate in afternoon classes. Students that are in class in the morning have the option of staying for 12:00 lunch and then a 1:00 class.  Students that do not attend in the morning can come to Black Bear for a one hour class at 1:00 or 2:00. Classes change each semester so please refer to this website or call Annie Hernandez at our front desk for elective class information.
  • Academic Tutoring:  By appointment only and for students requiring additional support for academic success in a variety of areas.  Tutoring sessions are taught by a certified teacher and are offered for students pre-k through eighth grade.  Students receiving speech therapy may also receive tutoring services through Black Bear if determined to have therapeutic value and recommended by the treating Speech-Language Pathologist.