Kindergarten at Sant Bani School

Our goal for Sant Bani School Kindergarten students is simple: we want them to look forward to coming to school every day.  For early learners, this is most likely to happen when they are allowed to investigate the world around them.  Whether they are in the classroom playing a counting game with blocks, tracking the metamorphosis of a monarch butterfly and then releasing it in the East Field, or sitting outside drawing a picture of trees, our curriculum that combines traditional pedagogies with ample hands-on opportunities enables a child to explore their innate curiosity. Throughout the year, students will learn and hone the foundational skills to prepare them for first grade, and that they will build upon each successive year throughout their time at Sant Bani School.   

Multi-age learning is a staple of Sant Bani School.  Our students are divided into three grade cohorts: K-2, 3-5, and Middle School.  Kindergarten students have frequent interactions with students in all cohorts throughout the year through programs such as Reading Buddies, after-school Enrichment, and Friday Clubs.

Kindergarten is the beginning of an exciting journey – for both the student and their family.  Our application process includes a campus tour and a play group with current SBS Kindergarten students, both of which will help to determine if Sant Bani School is right for your family.  Please feel free to contact Director of Admissions and Student Activities Sara Nicolaisen ‘04 with any questions about the application process.

What Sets Our Kindergarten Experience Apart

Our students go outside – a lot.

What’s more fun: learning about frogs while sitting inside, or while you are on the side of a pond looking for them and learning about their habitat?  At SBS, our Kindergarten curriculum combines a traditional classroom with place-based learning, which is made possible by the access all students have to the 200-acres of woods, trails, fields, and streams upon which our campus is located.

We believe in the importance of play…

Play encourages creativity and the use of one’s imagination, while developing interpersonal and social-emotional skills.  SBS students are given ample time to play, both individually and in groups, each day.

…while establishing a well-rounded academic foundation.

Sant Bani School’s Kindergarten students are introduced to each of the academic areas that they will continue to build upon throughout their educational journeys.  Students establish baseline skills in reading, writing, and math while also taking weekly art, music, Phys. Ed., Health Ed., and Spanish classes.  These foundational skills are then progressively built upon throughout a student’s time at Sant Bani School.

Students are given the independence and support to find their own unique voice.

One of Sant Bani School’s core educational beliefs is, “A child is the center of creative life, and needs to be opened as a flower is opened: gently, by sympathy, not by force.”  Implementing this belief into our teaching methods acknowledges that each student learns differently, and therefore there is no “one size fits all” approach to teaching at SBS.   

Meet The Teacher

Sant Bani School Kindergarten teacher Esther Shartar-Howe is a 1997 graduate of the School, and the mother of two SBS students.  Esther attended SBS from grades 1 through 12, back when SBS still had a high school division, and returned to the School as a faculty member in the 2015-2016 school year.  Esther enjoys family time and being in nature, both of which influence her teaching style.  Esther also enjoys playing the banjo and singing, and every so often Kindergarten students can be heard singing at the top of their lungs as Esther plays the banjo!  Students can expect to have fun in Esther’s class while developing their foundational skills in preparation for first grade.   

Choosing the Right School

What should you take note of or be thinking about when choosing a school for your child?  View an article that suggests important factors to consider.

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