Early Childhood Education

Wheeling Country Day School’s Early Childhood program is a unique and premier group of classes that include ages 2-5. We pride ourselves in creating a positive first impression for our Early Childhood students. We recognize the importance to introducing them to fundamentals that will set them up for success as make progress in their education.

The early childhood program at Wheeling Country Day School focuses on the child within the learner. It is an engaging centers-based curriculum that matches the way children develop and learn, meeting their personal learning needs in a hands-on and nurturing environment.

Children need time for fantasy and spontaneous play. Therefore, the classrooms invite pretending and storytelling, which provide the most fertile ground for language growth, both contextual and semantic.

In addition, the campus layout allows children to be active and to follow their natural sense of wonder. They play and learn in nature with found objects that inspire creativity.

Far from curriculum in a box, the program allows the teachers to take their cues from their students, and then actively guide and encourage their curiosity, intellectual strengths, and above-average skills.

All of the early childhood classes meet every week throughout the school year. We Two meets once a week for one hour and fifteen minutes with a parent or caregiver. Preschool and Junior Kindergarten students may attend either a half-day program or an extended-day (ED) program.

It's Possible Here.

Wheeling Country Day School is a safe place to try a new skill that could become a life’s passion, to connect with an adult who will forever believe in you unconditionally, to balance the vulnerability, to lead with the empowerment of being part of a team and something greater than yourself.

Emphasis on Character Development

In the early childhood program, there is a strong emphasis on character development, with a focus on cultivating values such as respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship. The teachers seamlessly weave this character development instruction into the daily curriculum, enabling young learners to understand the importance of positive behaviors and ethical conduct. Through these lessons, the children begin to develop empathy, compassion, and integrity, forming a solid foundation for their social and emotional growth.

Creative & Skill-Based Courses

In addition to the traditional subject areas, students participate in fine arts, physical education, foreign language, and technology classes. An emphasis on the fine arts has been a part of the school since its inception. Biweekly classes in art and music are highlights in the children’s experiences. Daily physical education classes enhance physical development, while the morning intramural program fosters team relationships across grade levels. Children learn to use both the library and the computer as valuable resources for information.

Music Exploration

The early childhood curriculum fosters a love for music through a dedicated music corner in the classroom. Here, children can explore various musical instruments, create their own rhythms, and immerse themselves in different music genres to understand how music can evoke emotions. This exposure to music not only nurtures their appreciation for the arts but also enhances cognitive abilities and creativity, providing a well-rounded and enriched learning experience.

Art and Creativity

Art remains an integral part of the early childhood curriculum, encouraging creativity and self-expression. The young learners are provided with art materials and the freedom to create artwork inspired by music, literature, and their own imaginations. Activities include learning about color mixing, exploring different art techniques, and participating in collaborative art projects. Through these creative endeavors, children develop their artistic skills while also fostering a sense of cooperation and belonging within the class.

Science and Nature

The early childhood program places significant importance on science and nature education. Children engage in hands-on experiments, exploring the properties of natural elements such as snow and discovering the life cycles of animals. This interactive approach to scientific inquiry sparks wonder and curiosity about the world around them, nurturing a deeper understanding of the environment and instilling a sense of responsibility as caretakers of the Earth.

Outdoor Play and Physical Activities

Outdoor play and physical activities are fundamental components of the early childhood program. The curriculum provides ample opportunities for children to engage in gross motor activities, play games, and explore nature. Understanding the importance of exercise, fresh air, and motor skill development, the school encourages the young learners to be active and enjoy the outdoors, fostering a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Technology & Culture

While being part of the Wheeling Country Day School community, children prepare for an increasingly global, technological society with language and culture classes as well as technology instruction. In addition to studying Spanish and Japanese, students explore the rich cultural heritage represented by the school’s families. Special school-wide and classroom activities throughout the year expand this understanding of the relationship between self and community. At the same time, students receive computer instruction preparing them for the world’s technology and their participation in it.

We Two

Welcome to the wonderful world of the toddler years! Wheeling Country Day School offers We Twoa great introduction to the parent-teacher partnership in a child’s education.  We Two offers children opportunities to understand their world, interact with others, and explore their natural curiosity.  The parents/caregivers provide security and support while the children experience music and movement, stories, crafts, and playtime throughout the program

PRESCHOOL

Preschool students enjoy a nurturing, caring, inviting classroom environment. Their experiences include activities to promote socialization skills and an introduction to school procedures and routines. The activities encourage developmental growth through play and present early literacy skills through various centers.

Junior Kindergarten

The nurturing, learning environment continues in the junior kindergarten classroom. The students’ activities and play enhance their socialization skills and continue to establish a familiar school routine. They learn basic concepts to build a background of reading readiness skills. Throughout the school year the children become more independent.

Senior Kindergarten

Senior kindergarten provides a strong foundation from which each student can grow to become a lifelong learner. The child-centered environment encourages learning through discovery and exploration. The students gain social skills which will enable each to relate to other children and adults. They engage in play as a learning experience. The students experience nature through outside exploration and art. They also learn to follow school and classroom rules to be good citizens and behave appropriately.

Before & Aftercare Programs

Our before and aftercare programs are designed to help the student and the parent. Drop your students off early or pick them up a bit later and feel comfortable knowing they are safe and still learning.

Tutoring & Multisensory Learning

Edge at Wheeling Country Day School is an on-campus instruction center for students with language-based learning differences. 

Elementary School

For students ready to graduate from Early Childhood, Wheeling Country Day School offers elementary classes from First to Fifth grade.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the early childhood program ensure effective parent-teacher communication?

We maintain open lines of communication with parents through regular updates, emails, and scheduled parent-teacher conferences. Additionally, we use a secure online platform to share important announcements, class activities, and student progress to keep parents informed and engaged in their child’s learning journey.

What safety measures are in place to ensure the well-being of the children in the early childhood program?

The safety of our students is of utmost importance. Our school has implemented strict safety protocols, including secure entry systems, trained staff for emergencies, and regular safety drills. We maintain a safe and nurturing environment where children can learn and grow with confidence.

How does the early childhood program address individual learning needs and developmental differences among students?

We recognize and celebrate the uniqueness of each child. Our teachers employ differentiated instruction to cater to various learning styles and developmental stages. We regularly assess students’ progress and provide additional support or challenges as needed to ensure every child reaches their full potential.

What opportunities are provided for parental involvement in the early childhood program?

We actively encourage parental involvement and engagement in various school activities and events. Parents are welcome to participate in classroom activities, volunteer for field trips, and contribute to special projects. We believe in fostering a strong partnership between parents and teachers to create a positive and supportive learning environment for our young learners.

Application

Apply Now

Applying online is easy with WCDS. Complete and submit your online application. This application confirms your interest and prompts the school’s consideration of your child. You can download and submit the records release form if your child currently attends kindergarten or above. 

Schedule Your Visit

Schedule Now

The school takes great pride in the fact that the Head of School meets with each family to engage in a mission/philosophy conversation. Admissions Events offer this group opportunity or you can contact the Admissions Office for special arrangements. 

Experience WCDS by coming to the campus for an age-appropriate visit with faculty and peers. 

Diversity Statement

Learn More

WCDS seeks to purposefully build an environment that reflects and honors diversity. We honor the dignity of every human being, and we respect and value differences including but not limited to socioeconomics, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, and family composition. Our community is committed to ongoing dialogue, education, and reflection to develop understanding and inclusion of every member.

Experience WCDS

Schedule a School Tour or Classroom Visit

Observe our curious and engaged students and teachers in their classrooms and throughout our spacious campus with its grass playing field, classroom courtyard, and outdoor amphitheater. Sit in on classes that give great attention to a curriculum that matches the optimum times for learning within a child’s first ten years.

Upcoming Early Childhood Admission Events

Experience Preschool
26Feb

Experience Preschool

9:00 am - 10:30 am8 Park Road
28Feb

Experience Junior Kindergarten

10:00 am - 11:30 am8 Park Road
29Feb

Experience Senior Kindergarten

10:00 am - 11:30 am8 Park Road