Does my child need to already speak Spanish to attend Chiqui Social?
No, not at all! Teachers are very adept at including English-dominant children into classroom play and activities, and every classroom has a mix of children from monolingual English and Spanish to students who come from bilingual (or trilingual or quadrilingual!) families.
How old are the children you serve?
We start children when they are 2.5 years old by September. They culminate when they are ready for kindergarten, typically at 5 years old.
Do siblings get priority acceptance into your school?
We are a family-oriented school. Siblings have the first priority for admissions and are offered placement before non-siblings. However, every year there are open places in every class for new families, and we welcome and value new members of the community.
Why don’t you assess children through playgroups?
We believe, and research has shown, that a dual language, developmentally appropriate preschool education can benefit all children. There is no need for an assessment at the time of application, only a willingness on the part of the family to support bilingualism.
Should I choose 2 days per week, 3 days per week, or 5 days per week for my 2.5-year-old?
This is a conversation to have with the Educational Director during your family meeting. Some 2.5-year-olds are eager to be in a social environment every day, while others benefit from a slower transition from a home to a school setting.
What’s the difference between the morning and afternoon sessions?
Both sessions cover the same curriculum, use the same concepts, and have the same teachers. However, the afternoon classes tend towards slightly older 3s and 4’s who no longer nap. In addition, mornings are stressful for some families, and some parents appreciate a more leisurely start to their day. Other families prefer the three-day-per-week afternoon schedule, while the five-day morning schedule offers more consistency and Spanish language exposure.
How do you handle separation and the transition to school?
When the school year begins, some children move to new situations easily and others need a more gradual approach. Your child’s teacher will guide your family through the process. There is no set timetable, as some children are ready to separate on the first day, while others need a week or two to settle into their new environment. We have play days for you and your child. The purpose is for you and your child to get acquainted with us and gain the trust needed for open communication. You will be given a “Child History Form” to share important things about your child that will help strengthen the links between home and school. We will also have home visits as a part of our desire to make stronger connections between home and school. Your child’s teacher will arrange a visit to your home during the first few weeks before your child starts school.
How do you handle discipline unacceptable behaviors??
We believe in recognizing behaviors and what they mean to support each child’s need to identify and express their feelings in socially appropriate ways. We take the time to value each individual circumstance and work through the problems that arise with the children, modeling reflective listening, validation, and guidance.
How do you handle conflict resolution at Chiqui?
We believe peaceful, respectful problem solving is accomplished through mindfulness, consistency, and cooperation. At the Chiqui Clubhouse, you will find the interactions between children and teachers has a tangible feeling of respect and compassion.
When conflicts arise, teachers are on hand to “hold space” for the children to try and resolve it themselves. We do not rush to an immediate resolution of an adult creation. Oftentimes, by allowing them space and time, children will find a place they deem to be “fair” on their own.
The teacher’s role is to offer support and ensure their bodies and feelings remain unharmed. It is lovely to witness young children figuring out a workable solution to their dilemma, walking away laughing together, more emotionally and socially enlightened than before.
That being said, if it looks as though a resolution is not in sight, then we look for ways to offer guidance and tools through alternatives or re-direction. Perhaps we will have something on hand to offer up that may result in a winning scenario, or we may ask them if they have ideas that can help solve the conflict, and lastly, it might be that we ask if it’s okay to take turns, for example, if it’s a toy (it usually is), we might ask if it is okay to set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes and then we can trade.
We also believe when someone has been hurt physically or emotionally that it needs to be acknowledged immediately. Children need to know that they are being heard and that their feelings matter a great deal. This is the cornerstone for trust and respect between teacher and child.
We’ll work in collaboration with the children to first understand the quarrel from all sides, then to see what we can do to make it better for everyone. When we speak with children in the conflict scenario, we get down to their level, look in the eyes, speak directly and quietly to find out what happened. Once we hear what they are telling us, we confirm with them that we actually do understand. The goal is to help children develop non-aggressive skills to communicate, which in turn supports their emotional and social development, as well as cognitive development and kindergarten readiness.
How many children are in the program? And what is the teacher/child ratio?
We have 14 children in our preschool program with 2 teachers and 1 aid. This allows us to have an average teacher-student ratio of 1-5.
What do you use the materials fee for?
We believe that all children deserve the best materials available to express themselves. Children will have access to a wide variety of artist media, our children explore and discover the materials that speak their language. Our co-constructed projects require mastery of many materials to fully explore an idea. A project may require pastels or watercolor in the planning stage, wire or blocks to brainstorm, cloth and beads to build components, circuits to test a hypothesis, cameras to document, photosensitive paper, and inks to investigate further.
How are parents involved in the school?
We encourage all family members to participate and share their unique skills and interests. From field trips, cooking, documenting, gardening, construction, and artistry, our community is stronger with everyone’s involvement. The children recognize the value of their school when they see their families involved.
How long is the school year?
We are a year-round preschool and follow a combination of the LAUSD/CCUSD school calendars for holidays. Please refer to our school calendar for a detailed list of no-school days. We offer full-time and part-time schedules.
What is required to secure a spot in the program?
A one-month tuition deposit is required upon acceptance. This is a non-refundable fee and will be applied to the last month of your child’s year with us before kindergarten. Tuition is due on the first of every month.
Does my child need to be toilet learned?
No, but strongly encourage that you be on your way. 🙂
What are your COVID-19 precautions?
We are following all CDC guidelines. Students must wash their hands upon arrival and frequently throughout the day. Everyone on the property must wear a mask at all times and maintain a 6′ distance. Temperatures are checked upon entry. We are very careful about following any contact tracing reports. We disinfect with safe asthma-friendly products (hypochlorous acid) multiple times a day before and after each activity. School pods are dedicated to 7 students and 2 teachers.
When will we know if we have been accepted?
For the 2021/22 school year, we will be enrolling through the summer. You will learn soon after your interview about an acceptance or a waitlist status.