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Preschool: Pre-Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten


Preschool Philosophy | Preschool Vision | Preschool Curriculum

Sacred Heart's play-based program encourages curiosity and discovery while fostering close bonds between children and teachers. Our newly renovated preschool is conveniently located just off Lake Shore Drive in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood and features a full-sized gymnasium and adjacent outdoor play space, as well as ample parking for easy drop-off and pick-up.

Pre-Kindergarten for 3-year-olds is a nurturing first-school experience that encourages children to discover, create and learn through purposeful play. To be considered for the 2020-21 school year, children must be 3 years old by September 1, 2020.

Junior Kindergarten for 4-year-olds continues the joyful environment of pre-kindergarten. This cognitively rich experience builds upon children’s growing curiosity and confidence, empowers them with fundamental skills and creates a smooth transition to senior kindergarten. To be considered for the 2020-21 school year, children must be 4 years old by September 1, 2020.

Both Pre-K and JK programs:

  • Are five days per week, Monday-Friday
  • Offer a choice of a morning or full-day program
  • Provide optional before school, extended day and summer programs

Preschool is the first step in a seamless Sacred Heart education that will take your child through 8th grade. No further admissions process is required for senior kindergarten.

Important information for families who are interested in joining Sacred Heart when their child is ready for senior kindergarten:

Sacred Heart's senior kindergarten is intentionally designed to bring together children from both our JK and other excellent preschools across Chicago. Located on our SK-8 campus, senior kindergarten expands to enroll 80 students in five SK sections. All families are warmly welcomed into our admissions process, whether or not they have attended our junior kindergarten. We encourage you to apply.

Pre-Kindergarten Hours and Daily Activities

Pre-Kindergarten Hours

•. The school day begins at 8:30 am and concludes at 3 pm
• Flex time allows for students to be dropped off as early as 7:30 am and picked up as late as 3:30 pm at no additional charge
•. Extended-day programming, which runs from 3:30-6 pm, is also available

Pre-Kindergarten Activities

• Tranquil transition: Children stop at their cubbies to drop off their belongings, wash their hands, and proceed to their specific classroom. Each child is acknowledged by their teacher with a handshake and smile—that is the traditional Sacred Heart welcome to the classroom!

• Open exploration/center time: Children choose which area of the intentionally designed classroom to engage in play. Each center has open-ended materials that specifically pertain to building skills. The children problem solve, play and talk with each other; they gain self-confidence, learn the importance of teamwork, build trust and respect, and try new experiences.

• Bathroom/snack/story

• Morning meeting: Children gather on the rug in a large circle to pray. They express what they are grateful for, share class appreciations, sing, dance, and review with their teacher the schedule, calendar, and weather. The responsive classroom is incorporated, focusing on creating a positive community in which children’s social and emotional development is at the forefront.

• Co-Curriculars: One session per day with instructor
- Spanish
- Yoga/mindfulness
- Music
- Creative dramatics (once or twice per week during story time)

• Outdoor classroom: This extension of the classroom includes a spacious outdoor area which encompasses a large green space and a well-equipped playground. Being in the fresh air and sunshine, digging in the dirt and sand, gardening, playing in the water, scooping and pouring are many ways that children embrace and enjoy nature.

• Jr. STEAM Lab: The Jr. STEAM Lab is set up with a myriad of supplies and reusable materials for discovery and creativity focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math curricula. Children have hands-on experiences and they are challenged to achieve specific goals while working with small groups of students. This motivating way of learning by doing can make a difference in student engagement because they are learning that they are a part of something bigger.

• Sensory exploration: Our spacious Sensory Exploration Room is designed in consultation with an occupational therapist to integrate a variety of proactive approaches such as sensory breaks and emotional and body regulation. This specially designed room combines a range of stimuli to help children develop and engage their senses.

• Lunch/recess

• Rest/quiet time: Rest time is a part of the school day for full-day students in preschool. Preschool students will generally have 1.5 hours of rest. Each child will be provided his/her own cot. Children may bring one small “snuggle” toy and blanket that will fit in his/her backpack for rest time. Although some children may no longer nap daily, there is still a quiet period scheduled every day. The lights will be turned off, shades closed, soft music played in the background, and books of interest placed under the child’s cot, if needed.

• Dismissal: Parents of half-day students may pick their child up by the gym entrance or the main entrance by 11:15 am. Parents of full-day students may pick up their child by the gym entrance or the main entrance between 3-3:30 pm.

Junior Kindergarten Hours and Daily Activities

Junior Kindergarten Hours

•. The school day begins at 8:30 am and concludes at 3 pm
• Flex-time allows for students to be dropped off as early as 7:30 am and picked up as late as 3:30 pm at no additional charge
•. Extended-day programming, which runs from 3:30-6 pm, is also available

Junior Kindergarten Activities

• Tranquil transition: Children stop at their cubbies to drop off their belongings, wash their hands, and proceed to their specific classroom. Each child is acknowledged by their teacher with a handshake and smile—that is the traditional Sacred Heart welcome to the classroom!

• Open exploration/center time: Children choose which area of the intentionally designed classroom to engage in play. Each center has open-ended materials that specifically pertain to building skills. The children problem solve, play and talk with each other; they gain self-confidence, learn the importance of teamwork, build trust and respect, and try new experiences.

• Bathroom/snack/story

• Morning meeting: Children gather on the rug in a large circle to pray. They express what they are grateful for, share class appreciations, sing, dance, and review with their teacher the schedule, calendar, and weather. The responsive classroom is incorporated, focusing on creating a positive community in which children’s social and emotional development is at the forefront.

• Co-Curriculars: One session per day with instructor
- Spanish
- Yoga/mindfulness
- Music
- Creative dramatics (once or twice per week during story time)

• Outdoor classroom: This extension of the classroom includes a spacious outdoor area which encompasses a large green space and a well-equipped playground. Being in the fresh air and sunshine, digging in the dirt and sand, gardening, playing in the water, scooping and pouring are many ways that children embrace and enjoy nature.

• Jr. STEAM Lab: The Jr. STEAM Lab is set up with a myriad of supplies and reusable materials for discovery and creativity focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math curricula. Children have hands-on experiences and they are challenged to achieve specific goals while working with small groups of students. This motivating way of learning by doing can make a difference in student engagement because they are learning that they are a part of something bigger.

• Sensory exploration: Our spacious Sensory Exploration Room is designed in consultation with an occupational therapist to integrate a variety of proactive approaches such as sensory breaks and emotional and body regulation. This specially designed room combines a range of stimuli to help children develop and engage their senses.

• Lunch/recess

• Rest/quiet time: Rest time is a part of the school day for full-day students in preschool. Preschool students will generally have 1.5 hours of rest. Each child will be provided his/her own cot. Children may bring one small “snuggle” toy and blanket that will fit in his/her backpack for rest time. Although some children may no longer nap daily, there is still a quiet period scheduled every day. The lights will be turned off, shades closed, soft music played in the background, and books of interest placed under the child’s cot, if needed.

• Dismissal: Parents of half-day students may pick their child up by the gym entrance or the main entrance by 11:15 am. Parents of full-day students may pick up their child by the gym entrance or the main entrance between 3-3:30 pm.

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Preschool Campus

Located at: 5649 N. Sheridan Rd.
Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church

Nat Wilburn
Head of Schools

Elizabeth Coleman
Head of Primary School

Holly DePalma
Preschool Director

Judy Corrin
Admissions Director
773.681.8436