I started my son at another preschool because I thought a smaller in-home school would be an easy way to transition into school, and to be frank it was cheap. My husband and I weren’t quite convinced paying more at another school would produce quantifiably better results. In the end, we were definitely wrong. My son started having problems with other kids at his preschool in the first month. Unfortunately I was not made aware of it until he had been a student for 4 months. At that point we started working with our son to teach him how to get along with other students. We did the best we could on our side to improve behavior, and because the teacher was a poor communicator, I thought things were improving. I tried setting up parent/teacher conferences, but she wouldn’t return calls. When I was finally made aware that things were in fact not improving, we set up plans for me to come observe in class. But before the planned date, the teacher informed me that she would rather take my child out of her school and I should get him some therapy. She told me she had never dealt with such a difficult child in her 35 years. I should state, that as a therapist I’ve worked with MANY troubled children, and while I knew my son was a handful, I knew it was nothing out of the norm. We took him to a special center for children will behavior and learning problems and got him evaluated. The report came back perfect; she could find nothing wrong with him. There are many reasons I can list for why this preschool was a bad fit, but I think in the end it had just become a toxic environment for my son.
We took him out and put him in Newcastle preschool. I talked with Larry when I toured the school and we went over how problems were handled immediately and with the participation of the parent. We talked about their philosophy for dealing with children, based off the Love and Logic program. He showed me how classes were structured and how teachers were attentive to children and didn’t leave them in large groups unsupervised during free-play. The teacher to student ratio was also great. The rooms were large and comfortable for the class size. Children rotated between their classroom, art room, and music room, etc., Keeping them active and engaged. They also make outdoor time a priority, so kids can get out and run, play, and exercise. A VERY important thing for active kids (the last place rarely took the kids outside). Not to mention that the outdoor space is awesome! We have complete access to the teachers, and can call and talk with them whenever we need to, or meet in person. Parents are also encouraged to come observe or participate in class.
As soon as my son started at Newcastle we saw a complete transformation. He was happier, and had less behavior problems at home. We have had no complaints from his teacher, and when discussing how the boys in the class interact, I can tell she is very observant and on top of things. She knows which boys distract each other, and she structures the class accordingly so that children get the most out of their time at school. I’ve also noticed that suddenly he comes home anxious to tell me all about what he learns. He never did this in his last school! It is VERY obvious that he is learning much more! He still has some catching up to do academically because we came in mid-year, but I can see him growing leaps and bounds and he loves to learn! We LOVE Newcastle and would recommend it to all our friends!
Amy Thurston, Draper UT
May 16, 2014