Filled with Joy
It is with complete joy that I share with you about Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool. The education of young children has been my passion for the past 25+ years. After teaching Kindergarten for 10 years I became the Interim Director of the Preschool in June 2004 and have been here ever since. “Nothing Without Joy” is often a quote contributed to Loris Malaguzzi who is considered the founder of the Schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. It is impossible not to be filled with joy when walking on the campus of the preschool – hearing the voices of laughter from the children and the gentle and reassuring voices of the teachers who foster curiosity, build early literacy and numeracy skills, encourage each child to experience success, to develop a positive image of themselves, and the world around them. As we have often been told by visitors and families alike – the preschool is truly a magical place.
Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool was founded in 1994 as one of the first outreach missions by Pinnacle Presbyterian Church for the purpose of providing a weekday preschool for children from the church and the surrounding community. The preschool began the 1994-1995 school year with 8 children and 2 teachers. The preschool was housed in the current church office building. The following year we had doubled our size to 16 children by offering morning and afternoon sessions. The Preschool continued to add children to the program each year and in 2000 the preschool moved into the new children’s buildings with 101 children, 8 classes and 13 teachers.
In 2004, we sought to increase parent participation and to help parents towards a better understanding of their children’s learning. We began our ongoing journey to become a “Reggio” inspired preschool by creating a more natural environment in our classrooms, endeavoring to better listen to children’s ideas and create an emergent curriculum around those ideas, using technology and documentation of children’s learning to communicate and revisit that learning and introducing students and teachers to the use of multiple expressive languages. Accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the mark of a great preschool and Pinnacle has been accredited since 2000. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool went through an extensive self–study process, measuring our program and its services against NAEYC Standards and more than 400 related Accreditation Criteria. Our program received NAEYC Accreditation after an on–site visit by NAEYC Assessors. Currently there are only 2 schools in Scottsdale to be accredited by this prestigious governing body. As a staff we visit other “Reggio” inspired schools, invite educators to visit Pinnacle for conferences and Shadow Days and attend conferences in the United States, in order to build liaisons and further our own learning. In May, 2019, twelve of our staff will travel to Reggio Emilia, Italy to participate in week-long study tour with 150 other educators from around the United States.
At present, we have 155 enrolled children, a staff of 20 including classroom teachers, studio teachers, the Preschool Director, an Office Administrator, a Director of Professional Development and a Director of Educational Practices who enrich the lives daily of the children in our care. We welcome you to come visit and experience this truly magical place on campus for yourselves!
Preschool Registration begins for the 2019-2020 School Year on January 7, 2019 for Priority Families, including returning families and church members. Registration opens to the community on January 15, 2019. Please visit http://www.pinnaclepres.org/programs/ for more information and to see the programs we offer.