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Early Childhood Center Expands Curriculum

Early Childhood Center Expands Curriculum

Renowned for its commitment to providing high-quality education, The Rumson Country Day School is delighted to announce a significant expansion to its rich Early Childhood Education program. In an ongoing effort to enhance the learning experience for its youngest students, RCDS is now offering Specials classes to Nursery and Pre-K as a part of its comprehensive curriculum.

With a mission of nurturing well-rounded individuals from a young age, RCDS intends for the curriculum expansion to ensure that its early learners have more opportunities to explore a wide range of subjects from the very beginning of their time in school. 

“The only way you can build a strong foundation is if you are able to identify children’s natural interests, strengths, and areas that they need support,” said RCDS Head of Lower School Lea Prendergast. “In doing this type of programming, you're able to really get to know the student from the start of their educational experience. You're not going to get a complete, multifaceted picture of anyone if you don't expose them to different opportunities.”

The Early Childhood Program continues to be anchored by three cornerstones; early literacy development, early numeracy exploration, and play-based learning. In addition to this basis, multiple lessons that take students beyond the confines of their classroom introduce them to supplemental subjects such as: Spanish, science, art, music, iLib (a combination of library and technology), mindfulness, and physical education. Students have been able to interact with different teachers and explore new learning environments throughout the school. 

“We really wanted our Nursery and Pre-K students to see the full complement of what we offer here at RCDS,” added Ms. Prendergast.

Each Specials class is 30 minutes long and taught by specialized instructors who are passionate about their respective fields and have mastered the art of teaching in their wheelhouse. Students engage in a lesson with every subject at least once – sometimes multiple times – throughout their eight-day cycle.

“Most of learning should be through manipulatives of fun,” explained Ms. Prendergast. “If students are not enjoying the process of learning, then they’re not going to make the connections that we want them to make. Our goal is to create this integrated curriculum that excites students and intentionally threads across different areas of study allowing them to make connections across subjects.”

By incorporating these new classes into the Early Childhood Education program, RCDS is excited to create a more holistic learning experience for its early learners while also giving more opportunities for the specialists and classroom teachers to collaborate.

“When teachers and specialists have more conversations, great things happen,” said Ms. Prendergast. “It can be serendipitous by design. As we move forward and start to integrate our curriculum more, those ongoing conversations will help us to plan and be far more intentional.”

For more information about The Rumson Country Day School and its Early Childhood Education Program, please visit