Thursday, April 19 , 2018, 10:36 am | Fair 57º


Knox School Has New Kindergarten Program

The Knox School of Santa Barbara is currently recruiting children for a full-day kindergarten program for the 2018-19 school year.

Young gifted children (ages birth to 8 years) are among the most underserved populations of gifted children, Knox School reports. Yet, Knox understands early intervention has a significant effect on their continued development.

The Knox School has created a thoughtful, developmentally appropriate program for its youngest students, including hands-on learning and intellectual stimulation that prioritizes their unique characteristics and need for accelerated learning.

The Knox School’s kindergarten program draws from best practices within gifted education and is equally inspired by Italy's Reggio Emilia schools.

As such, Knox said, equal weight is placed on a strong academic program which lays a solid foundation for future studies at school, and purposeful play in and out of the classroom, enhancing not only learning but affective skills, too.

A celebration of the natural curiosity and exuberance of the young child allows these traits to thrive and develop a clear and positive sense of self.

Kindergarten bridges the play-based early childhood approach with the school’s elementary and middle school gifted education program.

As such, students in Knox’s kindergarten program continue with daily exploration through free play and hands-on projects, while exploring mathematics and literacy through direct instruction, Knox said.

As in the other grades, kindergarten students have the opportunity to accelerate through this curriculum as guided by ability and interest.

The Knox School’s approach not only enhances intellectual and social development, but also nurtures multiple forms of knowledge representation in early childhood, thus laying foundations for diverse talent development.

For more information on The Knox School, visit or call 222-0107.

Fundamental principles of the Reggio Emilia approach include:

Children are capable of constructing their own learning; they are driven by their interests to understand and know more.

Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through interactions with others. There is a focus on social collaboration, working in groups, where each child is an equal participant; their thoughts, questions are valued.

Children are communicators. Communication is a process, a way of discovering things, asking questions, using language as play. Playing with sounds and rhythm and rhyme; delighting in the process of communicating.

Children are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore, to reflect on their experiences. They are listened to with respect, believing that their questions and observations are an opportunity to learn and search together.

The environment is the third teacher. The environment is recognized for its potential to inspire children. An environment filled with natural light, order and beauty; open spaces free from clutter.

The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration. The space respects children as capable by providing them with authentic materials & tools. The space is cared for by the children and the adults.

The adult is a mentor and guide. Our role as adults is to observe the children, listen to their questions and their stories, find what interests them, then provide them with opportunities to explore these interests.

The Reggio Emilia Approach takes a child-led project approach. The projects aren’t planned in advanced; they emerge based on the child’s interests.

— Shandi Jarneski Hunt for Knox School.

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