Hands-on learning helps young children  figure out math problems at The Knox School of Santa Barbara.

Hands-on learning helps young children figure out math problems at The Knox School of Santa Barbara. (Courtesy photo)

The Knox School of Santa Barbara’s kindergarten program will be expanding to add a junior kindergarten this fall for the 2020-21 school year. The extended program is open to formally identified high IQ learners who will be as young as 4 years old this fall. The program offers an inquiry-based and Reggio Emilia play-based gifted curriculum.

Applications are now being accepted.
The school is hosting a series of fireside chats in February to provide parents an opportunity to talk candidly with current Knox parents about their experiences with the school. The chats will be held Feb. 11, 20 and 27. RSVP for venue locations to 805-222-0107 or info@knoxschoolsb.org.

The Knox School believes in the importance of identifying giftedness at an early age, as guided by experts in gifted education. Studies have shown that young gifted children (ages birth to 8) are an underserved population.

Early identification and ability-based support has been shown to increase the psychological and intellectual well-being of the child and informs their entire educational path.
“These children often go through asynchronous development, meaning that their intellectual, academic, social and emotional needs develop at different rates than a neurotypical child,” said Angela Tanner, founder and director of The Knox School of Santa Barbara.

Tanner’s doctorate is in cognitive neuroscience Her experience using her knowledge and skills in the field of gifted education began when her own gifted children were very young. Having run the Knox School the past seven years, Tanner said she has witnessed the difference early identification makes.

“We focus on supporting the whole child and acknowledging that, if gifted, a child is gifted 24/7 and not just during a pull-out class,” she said. “Early identification and intervention set young children on a supported trajectory, allowing development of all their needs, most importantly their sense of self and self-esteem.

“A teaching environment where their asynchrony is understood and supported prevents a host of less than desirable results.”
The new combined junior kindergarten/kindergarten program will be limited to 10 children. It will feature daily exploration through free play and hands-on projects while exploring mathematics and literacy through direct instruction in ability-based workshops.

Pupils also will be exposed to the humanities, natural sciences, STEAM, social studies, music, art, PE, and world language classes through a curriculum. For more information, visit www.KnoxSchoolSB.org.