We believe that each child is a unique gift from God. Our mission is to nurture each child academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually with a goal toward readiness for Kindergarten. The Preschool day incorporates group time, snack, free play and outside play.
Group time may include story telling, big books, Bible stories, finger plays, music, calendar, weather, science experiments and many other teacher-oriented activities.
Nutritional snacks are provided by the preschool. Snack time includes a good variety of foods that often relate to the skills and concepts being presented.
Free play allows children to choose from a variety of table manipulatives, games, blocks, clay, rice and water play. Crafts such as easel painting, play dough, cutting and gluing are also offered and under teacher supervision. Dramatic free play areas are changed monthly and may include kitchen, dress-ups, puppets, Pilgrim and Indian villages, Santa’s workshop, the Bethlehem stable and a complete St. John’s Town.
Large motor skills are encouraged through outside play. The playground consists of a fenced in, grassy and mulched area that includes a large swing set, tunnel slide with climbing rock wall, regular slides, castle, pirate ship, playhouse, and sandboxes. The school also has many types of riding vehicles. During inclement weather, large motor skill work is done in one of the social halls, using balls, hoops, scooters, a parachute, balance beams, tunnels, etc.
The Preschool staff members have a variety of educational and work-related backgrounds. The Director has a college degree and work experience in child-related fields. Head Teachers have a college degree and/or work experience in child-related fields.
It is preferred that all personnel have prior experience with children. Above all, the staff is to be sensitive to the needs of children, have an ability to relate socially and emotionally to children, and to portray to the children that they care.
Staff meetings are held to acquaint the staff with each month’s activities and update them on each child. Training sessions are also a part of staff meetings. These include, but are not limited to, child abuse and neglect seminars, handwashing procedures, health screening tactitcs, first aid and CPR training, emergency procedures, child development, etc.
All staff members are free of any disabilities or disorders, which would prevent them from caring for children, and have never been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor related to abuse, neglect, or exploitation of children or adults.
All staff members must have record checks done by the State Department of Social Services and State Police for a criminal record history and sex offender record with no convictions found. Annual examinations by medical physicians are required, as are current CPR and Medication Adminisration Training for the head teachers and first aid certifications for the total staff.
St. John’s Preschool has been located at St. John’s United Methodist Church for over 30 years. The church is located at 1716 North Augusta Street, Staunton, Virginia.
There are four classrooms and three bathrooms for the children. The rooms contain both carpeted and uncarpeted areas. The facility is well maintained. All areas are heated or air-conditioned as the weather dictates. There is a teacher workroom, storage area, as well as an outside storage building for playground equipment. The church kitchen is also available to the preschool when needed. There is a fenced-in grassy area, as well as a paved area on the playground. In inclement weather, the church social hall is used for larger motor activities. The facility is inspected by fire, health, and building inspectors in compliance with the Commonwealth’s mandates for religiously exempt child day care centers.
As mandated by the State, enrollment capacity is based on the age of the children, the number of staff members, building specifications, and fire inspections.
Meet our Teachers
Head 2 Year-old Teacher
Mrs. Welch is currently serving St. John’s preschool as the Head Teacher for the 2 year-old class. She earned her bachelor's degree in Recreation from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Head 2 Year-old Teacher
Mrs. Arehart is currently serving St. John’s preschool as the Head Teacher for the 3 year-old class. She has over 30 years experience teaching in the Staunton City school system.
Director & Head 4 Year-old Teacher
Mrs. Fitzgerald is currently serving St. John's preschool as the Director and Head Teacher for the 4 year-old class. She earned a B.S. in Early Childhood and Special Education at Radford College.