- Available Spots: 2/13/18 We have 6 spots in our 3's preschool program
- Age Range: 2 -5 years
- Years Established: 1969
- Average Class Size: 15
- Tuition: $2,646 - $8,990
- Who you serve: Catholic, Co-ed, Preschool
Mission of St. Raphael Nursery School:
St. Raphael Nursery School, as an extension of St. Raphael Catholic Community, provides a foundation for education based on Catholic values and traditions in a safe, nurturing, and spiritual environment.
Philosophy of St. Raphael Nursery School:
St. Raphael Nursery School offers an early-childhood program for children 3 and 4 years of age. The goal of the school is the development of the whole child — religiously, psychologically, mentally, and socially — so that he or she can have a pleasant school experience and a good beginning toward a successful life within a Christian environment.
St. Raphael Nursery School is above all a Catholic preschool. Children will be expected to participate in the Catholic religion program and participate in Catholic religious services appropriate for preschool age children.
The children are exposed to a wide range of experiences such as free play, music, art, dramatic play, and dancing. The teacher and children gather for group experiences, which help develop thinking, perceiving, remembering, and the skill of communicating. The group activities also encourage being part of a whole community and instill respect while helping one another. The school environment provides the child with a sense of self-worth and well-being and always encourages the positive “I can” attitude with emphasis on doing things for oneself.
- Available Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Address: 1513 Dunster Rd, Rockville, MD 20854, USA
- Zip Code: 20854-6154
- Phone: 301-762-2143
- Website: https://www.straphaelschoolmd.org/preschool
- What differentiates your school from all others?
We have been helping little ones grow since 1969, so our roots are deep! At St. Raphael Nursery School, we are known for our warm and nurturing environment, and families come to us from far and near. Our teaching staff is extraordinary, and they model positive behavior in a loving environment where children thrive. We are proud of our early-childhood program, where we tap into the cognitive skills of our 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds, using a language-rich approach seasoned with just the right exposure to math, science, and the arts. One particular class worth noting is our 4-Plus program, which is designed for those students who either don't make the cutoff for kindergarten or who simply could benefit from one more year of preschool at SRNS—a gift in itself!
- Where do you see your school in 5 years, what will be different?
Honestly, much of what you see in place today will most likely be in place 5 years from now. Our early-childhood program has a proven track record of success, and we do not anticipate any major changes. On the contrary, we resist efforts to "ratchet up" education at the preschool level. For instance, we don't have computers in our classrooms, and that is intentional. Our students are exposed to all sorts of technology at home, so our unplugged environment allows our little ones to sing, dance, draw, and create their way through the school year—all while learning. Our play-based program has allowed children to be children for 50 years....We love what we do and hope to be around for 50 more.
- Whats one myth about your school thats just not true?
That you must be Catholic to attend. While we do give registration priority to Catholics, we have many non-Catholic little ones in our care and are happy to welcome more.
- What kind of student is most successful at your school?
At SRNS, we focus on the whole child—spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially—to ensure a positive first-time school experience that puts the child on the right track to a lifetime of learning. Our whole-child approach truly helps every child be "successful" at our school.
- Why should we choose your school?
While there are many outstanding preschools in our area, there is only one St. Raphael Nursery School, which has been helping little ones grow since 1969. Our warm and welcoming environment is practically legendary in the area. We are rich in community and tradition—in fact, some of our own parents are "graduates" of SRNS themselves! Families who have experienced our amazing program will attest that St. Raphael Nursery School is just as special of a place for parents as it is for little ones—lifelong friendships are born at SRNS.
- What lead you to operate a childcare center?
Our beginnings go back as far as 1969, when St. Raphael Nursery School began in space rented from St. Raphael Church as a non-sectarian program for 3- and 4-year-olds. In the early years, SRNS operated as a semi-cooperative organization run entirely by parents. In 1989, the preschool began operating under the auspices of St. Raphael Parish. Today, with 50 years of experience, St. Raphael Nursery School offers one of the strongest and largest early-childhood programs in the area.
- What safety precautions are in place for the children in your care?
Our teachers, staff, and preschoolers regularly participate in various emergency exercises, ranging from shelter-in-place practices to fire drills. In the event that children need to be relocated from our campus, we have a reciprocal relationship with Ritchie Park Elementary School across the street. Our front doors are locked, and only authorized visitors are allowed to enter the school area, which is further locked by interior doors. We have a full-time school nurse on site, and our staff members are certified in CPR and first aid. All of our faculty and staff, as well as volunteers who have direct contact with children, undergo mandatory child-protection training, including fingerprinting and background checks. For more about our safety precautions, there is a crisis plan available on file in the school office.
- What does a typical day look like for your kids?
When our little ones arrive, they are greeted by the lead teacher, who sits in a small chair to be at eye level with the arriving students. The preschooler puts away his/her belongings and enjoys free play, where a variety of toys are available for the children's use. Circle time follows, which is an interactive session led by the teacher and includes a discussion of the day's activities, introduction/reinforcement of the letter of the week, often followed by songs about the days of the week, and the weather. The children rotate between play stations and are also brought in small groups to work on the project of the day, which either ties in with the letter of the week or with some other element of the day's lesson plan. After a trip to the restroom to use the bathroom and wash their hands, the children have snack time, where the class enjoys something yummy brought in by whichever parent has signed up to bring in the snack for that week. Snack time is usually followed by recess, where the children get to run around and explore our beautiful outdoor playground while being supervised by the teachers. In the event of inclement weather, we have a large gymnasium equipped with toys for large-muscle development. After recess, the children often enjoy story time and sing their goodbye song. The 4-year-olds and the 4-Plus students then go on to Lunch Bunch (optional for 3-year-olds), where the children eat together followed by more play time. If a child is in the afternoon program, Lunch Bunch comes first, followed by the preschool program. Many of our families opt to include an enrichment class one or more days a week, which turns a half day of school into a full day. So a "typical" day at SRNS really can include any number of combinations.