By Sarah Unger
Evoking little red schoolhouses of yore, there’s a new building in town, ready to welcome youngsters into its well-appointed classrooms. It’s Allentown’s School Time, a haven for early childhood education, and its doors open officially to area families Monday, Nov. 3.
Just the day before that, though, the school’s staff, headed by program director Carol Maselli, looks forward to greeting interested families at a festive open house Sunday, Nov. 2, from 1 to 4 p.m. The school is located at 1253A Yardville-Allentown Rd., in Allentown.
Promising a warm, solid setting inside for its young charges, the inviting nature of School Time begins with its red-brick façade, white columns, and traditionally paned windows. Newly built for the family-owned school, the 6,000-square-foot facility is termed “state-of-the-art,” by Maselli, complete with classroom air purifiers, a fingerprinting system for entry security, and the newest playground surfaces.
Everything is “above code,” she adds, with the building divided into classrooms that will comfortably accommodate youngsters from six weeks to six years.
Maselli cites with enthusiasm the High/Scope curriculum the school will follow, It allows teachers to approach instruction in a hands-on manner, drawing children into direct engagement in everything from how to measure to practicing sounds to solving problems and projecting outcomes. Arts, music, and fitness will be part of every program day, with fine motor and large motor development also fully integrated.
As program director, Maselli will tap her 30 years’ experience in early childhood education as she oversees the operations, students and teachers of the program.
“The significant thing about our program is that it definitely has a great relationship among our staff, very qualified individuals. I think we’re going to be a very service-oriented program, where we try and meet the individual needs of each person.”
Most teachers, who have college educations and are certified, are hired and ready to begin teaching on the third. Currently the school is prepared to enroll 100 students, with the ultimate goal to be able to accept 135 children across the age groups. Enrollment is growing every day, Maselli says, and following the open house the school expects to have a 40 percent enrollment.
According to School Time’s Web site, the school “will provide age appropriate learning environments to encourage children to explore, experience, question and solve, while under the guidance of a caring and nurturing staff. Teachers will use various learning approaches and techniques that best fit the need of each child enrolled at School Time.
That process allows children to develop and expand their strengths, build confidence in themselves and broaden their educational experiences.”
Infant care will offered year-round, while the curriculum for toddlers and to pre-kindergarten will run from September to June in various configurations from half days two days per week to all day from Monday through Friday. Summertime half-day and full-day programs will be offered for children from 3 to 12 years of age.
There’s more: Maselli points out that an important part of School Time’s focus on service will include special treats for parents such as “Freedom Fridays,” when parents can bring their children to the school for dinner and activities while Mom and Dad go out on a date.
Occasional Saturday afternoon programs will afford parents a few hours to run errands while sparing their children the unhappy fate of tagging along. “We want to make good use of our facility,” Maselli said.
Look forward to other light-hearted fare such as Donuts with Dad, Muffins with Mom, and Pajama Night story telling.
In addition to its teachers’ credentials and its programming, “there are a lot of parents out there who appreciate how accessible we are to their workplaces,” Maselli points out, thanks to the school’s proximity to Interstate 195, and New Jersey Turnpike, and route 130.
On the Web: schooltimelearning.com.