How Well Do You Know the Gurney Preschool?

Our Gurney Preschool (Early Childhood Intervention Services) is an inclusive, nature-based program designed to serve children ages three through five years who have both developmental and typical educational needs. What exactly is an inclusive program? Early childhood inclusion embodies the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every young child and his or her family, regardless of ability, to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts as full members of families, communities, and society. The desired results of inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families include a sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential. Research has shown that children learn best through the effective modeling of the age-appropriate skills of the peers around them. Students who participate in the peer program will not only have an opportunity to share their strengths but will also learn about likenesses and differences, in addition to receiving an exceptional early childhood experience. 

At Gurney Preschool, we encourage young children to be explorers, communicators, questioners, thinkers, socializers, creators, interactors, problem solvers, and reasoners! We are a nature-based program, committed to spending up to 50% of each day outside engaged in hands-on scientific inquiry and outdoor experiential learning. Our behavior management philosophy is centered on positive behavior support, with the goal of developing each student’s sense of self-esteem, responsibility, social justice, and self-regulation. Other opportunities include library, technology, music and movement, outdoor gross motor and experiential learning, and field trips – all in addition to typical early childhood learning activities supporting the Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS). 

The Gurney Preschool has received the highest Step Up to Quality rating by becoming a 5-Star Award winner! Step Up to Quality (SUTQ) is a rating and improvement system overseen by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. This system recognizes and promotes learning and development programs that exceed licensed health and safety regulations using a five-star quality rating system. 

This year, the Gurney Preschool is thrilled to announce the expansion of its award-winning program! We have added an additional AM and PM class and welcome a new general education co-teacher, Vanessa Mattson, and a new early childhood intervention specialist, Brooklyn Benkowski. We are so grateful for the opportunity to provide more children with the unique and high-quality learning environment that our community has come to treasure. 

We welcome your inquiries! Please contact Marianne Canter at [email protected] with any questions or for more information. If you are interested in placing your child on the waitlist, please contact Carrey Nielsen at 893-4030 ext 4124. There are spaces available for typically developing peers! These students must be residents of the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District and 3.5 years of age by August 1.

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