Why Preschool through 3rd Grade?

Statement of Support from Nancy Grasmick

Former Superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education

Nancy Grasmick is currently a Presidential Scholar at Towson University and served as the Superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education from 1991 through 2011. By the end of her tenure Maryland’s schools were ranked #1 in the nation.

“I was so excited to hear that Church of the Redeemer Parish Day School has expanded its educational offerings through grade 3 and is preparing to break ground on a new wing to accommodate this new growth. That is such exciting news! I strongly applaud your efforts.

Children are born ready to learn. The brain grows starting before birth and continuing into early childhood and beyond. 3rd grade has long been considered the milestone year for when a child goes from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Studies have shown that students who are not on grade level for reading by third grade are 4x less likely to graduate from high school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize that “the first 8 years build the foundation for future learning, health and life success.”

That is why Redeemer’s decision to expand through grade 3 it so important. It gives Redeemer students the structured continuum and best pathway to develop cognitive, emotional and social capacities. Redeemer is preparing students with the strongest foundational skills to succeed on their educational journey.”

Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick
Presidential Scholar, Towson University

Our Mission in Action

Our Model is designed to Celebrate and Protect Childhood

Early Childhood Education, preschool through third grade, is an extremely important period in child development. Ninety percent of brain development happens between birth and third grade, and those years are the most sensitive and critical in a person’s life.

Redeemer is designed to focus solely on these important years. Our preschool through third grade model is grounded in research, embraces the joy of childhood and learning, implements a teaching model that emphasizes and preserves creativity, and offers the gift of time to develop confidence and evolve as learners. Childhood is a magical time. Extending our learning model through third grade is a gift that will last a lifetime!

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and moving case for creating an education system that nurtures, rather than undermines, creativity.

TedEx talk by Sir Ken Robinson.

Benefits of a Preschool through 3rd Grade Model

Research Supports a Preschool-3rd Grade Alignment & Continuum

“Although evidence of the positive effects of early childhood programs has been available for decades, a critical mass of evidence now exists demonstrating the added value of early childhood programs that extend into the primary grades. Based on this established knowledge base, key principles supported include (a) length of services matters, especially if the transition to kindergarten and the primary grades is supported, (b) organizational factors such as reduced class sizes, curriculum coordination across ages, integration of program elements within sites, and the provision of adequate staff resources.” (Preschool-to-Third Grade Programs and Practices, National Library of Medicine)

Brain Development is Explosive in the Early Years

Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child states, “Early experiences affect the development of brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health. Just as a weak foundation compromises the quality and strength of a house, adverse experiences in early life can impair brain architecture, with negative effects lasting into adulthood.” The Center adds, “The emotional and physical health, social skills, and cognitive-linguistic capacities that emerge in the early years are all important for success in school, the workplace, and in the larger community.” (Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University)

Childhood Should be Treasured and Full of Joy

It is the mission of the Day School to offer a balance between play and academics in an engaging, child-centered, and open-ended atmosphere that embraces childhood. Using a child’s intrinsic ability to explore through the five senses, Redeemer’s program emphasizes an authentic process that inspires growth. With ample indoor and outdoor space, students are exposed to a variety of experiences, materials, and learning environments. Investigation, collaboration, creation, inquisitiveness, discovery, and questioning are fundamental to daily routines. The Parish Day School is a little noisy and a little messy. Learning is fun and full of joy!

Extra Time to Develop as a Learner & Student

Redeemer’s program model allows students time to develop as learners and students. Incredible growth occurs in the early years, and a strong foundation in a preschool through third grade continuum provides additional time to develop. Opportunities for leadership, independence, and responsibility at a young age promote courage and confidence. Extra time to engage fully as a learner provides critical information about the unique learning style of each student, empowering parents to find the right fit for the next chapter of their child’s educational journey. Last year alone Redeemer students matriculated to 17 different schools. Redeemer is known for preparing students for a variety of programs and for helping families navigate the next best step!

Early Childhood Teaching & Learning Styles Promote Student Engagement

Our greatest leaders, inventors, thinkers, and heroes got to be where they are because they love learning. It matters that our children develop in an environment that embraces divergent thinking, creativity and imagination, engagement in experiential explorations, and fosters the passion that already exists within. Those who make the greatest impact in our world got to where they are because they never stopped expressing creativity. They never lost the ability to think divergently, and they continued to wonder, imagine, and allow their passions and interests to drive their future. In other words, they never stopped thinking and learning like they did in their early years!

Early childhood methods in the university classroom, as seen at the University of Virginia.

Read the article.

Explore our Program

Watch a video of our students in action. 

Want to learn more about our programs?

Schedule a visit with Head of School, Mary Knott.

Please email Katie Poe @ kpoe@redeemerbaltimore.org