To provide a subsidized, high quality early childhood education program in Richmond's Iron Triangle for preschool age children of varied socioeconomic backgrounds that will prepare them for school and life success.
Young children need background knowledge before they can participate fully in the public education system and reap the benefits of that wonderful yet underfunded system. Young children build background knowledge by engaging with caring, interested and knowledgeable adults as well as other children, in an environment that values discovery, curiosity, independence, differences, cooperation, problem solving and responsibility.
Learning by growing and then harvesting vegetables, raising and caring for small animals, and following ones’ bliss in a rich atmosphere filled with opportunities to engage by touching, manipulating, listening and seeing is what comes naturally, and we are committed to providing that.
Our program will provide an environment that is conducive to these ends by offering a program that is:
· Child centered: The curriculum will be student/child centered as described by Dewey, Vygotsky, Meier and Piaget. Activities and opportunities for discovery will be provided and teachers will guide and facilitate the natural learning process present in all human beings.
· Myriad activities: Along with nature and animals there will be art, music, drama, movement, puppets, games, toys, books, cooking, baking, singing, sleeping as well as outside specialists who will come in to offer unique opportunities.
· Diverse student population: Children come in all shapes and sizes and with all kinds of interests, skills, needs and desires. Learning to live together and work together is paramount to a happy life and The School on the Hill will honor that by providing subsidized tuition for families who need it via higher tuition for those who can afford it as well as grants from local businesses and philanthropists. Diversity is the spice of life.
Every culture will be honored.
Richard Sugerman, BA, Humanities / MA, Developmental Psychology, holds a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and an Elementary Teaching Credential in New Jersey. Richard taught k-2 in the Berkeley Unified School District for 13 years where he was the also the disaster preparedness coordinator, math leader and tech specialist.
Richard was the director of Camp Kee Tov in Berkeley, and taught preschool and ran after school programs for many years in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.
As an educator, Richard is highly regarded. Students were excited to come to school because Richard’s classroom was a welcoming place that respected each child and provided opportunities for children to satisfy their curiosity -- a basic pedagogical tenet Richard firmly believes should be in every classroom.
As a 2nd grade teacher in California, Richard was required to administer the STAR test –the standardized test all 2nd-12th grade students take near the end of the year, commonly known as “high-stakes” testing. Richard’s students outperformed the school, district, and state averages 3 years in a row.
Richard is an early childhood education expert, both academically and practically with over 30 years of experience working with children, leading programs as well as teams of educators.