Preschool Guide Spotlight: Q&A with Fran Rauchwerger, Director of The Beagle School

Preschool Registration for the 2017-2018 is almost here, and today as part of the Mini City Preschool Guide I shine a spotlight on one local school. What better way to find out more about a preschool than to talk to it's director?! Today click through to read my Q&A with Fran Rauchwerger, the Director of The Beagle School.

Mamatoga: What are some of the key ideas about the Beagle School approach to teaching children?

Fran: The Beagle School really harkens back to what preschool was like years ago: a fun, warm, no pressure, and inviting place to be. We really believe that we can best prepare our students for the skills needed not only for kindergarten readiness, but to be confident, happy, and exceptional young people in an environment like ours. The Beagle School is not a corporation. We are a small private, non-profit preschool with an over 40-year history in Saratoga Springs. We honor the philosophies of our school’s founders years ago: learning through play and exploration.

M: What can people expect to find in your classrooms?

F: Our classrooms are set up into various learning areas: art, science, writing centers, library, sensory tables, blocks, music, and creative play. You will find our students’ beautiful artwork displayed on the wall and objects and décor that help inspire the current month’s themes. Our Regent Street location boasts an amazing backyard with the famous HMS Beagle ship and our new Discovery Center, an outdoor classroom where students can paint, learn, and explore while enjoying the outdoors, even in the rain due to our retractable awning. Our Circular Street location has an outdoor area designed with our two year olds in mind. Most importantly, the crowning jewels of our classrooms are our wonderful staff, who are trained and highly experienced in teaching early learners. Their warmth, and love for children this age truly make The Beagle School experience what it is.

M: What makes the Beagle School approach different?

F: The Beagle School’s mission is to provide a quality preschool educational program that fosters the sense of wonder and discovery that naturally exists in all children. We believe that children learn best through self-discovery and exploration, guided by our warm and enthusiastic teaching staff. Our children are certainly learning the skills needed to be successful future learners, such as name writing, colors, shapes, math concepts, reading readiness, etc. through our Beagle School curriculum, but they learn in a way that still allows them to be creative and free individuals. Our children also learn what it is like to be to be in a group, follow school routines, become more independent, and most importantly be a good friend. Learning is fun at The Beagle School. Our students learn through hands on creative activities; there’s plenty of time for homework and worksheets when they get older!

M: What is a typical day like at the Beagle School?

F: Our two year old day focuses a lot on socialization and beginning school skills: learning to be away from their families, learning to sit in a group, lots and lots of music teaching foundational skills and most importantly: PLAY! Our three and four year old classrooms have a more traditionally scheduled day, with scheduled times for free play, circle times, centers, music and movement, etc. We close out all of our program days with a yummy and healthy snack provided by our snack friend of the day and head outside to play as long as weather permits. (The Beagle School is a peanut and tree nut free facility). Throughout the year we have monthly special days with regular outside guests teaching yoga, singing songs on a guitar or teaching a movement class. Every day brings new learning experiences.

M: If you could tell readers one thing about the Beagle School, what would you want them to know?

F: The Beagle School community is really a family. Many of our teachers were Beagle parents themselves and many of our current students are the children of Beagle students of long ago. We feel this coming year is going to be the best yet! The past few years we have been revamping our facilities, adapting new and exciting curriculum, and creating new programs. I encourage families to check out our website to learn more about our programs, particularly the launch of Beyond Beagle: A Cultural Arts Enrichment Program for four and five year olds. I’d love to tell your readers more about our school and they can always contact me at 518-587-7507.

Their 115 Regent Street Open House for their 3-5 year old programs will be on Monday, January 9th, 2017 from 10:30 AM-12:30 PM. This is also the first day of general registration.

Their 107 Circular Street Open House for their 2 year old programs will be held on Tuesday, January 10th from 10:00-11:30 AM.

The Beagle School will be opening registration for all programs to the general public at their 115 Regent Street location on January 9th, 2017. Beginning at 10:30 AM, they will be accepting completed applications on a first come, first served basis. Any applications mailed in will be opened at the end of business on January 9th.

Please note that they will continue to accept preschool registrations after this date until their classes are full. They do maintain waitlists for all of their programs.

Find out more about our area's Preschools and see the Preschool Open House Calendar by clicking the photo below