The Tobin School

What is Jr Kindergarten?

Jr. Kindergarten children doing hands-on STEM learningOpened over 18 years ago, Jr Kindergarten at The Tobin School was designed to offer a great option for those children who have already attended a year of PreK but miss the Kindergarten age-cutoff date. It can also be a great option for those children who have late summer birthdays and who would be the youngest in their public kindergarten classroom. The Tobin School offers its innovative Jr Kindergarten class as both a school-day, school-year program, and as a full-day option.

But what is the difference between Jr Kindergarten and PreK?

Or Jr Kindergarten and Kindergarten? 

We’re happy to explain:

  • Jr Kindergarten takes advantage of the fact that its students have already completed a PreK school year. These children enter Jr Kindergarten with a great base of knowledge in letters, their corresponding sounds, numbers, and many early academic concepts. By keeping this group together for Jr Kindergarten we don’t start at the beginning again, but instead, build on this knowledge offering a greater challenge and a chance to explore writing, science, more advanced math concepts, etc. It’s now surprise to see Jr Kindergarten children beginning to decode words and even try their hand at lower case letters.
  • If a PreK child is not yet old enough to enter Kindergarten, we don’t want to put them back with a younger peer group–which would be the case with a repeat of another PreK year. While there are advantages in mixed age groups, we believe that the students can continue to grow by staying with their own age group and attending Jr Kindergarten.
  • But rest assured, Jr Kindergarten is not just early academics! We provide these children with a warm, nurturing, developmentally appropriate classroom setting with plenty of art, sensory play, music, dramatic play, blocks, and twice daily outdoor play.
  • Concerned about your busy child or considering an extra year, parents have overwhelmingly told us how pleased they have been with the Jr Kindergarten experience. We have also received feedback from Kindergarten teachers: Tobin Jr Kindergartens students really enter Kindergarten with a great set of skills and school behaviors.
  • We staff our Jr Kindergarten classroom with early childhood ratios, with one teacher (or more) to ten children. This allows lots of additional individual support time and a great chance to work on social emotional skills in a smaller class size before entering the large Kindergarten classroom.
  • Jr Kindergarten children will move on to Kindergarten, so although we want to challenge these children to go as far as they can go, we do not use the same curriculum they will use in Kindergarten to avoid repetition.
  • Let’s face it, public school Kindergarten is a melting pot of children who have not spent time away from home all the way to those with advanced skills. When entering a large public Kindergarten classroom with up to 20 children, a lot of time is spent on catching up those who need support. Entering Kindergarten with solid skills allows your child to be ready to handle all the other independent and social challenges of a large class and public school setting.
  • Not sure? Let us show you our Jr Kindergarten classrooms in action to see what we mean. Contact Lori Davis or call us at 508-655-5006. We’d love to tell you more and show you around!