Dawson’s Early Childhood program is designed to spark curiosity and an excitement for learning in young children that will last them a lifetime. It is here that we begin to lay the foundation for their educational journey, developing and nurturing their sense of wonder, inspiration and curiosity.
The National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC) recommends early childhood programs to maintain a 1:10 ratio. At Dawson, we value the importance of our students receiving individualized attention and therefore we maintain a 1:9 ratio. Each of our classrooms has a highly qualified lead teacher and an assistant teacher.
Dawson’s Early Childhood Center is not only a licensed through Nevada Child Care Licensing, but we are also accredited through the National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC). The Early Childhood Center is very proud to have maintained a NAEYC accreditation since 2007. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, the Early ChildhoodEducation Center must continue to meet each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years. In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education; less than 10 percent of all child care centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition.
All of our teachers hold college degrees, many with masters degrees. Our teachers have several years of experience working in early childhood education. Additionally, our faculty participates in yearly professional development courses, workshops and conferences.
Dawson’s Bear After-School Experience (BASE) Enrichment Program provides after-school classes and athletic opportunities for students from preschool through eighth grade. A diverse offering of quality classes are held on campus throughout the week. The program includes engaging classes that appeal to a wide range of experiences for our students.
Healthy lunches are provided by the school food’s service, SAGE Dining. Lunch menus include hot entrees, sandwiches, salads, fruit and beverages. Morning and afternoon snacks are provided to early childhood students as well.
A Dawson student takes risks, shows resilience, listens to feedback, learns from mistakes and shows progress throughout his/her journey as a young learner. Dawson students thrive to be kind in their words and actions, and are expected to make choices that keep themselves and others safe socially, emotionally, and physically. Learning how to interact with other people, work on a team, and give and hear constructive feedback are essential skills for our students’ future. The early childhood program uses positive discipline techniques to teach children to learn and grow from their choices and empowers them to be strong communicators, problem-solvers and collaborators.
The school’s main gate is monitored 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Visitors must have their name on the visitor’s calendar at the security gate, or the visitor will not be permitted on campus. Campus buildings are secured with biometric doors and early childhood students are signed in and out daily using a biometric fingerprint check-in system.
The early childhood center fosters independence and develops skills such as problem-solving, listening, language, fine and gross motor skills. The curriculum includes literacy (i.e. reading, writing, phonics, word study), Everyday Mathematics, Social-Emotional Development, technology, music and movement, library, and health and fitness. The curriculum combines direct instruction and play-based activities, taking into account each student’s developmental level for individualized instruction. (Please refer to the Early Childhood Catalog for an in-depth look at our curriculum.)
Parent volunteer opportunities are available for classroom activities and special events. Parent involvement at Dawson is vital to the success of our students and programs! Dawson is proud of its sense of community, reflected in community cooperation, teamwork and a sense of belonging.
Amanda Murray-Musgrave, Director of Early Childhood
Choosing an early childhood program can be both overwhelming and intimidating. The quality of instruction can vary considerably, so parents must become informed consumers. This requires investing time, energy, and research into making a decision that is best for your child and family.
The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain, an independent school located on 33-acres in the community of Summerlin, is Nevada’s first Stanford University Challenge Success partner school for students in early childhood through grade eight. Utilizing the unique Challenge Success framework, Dawson uses research-based strategies and programs that emphasize student academics, wellbeing, and a healthy school-life balance to create more engaged, motivated, and resilient learners and leaders. At Dawson, students achieve their individual potential while savoring life and meeting the challenges of the world.