Over the last four decades, Stepping Stone School has developed its comprehensive Early Care and Education Curriculum. The curriculum is based on 40 years of direct teaching experience and interacting with children, but also on the finest and most up to date research and best practices regarding how children learn, grow and develop.
“Stepping Stone School is a child-centered school that builds curiosity and an excitement for learning. The teachers and staff provide a variety of learning experiences throughout the day, all matched to the developmental level of each child. The curriculum is excellence plus. It is a comprehensive system that nurtures and develops all areas of the child: cognitive, physical, social, and emotional. Children leave Stepping Stone School ready to be successful in any formal educational setting.”
What makes Platinum Learning for Life™ so unique is the personal input and experiences of the owners Rhonda Paver, M.A. and Bill Paver, Ph.D. Rhonda has a master’s degree in Early Childhood Development from the University of Texas at Austin. Bill Paver has a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Washington State University. Rhonda was a classroom teacher and director in our first schools. During Stepping Stone School’s evolution, Rhonda remains actively engaged in the classrooms and the daily operations and meets personally with teachers and administrators daily. Bill Paver served for 25 years at the University of Texas at Austin as Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Director of Admissions, where he directed the Graduate and International Admissions Center. Their combined education and experience are an invaluable resource and asset that no other privately owned early care and education provider in the nation has.
Stepping Stone School has also incorporated the most up to date research and thinking of world renowned early childhood education experts such as Piaget, Montessori, Reggio-Emilia, and Vygotsky into our Platinum Learning for Life™ curriculum. We understand curriculum is much more than activities written on paper, our curriculum is infused into every moment and experience throughout the day.
Stepping Stone School’s pedagogical philosophy is deeply rooted in the belief that placing children in carefully chosen supportive environments facilitates learning. The method in which learning opportunities are delivered, ranging from teacher to child initiated. Our teachers use a variety of teaching strategies to effectively connect the environment, social connections, and material to the child’s learning interests and experiences. By providing a balanced approach, it allows our students to fully engage and ignite their curiosity and love of learning.
The cornerstone of Stepping Stone School’s curriculum has been based on The Creative Curriculum® now called Teaching Strategies for Early Childhood®. Diane Trister Dodge, the founder of Teaching Strategies, Inc. is considered one of the foremost leaders in curriculum development for early education in our nation. This curriculum provides effective resources in four essential areas: curriculum, assessment, professional development and family connections, which adhere to national accreditation standards.
At Stepping Stone School we develop children’s Executive function skills. These skills enable individuals to learn to plan, focus attention, flexibility in thinking, and accomplish multiple goals. These skills are crucial for learning and development. They also enable positive behavior and allow children to make confident choices. Acquiring the early building blocks of these skills is one of the most important accomplishments of the early childhood years. Growth-promoting environments provide children with “scaffolding” that helps them practice these necessary skills before they perform them alone. The teachers at Stepping Stone School facilitate the development of a child’s executive function skills by establishing routines, modeling social behavior, and creating and maintaining supportive, reliable relationships. It is also important for children to exercise their developing skills through activities that foster creative play and social connection, teach them how to cope with difficulty, involve vigorous exercise, and provide opportunities for directing their own actions.
Stepping Stone School also utilizes Teaching Strategies® Gold plus™ which is a highly effective assessment tool and provides guidance to individualize classroom activities to support all levels of learning and engages and challenges every child. Our teachers use this assessment tool to help implement developmentally appropriate curriculum and opportunities for learning. Teachers scaffold the child’s learning to help them achieve the next developmental milestone in a way that is challenging and appropriate. Stepping Stone School provides tools and resources to assist the child as they reach the next level all while feeling empowered and capable. No other local competitor uses this advanced learning tool.
Learning Domains and Corresponding Skills
Learning domains develop the whole child, all Stepping Stone School curriculum is based on learning domains and tailored according to age group, as well as to each individual child. These follow national and statewide standards set by:
- Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines
- TEKS Texas Essential Knowledge Skills for Kindergarten
- Developmentally Appropriate Practices
- NAEYC, NAC, TSR!, TRSP
Platinum Learning for Life™ also includes:
Platinum Learning for Life™ is a curriculum that incorporates and excels in all of these elements, resulting in superior experiences and outcomes for your children.
Calendar of Creative Curriculum Themes™
The Stepping Stone School Calendar of Curriculum Themes™ is our unique and proprietary publication, developed to help our talented teachers implement our Platinum Learning for Life™ curriculum in a consistent, effective and fun manner, centered around play-based learning.
Based on the nationally recognized text Creative Curriculum for Preschoolers (referenced above) by Diane Trister Dodge, our Calendar of Curriculum Themes™ follows the accreditation guidelines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP).
Stepping Stone School faculty use our Calendar of Curriculum Themes™, along with our thoughtfully selected curriculum resource guides and Teaching Strategies® Gold plus™, to develop their weekly individualized learning plans for each child. Themes link lessons together cohesively, along with concepts and skills to be taught over the course of the month; ideas for activities related to the theme, concepts and skills come from our Curriculum Resource Guides, Teaching Strategies® Gold plus™, as well as our teachers’ own experience, expertise and limitless imaginations. The learning plans are then reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Coordinator at each campus.