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© Copyright 2020 Winnetka Public School Nursery

All Rights Reserved. 

1155 Oak Street

Winnetka IL 60093

Why Choose WPSN

Winnetka Public School Nursery (WPSN) is a private preschool with classes for ages 16 months through Junior Kindergarten.   WPSN is unique among North Shore preschools in many ways that benefit your child.

  • Easiest transition to Kindergarten because the WPSN curriculum philosophy is the most similar to the Winnetka school system.    

       WPSN was founded more than 90 years ago by Dr. Carleton Washburne, who revolutionized the Winnetka school system with his “Winnetka              Plan” of education.  The similarity in philosophy makes transitioning from WPSN’s Junior Kindergarten to Winnetka’s Kindergarten much easier        for WPSN students.

  • Highest teacher-to-student ratio, providing two credentialed teachers plus a teaching assistant, for a total of three teachers per class to provide expert and individual attention to each child.

  • Play-based curriculum with one important difference – it is individualized to each child’s developmental needs and interests.  

       WPSN’s talented and experienced teachers modify curriculums every single day, based on the interests of each class.  This innovative teaching            approach is highly effective in promoting cognitive development, because it utilizes materials and activities that the children truly care about.              This approach is the best way to encourage children to develop critical thinking skills, by asking and thinking about how the world works.  In              particular, teachers utilize natural materials, rather than plastic commercial toys, that children are intuitively attracted to and encourage them to          explore their worlds.

  • Enrichment Classes providing experiences and learning in addition to the primary curriculum, as well as a longer school day.

  • Constant communications enabling parents to understand how their child is developing.  

       This starts even before the school year begins, when your child’s teachers visit your home to meet your child in their familiar environment, and            for parents to get to know the teachers.  In addition, parents receive weekly email newsletters, and attend two parent/teacher conferences.  WPSN        also offers several Parent Education sessions throughout the year to inform parents about topics relevant to preschoolers, such as discipline, the          WPSN teaching philosophy, and more.  Last but certainly not least, WPSN teachers create a customized annual portfolio for each child, which              includes frequent photos and content highlighting your child’s accomplishments and learning.  Portfolios are treasured by WPSN families.

  • Superb facility including newly renovated classrooms.  

       We made a significant investment over the Summer of 2013 to update our entire space — come take a tour and see it!

       In 2014 we invested in our fabulous outdoor space by adding natural elements, a beautiful fence and landscape. We also created a wonderful                space for our Toddlers and Twos in our Secret Garden.

       In 2015 we redesigned our Studio space by adding more materials and publishing supplies. This new Maker Space is engaging to all of our                  children. Additionally we created a movement space, which also includes a new rock climbing wall and other materials to encourage children to          move!

      Our special teaching environment enables children to meaningfully engage with their play through carefully structured time, space and                       materials. WPSN students are learning social skills, critical thinking skills, self-reliance, and creativity while they play. They are also learning               early math, science, and literacy concepts through play. Most importantly, they are developing a love of learning.

  • Exceptional outdoor space, which is the largest preschool playground in Winnetka.   

      This provides space for a true outdoor learning environment with water exploration equipment, a stage area, art and music activities, planting             and digging areas still leaving plenty of room for healthy outdoor exercise with bikes, scooters, sleds, climbing structures, slides, and swings.

      In 2014 we invested in our fabulous outdoor space by adding natural elements, a beautiful fence and landscape. We also created a wonderful               space for our Toddlers and Twos in our Secret Garden.

  • Curriculum inspired by the renowned Reggio Emilia teaching philosophy.  At WPSN, this means that several key Reggio concepts are integrated into each classroom to create the most engaging and empowering learning environment for your children.  ​​

    • Curriculum is individualized to each child’s developmental needs and interests.  WPSN’s talented and experienced teachers modify their lesson plans every single day, based on the needs and interests of the children in each class.  This innovative teaching approach is highly effective in promoting cognitive development, because it meets children where they’re at, while at the same time centering the curriculum on themes and activities that the children truly care about. Delivering developmentally-appropriate curricula ensures that children grow socially, emotionally, and cognitively throughout the school year

    • Play inspires a life-long love of learning.   While WPSN’s Reggio Emilia approach is play-based, it is differentiated from traditional play-based preschools because the play is intentionally guided by the teachers, who are trained to be astute observers of learning opportunities.  For example, one day a child created a paper airplane and started flying it around the classroom.  The other kids were so excited that they all began making paper airplanes.  Noting this interest, the teachers guided the children’s play and exploration into several projects on aviation, including guest speakers, in which children explored how planes fly, what airports are and how they work, who works in airports and planes. Their exploration culminated in building fantastic multi-media airplanes of their own. This type of project-based learning gives children the opportunity to dive deeply into subject matter that they are curious about, engaging their critical-thinking skills, fine and gross motor skills, and creativity through play.

    • Teachers work in teams.  This means that there are two teachers in each classroom, plus a teaching assistant.  This low student-teacher ratio provides children with expert, individualized attention.  Teaching teams collaborate on the curriculum and observe each child’s development to determine the best teaching approaches for each child, as well as the classroom as a whole.

    • Natural classroom materials encourage open-ended exploration.  WPSN classrooms are filled with art and toys made from natural materials and objects from nature. The carefully-considered aesthetic of each classroom encourages children to explore their surroundings, and engage with materials in an open-ended way. As such, wooden blocks can be used to construct a full-service hotel and restaurant, water tables become a space for testing buoyancy, and overhead projectors create an opportunity for shadow play. The classroom environment stimulates creativity, collaborative play with peers, and endless discovery

  • Partnership with Skokie School 5th graders, who are specially chosen each year to spend time in each WPSN classroom to serve as “big kid” role models and mentors.

  • Dedicated Studio Teacher enabling children to collaborate on special projects in smaller groups that further build skills developing in the classrooms.

  • Accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the highest level of preschool accreditation.