Beginners Preschool

Welcome to Bridge School Beginners!
Addison County’s only preschool program attached to an independent elementary school!

Our Phone Number: (802) 388-3498

Bridge School Beginners is a high-quality, full-day, year-round preschool program for children ages three to five years. Our preschool program runs from 8am-3:30 pm, and aftercare is available from 3:30-5:00 pm twelve months of the year.

If you are interested in Bridge’s preschool, please contact our Beginners Director, Emily Lambert:  emilylambert@bridgeschoolvermont.org

Philosophy

Bridge School’s preschool is child-centered and play-based, and follows social constructivist educational theory. Our emphasis is on the natural world, the community around us, and respectful interactions with each other. Students have access to our school facilities, such as our gym, greenhouse, workshop and large, outdoor play space. Preschoolers also have regular, meaningful interactions with Bridge elementary school students, and benefit from our school programming such as plays, musical performances, special events and traditions. Bridge Beginners is rated 4 out of 5 STARS, and is qualified for Universal Pre-K funding.

You may read our family handbook, access our calendar and read our COVID-19 Facilities Plan by clicking the following links:

Beginners Family Handbook 2021-2022
Bridge Beginners Preschool 2021-2022 School Calendar
Bridge Beginners Preschool COVID-19 Facility Plan, 8-11-21

Daily Schedule

8:00-8:45 am Arrival and Morning Responsibilities 
Children arrive, put their things away and choose from a variety of places to play. This may also include outdoor play. Activities are set out that encourage children to explore different ideas, such as ramps and balls to find out about gravity. 

8:45-9:00 am Morning Meeting
Morning Meeting is a time to come together as a community, and start our day intentionally together. This is a time to check in on how children’s days are going, and to introduce any activities or ideas for the day. Children may be asked a question to test their understanding of something. For example, if we were working on senses, it might be “What can you tell me about the sense of smell?” Children may then be asked to notice smells throughout the day. 

9:00-9:45 am Snack
Clean up and get ready for snack. During this time, there are lots of conversations about the day, children’s favorite things to do and how to negotiate social interactions. 

9:45-11:30 am Explorations and Outside Time
Explorations is a time of small group investigations. Our curriculum philosophy is emergent, so topics are based on children’s interests. During one week, the classroom may be transformed into a model of the universe as students learn about the planets. Another week, the classroom may become a model of forest ecosystem. During this period we will also spend time outside, exploring the natural world, and having a chance to connect with peers.

11:30-12:00  Second Meeting 
During our second meeting, we will talk about the morning, what we observed, what we tried, what we were thinking about. We might revisit any questions asked during the morning, to see if more knowledge has been gained. Activities might also include singing, games, books and more.

12:00-12:30 Lunch

12:30 -1:00 Story Time
Children may choose to either read quietly to themselves or join a group listening while a teacher reads aloud.

1:00-1:45 Beginners Rest Time 
All Beginners rest in the classroom. Children who do not sleep may read quietly on their mats or play with stuffed animals.

2:00-3:15 Afternoon Choice
Afternoon choices are set out by teachers. Choices may be a practical life activity such as practicing pouring, a literacy or math center, or a hands on activity such as clay or painting. Weather permitting, activities may be set up outside. 

3:15-3:30 Afternoon Responsibilities
Clean up room and gather things to go home.

3:30 Dismissal 
Children get picked up or after care begins.

After Care Schedule 

3:30-4:30
Children choose from small group activities and have outside playtime. Children may also choose to have their afternoon snack during this time. 

4:30-5:00
Children help with the end of the day cleaning. This practice shows children the responsibility and ownership of being part of a community and using a communal space.

Weekly Options & Tuition

Weekly Options & Tuition

We offer both a three, four, and five-day program, and an aftercare option until  4:55pm, everyday. The preschool program runs from 8:00am-3:30 pm everyday, all-year. We mostly follow the Bridge School calendar for in-service days and holidays. After care is available from 3:30-5:00 daily. Our goal is to provide a high-quality, fun experience for families that spans 46 weeks per year.

5-Day Program, 8am-3:30pm: $240 per week

4-Day Program, 8am-3:30pm: $210 per week

3-Day Program, 8am-3:30pm: $185 per week

Daily Aftercare Program, 3:30-5:00pm: $15 per day

Pre-K Funding: Children who turn 3 by September 1, 2021 are eligible for pre-K funding if they live in a district that has agreed to partner with us. If children qualify for the Universal Pre-K funding, this is deducted from the tuition cost for 35 weeks of the year. For the 2021-2022 school year, this is $101.03 per week. VT Act 166 Information and Public PreK (vtpublicprek.info)

Bridge Beginners also accepts subsidy for those who qualify. For more information on subsidy or to apply, visit the following website:

Child Care Cost, Middlebury, Vermont VT – Mary Johnson Children’s Center (mjccvt.org)

Teachers

Emily Lambert, Beginners’ Director & Teacher

Emily originally used her creativity in the fashion industry after graduating with a B.S from University of Delaware, but quickly found her true calling to use her creativity to become an early childhood educator. Emily has been teaching in various early childhood settings for about ten years. Emily moved to Vermont from her birth state of New York and attended Saint Michael’s Graduate School program for elementary education. Emily has a teaching license in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education. In New York Emily taught in both kindergarten and preschool classrooms in a private school setting. She has been a teacher at Charlotte Children’s Center and The Children’s School in Vermont.  She began as a substitute teacher at the Bridge School Preschool while her son was a student there. Besides substitute teaching, Emily has spent the past couple of years as a stay at home parent of her three young children, where she basically has been running her own preschool with her inquisitive and active children. Emily lives in Middlebury with these three loving children, her dependable husband Keith, and their loud dog Nessie. 

Emily believes that supporting a child’s social and emotional development is the key foundation for lifelong learning and happiness. If a child feels loved, accepted, and capable of facing all that arises in their day with calm and confidence, then they will be able to develop into kind, compassionate, intuitive, creative, and innovative community members. Emily has been exploring mindfulness and meditation as one of the primary tools that can guide children and adults alike on this journey. 

Emily is an avid reader and has always had a passion for literacy starting at a very young age. She incorporates this passion into supporting children’s exploration of literature that will fuel their own early literacy learning. Emily absolutely loves to spend time outdoors in our beloved and beautiful state of Vermont hiking with her family. She feels that being outside and allowing children to explore all the natural world has to offer is the best way to focus on helping the whole child to thrive and grow.

Julie Ferguson, Beginners’ Teacher

Julie has worked as an educator and therapist with children ages birth to seven for 30 years. Her goals for working with young children are: to provide an authentic learning environment where the child is inspired and honored; to provide the learning tools appropriate for the child’s senses in order to support healthy foundations for a lifelong love for learning; to provide a secure, well balanced, genuinely comfortable energy that fosters the development of trusting communicative relationships; to nurture each child, wholly, through their hearts, hands, and head.

Julie has an AS degree in, Early Childhood Education, a BA in Psychology, and a MA in Expressive Arts Therapy. Julie was born in the heart of the Adirondack Park and raised on the shores of Lake Champlain. Julie is a lifelong resident of the Champlain Valley and lives in Westport, NY with her husband, dog and cat. Julie is a mother of two children, who are both currently both college students

Outside of school, Julie is interested in expressive Arts practices, especially music, movement, spoken word, painting, sculpting, color play, drawing, and writing. She is also interested in the cultural traditions of Northeastern Native peoples. Julie is an avid naturalist and gardener, and is especially interested in foraging for medicinal herbs and natural dyes, wildlife tracking, paddling, hiking, biodynamic gardening, marine ecology, and astronomy. Last, but not least, Julie loves fiber Art, particularly needle felting and sewing, and loves sharing these passions with students at Bridge School.

Katie Lazarus, Preschool Trainee

Katie has worked as an educator with children from infants to five years old for three years. Her goals are to support every child in their journey as well as in a community, assist children in their growth as learners and friends, and facilitate a safe and nurturing environment. She believes every child has a unique perspective that free expression as well as teamwork can foster into exciting new skills and talents. 
Katie, a lifelong Vermonter, has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Vermont and a master of fine arts degree in poetry from Bennington College. 
Outside of school, Katie reads, writes, paints, and occasionally runs a 5k. She also practices yoga and loves sharing all of her interests with the preschoolers, and getting to know them as well. 

Kyli Manning, Preschool Trainee

Kayli spent three years studying Criminal Science with a minor in Psychology between Castleton University and College of St. Josephs. During COVID-19, she decided to take a break from online learning and in that time started working as a substitute in a daycare. With this experience, she decided to take a complete break from her Criminal Science degree to enter the realm of childhood education full time.

Kayli grew up in the mountains in Ripton, Vermont and from an early age loved the outdoors. Currently, she is living in Middlebury, Vermont with one loving dog. Her goals for this program include watching and being a part of the children’s learning, along with teaching the development of social and interpersonal skills that can be carried with them throughout their life. 

Enrollment

(802) 388-3498

If you are interested in enrolling your child as a “Beginner,” either imminently or in the future, please fill out the below Google form to put your child’s name on our waiting list. You may also email our Beginners Director, Emily Lambert, emilylambert@bridgeschoolvermont.org to find out about availability. Our priority for enrollment is as follows: 

    1. Children of staff of Bridge School
    2. Children who have previously been enrolled
    3. Siblings of Bridge School or Bridge School Preschool students
    4. Community members

We also seek to have a balanced classroom, so we may take into consideration ages and genders of children on the waiting list.  

Click here to fill out the waitlist form

We are committed to providing educational opportunities that meet the needs of our local families. If you are interested in Bridge’s preschool, please contact emilylambert@bridgeschoolvermont.org.