All BPS early learning centers are special, because we are singularly focused on teaching children at a time of their lives when their brains are rapidly developing. But the West Zone Early Learning Center, founded in 1989, is unique.
The West Zone Early Learning Center, along with four other early education centers in BPS, offers small class sizes. All classes are taught by early childhood certified educators and staffed with highly trained paraprofessionals for support.
Our programs are fully accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Accreditation sets standards that improve classroom quality and student outcomes. The BPS goal is to have all K1 and K2 classrooms accredited by 2020.
All early learning centers offer an extended day program called Surround Care. Our Surround Care program, which occurs from 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm in the classroom, provides opportunities for children to experience enrichment activities that relate to their academic day. Extended learning time improves student outcomes in core academic subjects and broadens enrichment opportunities.
At the West Zone Early Learning Center, children in Surround Care are able to go swimming in the Hennigan Community Center, right down the hall. They get recess for a second time in the day! Children do art projects, go on local field trips, and read more books related to the curriculum.
In 2013, the early learning centers became a full inclusion, meaning that in every classroom, children with special needs are part of general education in the classroom for at least 80 percent of their time. All children benefit from learning with and from their peers in this approach. It is the intent of BPS to phase in full inclusion in every classroom across the district.
In 2014 we brought on a full-time environmental science teacher with a specialty in early childhood education, who conducts a curriculum based on science, technology, art, engineering, and math with each classroom. Children can often be found outside in the school's gardens and orchard, planting, weeding, observing, and counting birds. Several times a month during the academic year, the teacher hosts Family Science events after school for children and families to explore Nira Rock, Jamaica Pond, the Arnold Arboretum, the Boston Nature Center, or the Museum of Fine Arts together.
NEED MORE SPECIFICS?
Visit the West Zone Early Learning Center page on the BPS website. You can find informative statistics and other information about the school at the bottom of the page.