Active Learning Preschool

What is unique about the Active Learning Preschool (ALP)?

Active Learning Preschool, based on the High/Scope approach, is consistent with the best practices recommended by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), yet has the unique features of (1) a daily plan-do-review sequence which research has shown to have positive results on children’s developmental scores, (2) the 58 High/Scope key experiences which teachers keep in mind when they set up the environment, plan activities and score Gold objectives on each child.

When does Active Learning Preschool meet?

Classes meet at the following times for 3-year-olds

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:15 AM to 11:15 AM (3 days per week)
  • Tuesday, Thursday 8:15 AM to 11:15 AM (2 days per week)
  • Monday through Friday 8:15 AM to 11:15 AM (5 days per week)

The ALP year runs for nine months starting in September and ending in May.

Where does it meet?

All Active Learning Preschool classes meet in the Early Childhood Center located at 1070 7th Ave. NE in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Who is eligible?

Children who are 3 years old by September 15, 2021 are eligible. We will talk to you upon enrollment regarding which class we feel is best suited for your 3 year old. Children already enrolled to programs within the Early Childhood Center facility and children not enrolled to programs within the facility will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.

What are our goals for ALP children?

  • To learn through active involvement with people, materials, events, and ideas.
  • To become independent, responsible, and confident—ready for school and ready for life.
  • To learn to plan many of their own activities, carry them out, and talk with others about what they have done and what they have learned.
  • To gain knowledge/skills in important academic, social, and physical areas.

How will staff determine what activities the children do?

Preschool staff will meet to plan for each part of the daily routine for the following session. The various classes may have different activities because planning for each part of the daily routine is based on the current interests of children.

What is the high/scope educational approach?

High/Scope is an “active learning” educational approach, where students construct their own knowledge by having direct, hands-on experiences with people, objects, events, and ideas. Children’s interests and choices are at the heart of High/Scope programs and they learn by making and following through on decisions they themselves make. Teachers offer physical, emotional, and intellectual support and expand children’s thinking with diverse materials and nurturing reactions. For more information on the High/Scope approach visit

How will children learn to resolve conflicts?

Conflict is inevitable as children play. This does not mean they are bad, but that they simply have not yet learned how to understand the viewpoints of others. To help children learn to work out their disagreements together, teachers are trained to use a 6-step process to resolve conflicts.

  1. Approach calmly, stopping any hurtful actions or language
  2. Acknowledge feelings
  3. Gather information
  4. Restate the problem
  5. Ask for ideas for solutions and choose one together
  6. Give follow-up support as needed

We believe this approach gives children a great start at learning how to appropriately solve problems and a skill they will use for the rest of their life.

What does it cost?

For children NOT already enrolled at the Early Childhood Center the cost of preschool is $200/month for 3-days/week classes and $165/month for 2-days/week classes, for 9 months (tuition is pro-rated and charged evenly throughout the entire 9 months). There is also a one-time $40 non-refundable registration fee that is due upon reserving a space each year. Children may arrive 10 minutes before/after their class start/finish time, but if their arrival/departure goes beyond that we charge $4.05/hour, calculated to the minute.

Because of the nature of the ALP programming we allow children to be enrolled in two Active Learning Preschool classes if parents so choose. They could attend a M-W-F AM and a T-TH AM class. Routines and programming from session to session would be consistent and doubling up like this would result in reinforcement, not repeat. Cost would be $335/month for 5 classes/week plus one $40 registration fee.

For children already enrolled at the Early Childhood Center, the charges go on as if they were in daycare plus they incur an additional cost of $80/month for 2 day/week classes, $90/month for 3 day/week classes and $145/month for 5 day/week classes. Daycare children are required to be contracted during each of their Active Learning Preschool sessions and they are not required to pay any additional registration fees.

Tuition payment:

Tuition payments will be due at the end of every month. If payment is not received by the end of the month a $5.00 late fee will be added to the month’s tuition. Parents assume the obligation to pay on this schedule or will inform the preschool director if this becomes impossible. Tuition is required regardless of absenteeism.

Returned checks:

We charge families $25.00 for each returned check.

Termination of enrollment:

After August 1, registration is assumed to be for the entire year. An early exit fee equal to one month’s tuition is charged if a child is withdrawn during the school year except for conditions of extended illness or family relocation. There is a $5/week charge for families who do not pay their entire balance within one week of the last day of Active learning Preschool.

Absentee Policy:

If students will be absent from preschool for a day, parents must let the teacher or director know. Parents can email or call in to let the staff know why your child will be absent. It is important that staff know when a child will not be attending preschool due to illness or other reasons.

Who are the teachers?

The teaching staff includes Rhonda Vande Kieft, Sarah Smith, Michelle Hofland, and Arielle Wubben each with the required child development training. They will be involved with your child’s learning. Each session will have 2 primary teachers (each assigned to specific tasks for ½ the students). Melinda Eekhoff, with a BA in Elementary Education and an Early Childhood Endorsement, will oversee the teaching of all the Active Learning Preschool classes. Melinda has many additional hours of early childhood development training.

How will you know what your child is learning?

The staff of each class will give a Peek-A-Boo to every child at the end of every preschool session. The Peek-A-Boo will inform parents of the activities the children have been participating in that day and also give specific questions that the parent can ask their child about that particular day. You will also receive a monthly newsletter either by e-mail or in your child’s backpack. There is a bulletin board in each preschool room which will provide parents with more information on what their child is learning.

Parent-teacher conferences?

Throughout the year we complete Gold objective on each child, where we closely observe children, write anecdotes on them, and score their development based on those anecdotes. Then at the parent-teacher conferences, we share that information about the child’s progress in those areas of initiative, social relations, creative representation, movement and music, language and literacy, and math and science. We also use this time to discuss any concerns staff or parents may have. Parents should attend both the Fall and Spring conferences.


Communication is so important; therefore, each family will be responsible for checking their family mailbox regularly.

Document drop boxes are on each end of the center for returning forms. Parents will be responsible for reading the Early Childhood Center brochures and will make every effort to abide by their policies. Copies of all policies are located on the wall near the check-in computers.

What is the daily routine for Active Learning Preschool?

  • Greeting & reading time – Provides a smooth transition from home/daycare to school and gives children and adults a chance to casually converse and look at and read books.
  • Message board time – Adults share important information for the day through means of drawings, pictures, and written words.
  • Snack time – Children enjoy a nutritious snack.
  • Planning time – Children indicate what they choose to do during work time. Adults try to understand children’s plans and often try to help children extend their plans.
  • Work time – Children carry out their initial and subsequent plans. They work with any of the materials in any of the interest areas. Adults observe children and look for opportunities to enter into children’s activities to encourage their thinking, extend their play, and help them in problem-solving situations.
  • Cleanup time – Children and adults together return materials and equipment to their storage spaces and, when appropriate, put away or find display space for their personal creations.
  • Recall time – Recall brings closure to the plan-work-recall sequence. Children reflect on, talk about, and/or show what they have done at work time.
  • Small group time – Each adult meets with a consistent small group of children to work with materials. The adults choose and introduce the materials and have key experiences in mind to occur, yet each child has control over what he or she does with the materials.
  • Large group time – Children and adults get together to play games, tell and re-enact stories, sing songs, do finger-plays, dance, play musical instruments, or reenact special events. This time is an opportunity for each child to participate in a large group, sharing ideas and learning from the ideas of others.
  • Outside time – Children engage in vigorous, noisy outdoor play. Adults participate in and support children’s play in the outdoor setting.
  • Children dismissed & adults daily team plan – Teachers meet together to discuss what they observed and learned about individual children during that day’s session. They share and record anecdotes and they plan for the next class based on what children were doing today.

When the weather is not suitable for outdoor play, other parts of the daily routine will be extended.

Meet your teacher night is on Thursday, August 26

An open house for parents and their Preschooler will be held on Thursday, August 26.  We will let you know when your slot to come to this open house will be This will be a good opportunity for you to meet the teacher and ask any questions that you may have.

What happens if the weather is bad during the school year?

If the Sioux Center Schools are canceled due to weather, Active Learning Preschool will also be canceled. (Listen to 93.9 KSOU for weather announcements.) If Sioux Center Schools have a 2-hour late start, ALP will be canceled. After three weather-related missed days ALP classes will be made up. A note will be sent home with your child as a reminder of those days.


It is the policy of Sioux Center Health to prohibit team member acceptance of gifts.

Annual Supplies Charge:

The Early Childhood Center will charge all children an annual $20 fee for supplies.


To register for Active Learning Preschool, please visit Early Childhood Center to pick up an enrollment form and certificate of immunization form. For questions, call (712) 722-8270.