Finding a preschool for our children was extremely important to us. We toured several full time and part time institutions.
When I contacted Nichols-Bethel, I found it immediately strange that very little information was given to me verbally. I was informed that my child first had to come into the classroom for a visit to see if she would be a "good fit" for the school.
We obliged and a date was set.
Our "tour" consisted of my child being asked to sit for snack time at which point the children were told the snack was the "body and BLOOD of Christ". Obviously, it goes without saying that a preschool within a church will discuss religion, but this particular statement sent shock waves through my child who was terrified that she was suppose to "drink someone's blood". Our family are Christians who attend church, but this was NOT age appropriate language for 3 & 4 year olds.
The next part of our "tour" moved to the carpet, where the kids were instructed to sit in silence and listen to a story. Again, while while group reading is naturally part of a preschool setting, asking 3 and 4 year olds to sit through a 20 min whole group religious story is an unrealistic expectation.
During our visit I noticed the room was filled with several religious posters, quotes and stories but lacked what I would refer to as kindergarten readiness. Religion is an important part of a child's development, but abc's and 1,2,3's should take precedent.
Lastly, upon leaving the school, the head teacher informed us that our child was in fact "not a good fit" and discouraged us from enrolling in the school. Which internally I found to be a very un-christian thing to do in a sea of religion.
To be fair, I only saw a fraction of their day. But during that visit, it was very apparent that religious instruction was paramount. The most troubling aspect of our tour was the interaction we had with the very judgemental and rude head teacher. Luckily we found another church preschool down the street who welcomes all children and pays a bit more attention to academics then the "body and BLOOD of Christ". Thank God.
We absolutely love Nichols-Bethel preschool for our child. The teachers' styles compliment each other so nicely. We know our child is in good hands and is learning so much. We truly feel blessed to have found this preschool. The curriculum incorporates the right amount of academics, socialization, and the importance of being a good, Christian person. I urge you to consider visiting the school and meeting the teachers. In regards to previous negative comments, understand that they come from a person who is angry about a policy. This policy was clearly outlined to all parents at the start of the school year. We all signed a contract. This parent is attacking the teachers and the school, as though it is a big corporation, run by a greedy director. That couldn't be further from the truth. This is a small, Christian preschool. There are only two teachers. They are wonderful and caring human beings. This is a safe and happy learning environment for children. We couldn't be happier.
The school is amazing! They are continually finding exciting ways to get the kids excited about learning. For example, today is teddy bear picnic. The kids are so excited! Miss Jen and Miss Krista are caring, approachable and full of energy. I can't say enough good things about their program.
We love Nichols-Bethel! Our family has been with this school for two years now and we recommend it to all of our friends. The teachers, Miss Jen and Miss Krista, are enthusiastic, dedicated, caring, patient, and loving toward the children. The curriculum prepares them so well for kindergarten, while teaching them morals and kindness. I can't say enough how much we love this school!
My son was actually kicked out of this preschool after I confronted the director about their 2 hour delay policy. I was paying for unscheduled days he was not in class and they were not made up at the end of the school year. When I asked about a prorated tuition or refunds (neither of which are covered in the schools contract) I was met with disrespect. I was put on a warning for my behavior simply because I was questioning a gap in her system. Later in the day I was told my son could no longer come back to the school after she had rethought her decision. My son suffered the consequences because the director, Jenn Holcomb, wants to be paid for days she does not teach and she removed the person who stood up to her. As a result, the rest of the parents are too scared to confront to her in fear their kid will get kicked out of school so they are now paying for Jenn to not work as well.
There are not enough positive words I could use to describe this preschool. I currently have my third child there and the care and dedication he receives from Miss Jen and Miss Krista go above and beyond any teacher I have known. My two previous children began Kindergarten reading, writing, and overly prepared for school after their time at Nichols-Bethel. They loved going to school and continue to love to come back to visit Jen and Krista whenever their school schedules allow. You could search near and far and never find another school like this one.
These educators work themselves tirelessly for our children. They CARE about each and every one of them. I have received a concerned email after they noticed my daughter seemed "off" for a few days. They work individually with the kids so each is able to achieve to their full potential. When your four year old gets excited about doing a good deed for others, tells you that you "filled her happy bucket" and offers tondo prayer at the dinner table, you know they are working wonders. My daughter is a beautiful person but is better because of how Jenn and Krista run their classroom. And I volunteer occasionally and they are just so great with the kids. I find myself laughing at Ms. Jenn's silly jokes. My daughter will often have a success and can't wait to tell Ms. Jenn and Ms. Krista about it at school. The only drawback is they can't go to kindergarten with us. Oh, I forgot, academically, my daughter is reading and really excelling under their guidance.
I have to STRONGLY disagree with the previous comment. I have personally volunteered in the school and have witnessed the tireless care and concern that Ms. Jen and Ms. Krista have given towards "difficult" situations. They created behavior charts, utilized a stop light system and constantly worked with parents communicating, planning and executing plans that were created specifically for "difficult" situations. It helps to volunteer, it keeps you in the know!