Early Childhood

Ascension School began implementing its Early Childhood Program for Pre-Kindergarten 3 through Second Grade in 2004.  This program was developed by Dr. Patricia A. Vardin, Associate Professor and Chair of the Early Childhood Education Department at Manhattanville College.  Dr. Vardin continues to oversee and develop the program at Ascension School.

Program Fundamentals:

  • Grounded in the work of Piaget, Erikson, Vygotsky, Maslow and Gardner
  • Based upon the standards and best practices in early education
  • Developmentally appropriate for young children
  • A multi-sensory/motor/language rich approach to learning
  • Committed to monitoring the progress of each individual child


Program Features:

  • Learning Centers in which the area of the curriculum is represented by a center for learning (e.g., Math Center, Literacy Center, Science Center, Technology Center)
  • Exciting and Innovative materials used to discover learning and support concept and skill development in all areas
  • Dynamic range of teaching and learning techniques including individual, small and large group activities, teacher-guided instruction, discovery, exploration, inquiry, peer teaching.
  • Innovative methods of monitoring children’s progress using ChildChart, a system for monitoring each child’s progress using a computer and a PalmTM hand-held device developed by Dr. Vardin and a child portfolio method for collecting and analyzing children’s work samples.


Program Goals:

  • Maximize each child’s potential for optimal development and learning
  • Encourage each child’s unique strengths, talents and abilities
  • Provide children with learning activities and experiences which support and encourage their needs and interests
  • Help each child develop social skills and good character
  • Help children respect and enjoy knowing and working with others who are similar and different from themselves
  • Prepare each child to e a good citizen in a democratic society
  • Establish a partnership with each child’s family
  • Educate children for the world of tomorrow