Rainbow School offers a developmentally appropriate classes and a daily schedule that’s centered on children’s innate curiosity and their need to explore, create, and learn through play. Research shows that young children learn best through play, “hands-on” activities, and interactions with materials, adults, and other children.

Teachers provide engaging activities in creative arts, science, math concepts, letter and sound recognition, and large and small motor skills, with a balance of child-directed and teacher-directed activities. Basic skills and concepts are taught with games, projects, materials, songs, rhyming, direct instruction, and open-ended questions. We make learning fun and engaging!

We seek to know each child’s strengths, learning style, and interests, and support each child’s developmental process with love and understanding. We foster communication skills, problem-solving, cooperation, positive self-esteem, empathy, and respect for others. Children’s social and emotional growth is foundational for learning, school success, and life.

Preschool and Playgroup Classes

Preschool Classes: 9 AM – 12:30 PM – with optional “stay-and-play” afternoon hours.

  • Prekindergarten class (4- and 5-year olds): Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 AM – 12:30 PM (note: child needs to be toilet-trained, though teachers assist and encourage children as needed for them to master toileting) . Max. 13 children with 2 wonderful teachers.
    PreK tuition for the 2019-20 school year is $359 per month, which is based on the number of days that class meets times $31 per morning, averaged over 9 and a half months. Note: We’re closed holidays, and we don’t charge for winter and spring breaks.
  • Preschool class (3- and 4-year olds): Tuesday and Thursday 9 AM – 12:30 PM ( toilet-trained as above). Maximum 13 children with 2 delightful teachers.
    T-Th Preschool tuition for 2019-20 school year is $251 per month, based on the number of days that class meets times $31 per morning, averaged over 9 and a half months.

Play Group Classes: 9 AM – 12 PM – with optional “stay-and-play afternoon hours.

  • Play group classes (2- and 3-year olds): Monday and Wed OR Tuesday and Thursday 9 AM – 12:00 PM or as arranged with playgroup teacher. Friday’s class is generally a mixed-age group that meets 9 AM to 12 PM.
    Your child may be in diapers or pull-ups. Toilet training is part of the “curriculum.” Older children are helpful in role-modeling toileting as well as other learning/language development. Classes are maximum 8 children with 2 amazing teachers. Playgroup tuition is based on $34 per morning. The M-W Playgroup class tuition for 2019-2020 school year is $258 per month; the Tu-Th Playgroup class is $276 per month, and the optional one-day Friday Playgroup is $136 per month.

Afternoon “stay-and-play” care can be arranged either by contract after 12 or 12:30 or “drop-in” by hour or half hour. Afternoon rates are $8 per contracted days and hours or $8.50 per hour or half hour. Afternoon closing time will be 2 to 3:30 pm depending on the number of children (minimum 3 children). We try to be flexible to meet parents’ scheduling needs.

Kindergarten children may attend in afternoons. The Mendocino K-8 School bus will drop off transitional kindergarten students (who get out of school at noon) in front of Rainbow School Monday-Friday afternoons. A teacher will meet the bus, and the children will join in with the preschoolers for relaxation, fun, and “children’s choice” activities.

Snack at 10:30 AM: In Playgroup classes snack is also “part of the curriculum,” and children may generally eat as needed. Preschool classes usually eat together at the same time.

Lunch at 12 noon

Snacks and lunch: We ask families to bring nutritious snack (s) and lunch each day for your child(ren). Parents know their children’s food preferences and any food allergies. Children are told we don’t share snack or lunch food unless it’s a special celebration with potluck food sharing. We post a list of children’s food an other allergies in classrooms.

Please bring your child’s snack and/or lunch in a bag or box marked with his or her name, insuring that the proper food goes to your child and that no snack or lunch gets lost. In the morning, we ask that you and your child select their morning snack and put it on the shelf in the classroom by their name tag. Please don’t send candy, gum, or money to school. Water will always be available for your child at school. Each child will have a cup with his/her name on it.

Preschool Daily Schedule

Note: The schedule is flexible to accommodate the weather as well as children’s needs and interests.

9:00-9:50 AM – Children’s choice; also, work time with teachers

9:50-10:00 AM – Clean-up time

10:00-10:25 AM – Circle; songs, rhymes/alphabet sounds, movement/music

10:25-10:35 AM – Hand-washing and toileting

10:35-10:50 AM – Snack; good conversations with manners

11:00-11:40 AM – Outside time

11:40 AM – 12:00 PM – Small groups; stories, games, music/movement, etc.

12:00-12:30 PM – Lunch

12:30 PM ’till pick-up – Children’s choice; inside or outside activities

“Emergent curriculum” often happens. The teachers seek to support and expand on the children’s ideas, interests, and play themes.

Playgroup Daily Schedule

Note: The schedule is flexible to accommodate the weather as well as children’s needs and interests.

9:00- 9:50 AM – Children’s choice; children may eat if they wish

9:50- 10:00 AM – Clean up: toileting/diaper change happens as needed

10:00-10:20 AM – Hand wash and snack

10:20-11:00 AM – Circle: stories, felt board, singing, free play, and clean up

11:00-11:45 AM – Outside time: bikes, sandbox, swings, and more

11:45 AM – 12:00 PM – Hand washing and lunch

12:00 PM – Children pick-up; some may “stay and play”