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 class Mon-Friday 9:00- 1:00 & pm hours to 4:00

Preschool class is a combination of Pre Kindergarteners & Pre Transitional Kindergarteners and Preschoolers (3 yrs) Monday-Friday 9:00-1:00
Most Pre K children attend Mon., Tues & Wed.
Preschool classes will have maximum 12 children enrolled, and two fully qualified teachers.
Having children attend consecutive days allows for deep cleaning of classrooms between groups
on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, as well as the everyday Covid maintenance.
Note: Children in Preschool and Pre-Kinder program should be toilet trained. This includes
mastering their own clothing, toileting, and hand washing. However, teachers are patient, and
will assist children in mastering these skills. Please no diapers.
Our Play Group class meets on Thursdays & Fridays 9-12:00 or 9:00-1:00
With an option for Stay & Play afternoon care if needed & when child is ready.
There may be a possible addition of a Monday-Tuesday Play Group class.

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”