The Weekday Preschool provides part-time care at 6935 Columbia Pike, Annandale VA 22003, for children from 3-5 years old from 9 a.m. – noon on Mondays through Fridays. There are also Extended Day (noon – 2:30 p.m.) and Late Day (ending at 5:30 p.m.) options.
Upcoming Open Houses
If you’d like to learn more about our programs, meet our staff and visit our classrooms, come to an upcoming Open House! We’ll begin in the Weekday Preschool/Early Learning Program office at 10 a.m., then continue the tour from there.
The upcoming Open House dates are Jan. 16, Jan. 23, Feb. 13, and Feb. 21. All tours begin at 10 a.m.
The AUMC Early Learning Program is state licensed and regulated by the Virginia Department of Social Services and accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, a division of the National Association for the Education of Young Children [NAEYC]. This is a prestigious recognition, achieved by only seven percent of early childhood programs nationwide, which demonstrates the commitment to early childhood education. For more information on the standards maintained by nationally accredited programs, visit their website at www.naeyc.org.
The Weekday Preschool and Early Learning Program is proud to have been chosen twice as a top preschool by Northern Virginia Magazine in their last ratings of area preschools.
- Music – A Music Teacher meets weekly with all classes.
- Science – A Science teacher meets regularly with the 3, 4, and 5 day classes.
- Sign Language – A Sign Language teacher brings Bebo the Bear to visit all classrooms weekly to sing songs and tell stories in sign language.
- Yoga – Children attend monthly yoga exercise classes to learn deep breathing, stretching, and movement.
- Cooking – Children have monthly opportunities to participate in cooking activities such as making applesauce, baking cookies/bread/muffins etc.
- Chapel – Preschoolers attend a children’s Chapel time once a month which is respectful to all faiths and cultures.
- Throughout the year, Enrichment Visitors come to the school. Children enjoy guests such as firefighters, puppeteers, storytellers, children’s bands, doctors, dentists, jugglers, Under the Sea Show, Reptiles Alive Show, The Eric Energy Science Show, and a petting zoo with pony rides.
- The 4-year-old classes also take field trips throughout the year to places such as nature centers, parks, local businesses, and other points of interest.
Click here for our newsletter, called The Parent Connection, which informs families of upcoming school activities as well as community and AUMC events.
Click here for our current snack menu. Due to the high incidence of severe peanut allergies, all ELP classes are peanut-free. Snacks served are verified to contain no peanuts, peanut products, or to be prepared in a facility where peanut products were prepared. Accommodations and special provisions are made for all children with allergies or special dietary needs.
Director: Cherrie S. Welch, CWelch@annandale-umc.org
Asst. Director: Michelle M. Shepard, WPS@annandale-umc.org
Office Manager: Ann Marie Brown, ABrown@annandale-umc.org
The Details of the Weekday Preschool Program
The Weekday Preschool [WPS], established in 1960 by the Commission on Education of the Annandale United Methodist Church, is a non-profit and non-discriminatory program which is governed by the Weekday Child Development Committee. Our primary objective is to assist each child in developing into happy, healthy, self-confident individuals. Our program builds a strong foundation for academic education by encouraging self-motivated learning. We are committed to creating communities for children and families that:
- provide a developmentally appropriate, stimulating, and creative curriculum
- foster the development of language and early literacy
- create opportunities to practice large and small motor skills
- promote early math skills
- develop an appreciation for music using rhythm, rhyme, pitch, movement, and other important musical and early academic skills
- expose children to a wide variety of artistic activities
- explore a world of science, discovery, and experimentation
- respect and accept people of all cultures, religions, abilities, genders, ages, and family structures
- provide experiences which enhance each child’s social, physical, intellectual, emotional and creative growth
- offer a curriculum that is child-centered, open-ended, process oriented, and play-based
- help children understand their own feelings and the feelings of others
- allow children choices and decision-making opportunities
- develop self-control and self-discipline
- enhance positive growth, development, self-esteem, confidence, individuality, autonomy, and success
These goals are incorporated into the daily lesson plans through developmentally appropriate practices. All children are encouraged to progress at their own pace and according to individual needs and abilities. Click here for information on developmental appropriateness and here for the NAEYC’s position statement.
Our Curriculum and Assessment System
All WPS teachers use the Fourth Edition of The Creative Curriculum as a guideline for writing their lesson plans. This research-based curriculum emphasizes a large variety of experiential and hands-on activities which are developmentally appropriate for the individual children within each classroom. Through content and classroom interest areas, children are offered a variety of experiences daily which include art, writing, library, computer, science & discovery, blocks, tabletop manipulatives, music, listening center, sensory, and dramatic play. They enjoy additional enrichment in content areas such as math, language & literacy, sign language, music/creative movement/yoga, science & technology, cooking, and social studies. Click here to learn more about these interest areas.
In conjunction with our curriculum, an ongoing assessment of children’s individual development is key to planning appropriate classroom learning experiences and helping all children to succeed. Our teachers use Teaching Strategies GOLD Assessment System, which is a comprehensive assessment tool based on the latest early childhood research that follows a child’s unique development from birth through Kindergarten. This assessment system is fully aligned with the Virginia Foundation Blocks for Early Learning as well as the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. Children are formally assessed in Language, Cognitive, Physical, and Social-Emotional areas of development. Assessed skills and goals for their child are shared with parents through two written reports and two parent-teacher conferences throughout the school year.
- WPS lead teachers are degreed, experienced, and meet national accreditation standards. Assistant teachers are degreed, have a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, or are actively progressing towards obtaining one. All staff are certified in CPR and First Aid.
- Security checks are performed on each staff member. Hiring practices are non-discriminatory. Continuing education is required annually and opportunities are made available to all teachers. Each classroom maintains a safe and age-appropriate child-to-staff ratio which meets NAEYC standards.
The WPS is located on the main campus of AUMC at 6935 Columbia Pike in Annandale. All classrooms and playgrounds offer safety inspected and age-appropriate equipment which meet the standards of NAEYC and Virginia Licensing. The classrooms are arranged in Interest Areas which enhance the learning opportunities in all developmental domains and on all levels of learning.
There are four playgrounds on campus with contain playground structures, equipment, and toys to accommodate varying ages of young children. There are indoor play spaces which meet the daily gross motor needs of young children on inclement weather days.
WPS is fully licensed and regulated by the Virginia Department of Social Services and is nationally accredited by the NAEYC, and abides by all health and safety standards therein. Fairfax County Health Department regulations require that new and updated health forms and releases be on file for every child by the beginning of each school year. A packet of health forms are given upon enrollment.
It is the goal of WPS to keep the spread of germs and illness at a minimum. After an illness, children must be symptom-free for 24 hours prior to returning to classes. Virginia Licensing requires that all parents notify the office immediately if their child contracts a communicable disease so that other parents may be notified. Universal sanitary procedures are followed throughout each day in all classrooms.
Keeping Your Child Safe
Security measures and procedures are in place to ensure the safety of all our children while at AUMC. An Emergency Prepardeness Plan [EPP] has been instituted and teachers are trained to cover all emergency situations. This plan, along with blueprints of the entire building which contains highlighted rooms where children are located, is on file with the Fairfax County Police Department [Mason District Office] as well as with the Annandale Fire Department. Regular evacuation drills are practiced to prepare children for fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, shelter-in-place, and lock-down procedures. Primary, secondary, and tertiary evacuation routes are rehearsed, and primary and secondary evacuation locations established. Click here for an overview of the Emergency Preparedness plan. The full Emergency Preparedness Plan is available for parent review upon request in the office.
In case of an emergency, we would use the Remind messaging app to contact families via text or email, stating the emergency and any actions that needed to be taken. We are asking that anyone who may pick up your child from School during an emergency situation should join Remind. You may add as many mobile phone numbers or emails as are necessary. To join by text, send the message “@wps-elp” to 81010. A text message will prompt you to enter your name, then ask if you are a student, parent, or teacher. Enter P for Parent. To join by email, go to remind.com and click on Sign Up, then follow the steps on the screen. Our class code is “wps-elp”.
The building remains locked during school hours. All parents are asked to enter through Entrance #2 where someone will be posted to monitor who enters the building during start times and dismissal times only. At all other times, it will be necessary to use the intercom to be screened and buzzed in from the office. A picture ID may be required for entry.
No child will be released to anyone other than the parent, guardian, or a person who has been designated in writing on the required Child Release Form unless prior arrangements have been made with the Director. The designee must present a government issued photo ID.
Each year an opportunity is provided for parents to have safety identification cards made through Ident-a-Kid Services of America for their children which include the child’s photograph, fingerprints, and other identifying information that could assist police in the event the child was lost or missing. Participation is an optional service provided by the school.
A mid-morning snack is provided to all children. An afternoon snack is provided to children who are in the Late Day classes. Snacks include at least two food groups as determined by FDA guidelines. Click here for our current snack menu.
Due to the high incidence of severe peanut allergies, all ELP classes are peanut-free. Snacks served are verified to contain no peanuts, peanut products, or to be prepared in a facility where peanut products were prepared.
Accommodations and special provisions are made for all children with allergies or special dietary needs. Click here for our full snack policy.
Helping our schools through grocery shopping
AUMC WPS & ELP are proud to be part of Harris Teeter’s Together in Education program to help raise funds for our school. It’s easy and it’s FREE! Simply go online to link your VIC card to our school at https://www.harristeeter.com/user/login – or talk to your cashier next time you buy groceries at Harris Teeter. Our school’s code number is 1481. Once your card is linked, AUMC will receive a percentage of your Harris Teeter brand (Harris Teeter, Premier Selection, H.T. Traders, Harris Teeter Naturals, Your Pet, Hunter Farms, Highland Crest, and More Value) purchases credited back to our account. This program does not interfere with your VIC Savings or cost you any money.
Box tops for education: Did you know that you can earn money for our school with products you already buy every time you go shopping? Participation is easy: Clip the Box Top Labels from General Mills products you purchase or already have in your pantry. Bring them to school and drop them in the collection bin in the office or at Entrance #2. It’s that simple! …and it adds up quickly when everyone takes part! Box Tops are redeemable for 10¢ each, and we collect labels throughout the entire year. Click here for a list of participating products.
Available classes for 3-year-olds:
- Two mornings ( Th-F )
- Three mornings ( M-T-W or **T-W-Th )
- Four mornings ( M-T-W-Th )
General Eligibility for 3-Year-Old Class:
- Children must be 3-years-old by September 30 and independently toilet-trained. Click here to view the WPS/ELP Toileting Policy.
- In order to register in the T-W-Th class, children are required to also be enrolled [and maintain enrollment] in Extended Day and/or Late Day classes.
- Maximum class size is 14 children with a lead teacher and an assistant teacher.
Available Classes for 4-Year-Olds:
- Three mornings ( T-W-Th )
- Four mornings ( T-W-Th-F )
- Five mornings ( M-T-W-Th-F )
General Eligibility for 4-Year-Old Class:
- Children must be 4-years-old on or before September 30.
- Maximum class size is 18 children with a lead teacher and an assistant teacher.
WPS Enrollment Rates
|Monthly Costs||9 a.m. - Noon Classes||Extended Day, Noon - 2:30 p.m.||Late Day, 2:30-5:30 p.m.|
|1 day per week||$112||$127|
|2 days per week||$212||$224||$254|
|3 days per week||$316||$336||$381|
|4 days per week||$417|
|5 days per week||$499|
A packet of required forms is given upon enrollment. If parents misplace forms, or need an additional form, they may download a printable version:
- WPS Application for Admission
- School Entrance Health Form
- Permission for Emergency Care
- Initial Information Form
- Emergency Info Card
- ID Verification Form
- Dismissal Release Form
- Emergency Medical Consent
- Topical Medicine Authorization
- Allergy Care Plan
- Authorization for Photography
- Release of Contact Information
- Volunteer Form
- Tuition Assistance Application