FAQs

What are your hours?

Palm Valley Child is open Monday through Friday, from 7:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.

What does the Palm Valley CO-OP look like?

Palm Valley Child is owned and operated by Collage Day School, The pillars of this program include: Child, Parent, Education, and Therapy. You will find small, mixed-age classes that offer the chance for plenty of individual attention; an emphasis on community building, movement, and nature; immersive, hands-on, theme-based learning; field trips that take advantage of both the natural and cultural resources in the North Florida communities; and, of course, opportunities for parent and family involvement. We truly believe that children learn better when their families are involved and invested in their education, and we see school as both a connection to, and a widening of, the child’s home community and family experience.

Your child will be assigned a Lead Exceptional Student Education teacher who supervises daily lesson plans and facilitates student learning and personal academic growth through the study of math, language, science, writing, and cultural studies. Our teachers are trained to assess our students to determine where their strengths and weaknesses lie. However, we do not use tests or grades to make these assessments. Instead, our teachers use observation, interaction, and qualitative techniques to determine student progress. Likewise, our students are neither held back nor pressured to work ahead by the academic progress of their peers. With a focus on stimulating and educating the individual child, a student will be challenged to keep advancing in subjects in which they excel, and/or given extra time and attention to develop in subjects in which they need extra attention. The mixed-age classroom enables each child to work to their own ability.

We also conduct a single, end-of-year assessment to see where our students stand in relation to state and national averages. Parents who do not wish for their child to participate can opt out of this test. Students are not “taught” to take this test (beyond basic instructions on how to fill out answers). We currently use the TerraNova2, a nationally recognized, norm-referenced, standardized achievement test that evaluates math, reading, social studies, science, and language arts skills.

Will my child have access to Resource Classes?

Yes. We wholeheartedly believe that arts, nature, and movement are critical elements to educating the whole child. Arts are integrated holistically into the academic curriculum. Physical education takes place through outdoor play, movement classes, nature walks, or sports classes at the nearby recreation center (including swimming lessons). In addition, our curriculum is supplemented with frequent field trips to museums, theaters, and cultural centers.

I am worried about my child’s safety. How does Palm Valley CO-OP staff ensure that students are safe?

We take our students’ safety and well-being very seriously. All Palm Valley CO-OP staff members are required to wear ID badges at all times and all visitors are required to sign in/out and wear a visitor badge. During pick-up times at the end of the day, your child will only be released to you or those you have identified on the “OK to pick-up” list you will provide for us before your child begins at Palm Valley CO-OP.

The physical environment at Palm Valley has been specifically designed to meet the security needs of young children. We have taken extra precautions to ensure that your child cannot wander beyond the supervised area, both indoors and outdoors. We keep our student-to-staff ratios low as another measure to ensure that your child is carefully supervised and cared for each day.

How can I learn more about the curriculum you use to teach academic, social and behavioral skills?

You are always welcome to schedule a meeting with a member of the Palm Valley Child staff to learn more about the research-based programs we use. Palm Valley also offers ongoing parent training workshops that will provide information and advice regarding the use of these strategies at school and at home. You can also find curriculum-specific information at the following websites:

Tools of the Mind
Early Literacy and Learning Model
Creative Curriculum

To find out more about teaching social skills to young children, we recommend the following websites:

Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children
Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning

To learn more about the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which supports all of our students’ learning as well as our teachers’ instruction, you can visit the following websites:

Association for Behavior Analysis International
Behavior Analyst Certification Board
Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies

Do you offer before- and after-care services?

Yes. We offer a variety of schedules for every age range as well as before and after care programs.

Can my child attend only a few days a week or a few hours a day?

Yes. We have part-time and full-time options.

How will we assess our child’s progress?

We believe that many schools put too much emphasis on standardized testing, to the detriment of both the student and the educational experience. To assess progress, PVCDC parents can expect to receive a qualitative progress report at the end of each quarter. Parents can also expect an open and communicative relationship with their teacher and required monthly team meetings.

What attracts families to PVCDC?

PVCDC is an excellent fit for families who are concerned that their child’s natural joy and enthusiasm in the learning process will be diminished in a standardized learning environment (one which emphasizes testing, a lot of time spent passively listening and sitting at a desk, larger teacher-student ratios, and little time for movement or the outdoors), who want to participate actively in their child’s education, and who want to be a part of a diverse community of families. Most of our families who started in other area schools felt that the experience left much to be desired. They believe a rigorous education can also be active, fun, individualized, and inspiring. They believe teachers should get to know students on an individual level, and that students should have a voice. As a progressive school, PVCDC also seeks to prepare our children to be citizens of the world. We do this by exploring social-emotional learning; by interacting with our environment, hosting speakers, and going on many field trips; and by actively learning through project-based experiences. Many families are excited about a school that offers these opportunities for growth.

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