Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to attend Pasos?
Residents of Philadelphia with preschool-aged children who qualify as being below 300% above the current federal poverty level are eligible to apply. Children must be at least 3 years old and not turn 5 years old before Sept. 2nd
On what schedule does the program operate?
The program runs 5 days a week during the school year: from 8 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m on Wednesdays.
However, due to COVID-19, this schedule may be affected. We await updates from the State at this time.
Who will be teaching and supervising my child?
Each of the classrooms at Pasos is overseen by both a lead and assistant teacher. Our standards exceed many preschool programs, with each lead teacher required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education or Level I Certification, with many staff holding Level II Certification and/or a Master’s Degree.
Will there be any costs for my family?
Pasos is supported by State and federal funding through the School District of Philadelphia and is completely free to eligible families. The Home and School Association, consisting of volunteer parents, raises funds for trips and other preschool events.
What about daily student meals?
Students eat breakfast upon morning arrival and engage in a family-style lunch with their teachers and classmates daily. A snack is served at the end of the day.
What other supports are available?
The School District of Philadelphia provides consultants for Special Needs, Health Care, Nutrition, Social Work, and Family Engagement. Through the Special Needs Coordinator, Elwyn Special Education for Early Developmental Success (SEEDS) provides specialized services for children with Individualized Education Plans.
The Preschool is a place where all children enjoy learning, respect teachers, value cultural diversity, show concern for others, and resolve conflict fairly and peacefully. We believe that the road to becoming a happy, productive adult begins very early and that our work can foster positive change in the communities we serve. By empowering children to fulfill their potential at their individual pace, we help close the achievement gap by creating critical thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and lifelong learners.
The Preschool curriculum combines the Creative Curriculum with a locally-developed and researched bilingual curriculum and materials to create a strong foundation for early learning. Our program incorporates rigorous vocabulary and knowledge, meeting the standards of Pennsylvania for Early Childhood and Common Core learning. Classroom teachers and support staff develop bonding relationships with students and their families. Throughout the school year, students experience:
*A safe, dynamic, interactive environment, in a school-model learning environment
*Highly-engaging, well-trained staff
*Well-rounded, developmentally-appropriate, bilingual curriculum and activities to increase growth in all early learning domains
*Whole-child growth and development: physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively
*Assigned Family Advocate, who support families and provide resources
The impact of a quality pre-k education also relies on family involvement and commitment to the program. Parents are highly encouraged to partner with us in their child's education by attending monthly parent meetings, volunteering from home or in-class as regulations permit, supporting students learning at home, and providing feedback and input to the Program. Parents are children's first teachers, so it is important to maintain open and honest communication with your child's teachers and support staff. We can serve you best when we collaborate together to meet your child's needs and your goals for your child.