Our mission is to educate all learners to reach their full potential as contributing and productive members of our ever-changing global community.

Circle of Friends Preschool

A 4-STAR PARENT AWARE RATED PROGRAM

Welcome! Circle of Friends Preschool was established in 1995 and is a part of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools. At Circle of Friends Preschool, we serve all learners in an inclusive, caring environment. Using a child-centered approach, teachers support all learners to feel safe, cared for, and encouraged. We offer both nature-based and more traditional classroom settings, with an E-STEM focus in all settings. View the tabs below to learn more about the programs we offer.

REGISTRATION FOR 2019-2020

Public registration for the 2019-2020 school year will begin on February 1, 2019.  Families who have preschoolers attending Circle of Friends during this current school year will have the opportunity to register during priority registration January 24-31.  

How to Register Online:  INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION

 

A NEW 19-20 CLASS HAS BEEN ADDED FOR 4 YEAR OLDS:

  • MONDAY-THURSDAY AFTERNOON TRADITIONAL CLASS

Enrollment Information

Enrollment for 2019-2020

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION

  • Priority Registration - January 24-31
    This registration window is reserved for families who have preschoolers attending Circle of Friends during this current school year. 
  • Public Registration - February 1-10
    This registration window reflects the first wave of public applications that we will review.  Applications will continue to be accepted well beyond February 10th but notification of enrollment status may not be available until April. 

View the VISITS AND TOURS tab to see upcoming preschool visitation opportunities.


2018-2019 School year Openings

Below is a list of classes that currently have space available for the 2018-2019 school year.  Families can register for classes that are full and will be placed on a waiting list for future openings. 

half-day classes at Edgewood School           

Age 3 (must be three by September 1, 2018)

  • Mon/Wed/Fri Morning Nature                                     

Age 4 (must be four by September 1, 2018)

  • Tue/Thu Morning Traditional
  • Tue/Thu Morning Nature (more than one site)
  • Mon/Wed/Fri Afternoon Traditional
  • Mon-Thu Afternoon Nature (more than one site)
  • Mon-Fri Afternoon Traditional 

2018-2019 full-day classes at Grainwood Elementary

Scholarships are no longer available for full-day programming.

Age 4 (must be four by September 1, 2018

  • Mon/Wed/Fri Full-Day Traditional
  • Mon-Fri Full-Day Traditional 

FAQs

CIRCLE OF FRIENDS PRESCHOOL - FAQs

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  1. How do I register?  Click here: INSTRUCTIONS FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION
  2. How old does my child need to be to start preschool?  3 or 4 by Sept. 1st
  3. Does my child need to be independent in the bathroom?  Yes. We are not a facility licensed to change diapers or pull-ups.
  4. When will I learn of my child’s placement?  By mid-March if your completed online application is submitted by Feb. 10th.  
  5. Is financial assistance available?  Yes. There is a limited amount of financial assistance available through the program and through MN Early Learning Scholarships.
  6. Can I request to have or not have a certain teacher? Yes, we will do our best to honor it but we cannot guarantee it.

PLACEMENT PROCESS

In what order are placements made?
  • Current CoF families who register from January 24-31st will be placed first.
  • In district preschoolers placed before out of district preschoolers.
  • Age appropriate preschoolers placed before older students (a kindergarten aged child will not be placed before a preschool aged child-with the exception of the Super 5s class in which k-aged students will be placed first).
Other considerations that affect placement:
  • Class balance of gender, needs, requests or other factors that may affect a successful class make-up.  These considerations may alter placement order.

FULL-DAY VS. HALF DAY CLASSES

Choose full day if:

  • Your child has been in a home daycare or center.
  • You need the option of before and after care.
  • Your child is completely independent in the bathroom (school setting), manages their outdoor gear and separates well.

Choose half day if:

  • This is your child’s first experience away from you.
  • You do not need the wrap-around care option.
  • Your child is in a lot of activities.
  • Your child is still developing secure separation skills.

 Nature vs. traditional classes

 Traditional Program
Children will:

  • Develop a positive relationship with the natural world.
  • Develop a sense of wonder about the world around them.
  • Experience risks and rewards.
  • Build relationships with peers and secure adults.
  • Develop kindergarten readiness skills, both academic and social emotional.
  • Be outdoors for at least 30 minutes at a time, in most weather.

Nature Based Program
Children will:

  • Develop a positive relationship with the natural world.
  • Learn to appreciate all kinds of weather.
  •  Develop a sense of wonder about the world around them.
  • Expand their use of all senses collaboratively, including their sense of balance and movement.
  • Be outdoors for at least 2 hours at a time in all weather.
  • Experience risks and rewards.
  • Build relationships with peers and secure adults.
  • Develop kindergarten readiness skills, both academic and social emotional.

Choose Nature if:

  • You prefer a more intense environmental focus.
  • Your child adores extended outdoor play and exploration (or you would like them to develop this appreciation).
  • You can commit to providing appropriate outdoor gear or will ask for help obtaining it.
  • You value the benefits that a non-traditional setting offers including flexibility, spontaneity, and the outdoors.

Optional Preschool extension - Lunch Bunch Class
(for Edgewood Half-Day Preschoolers)

This ECFE class is for half day preschool students at Edgewood School.  Stay after your morning preschool class section or come before your afternoon class for a home lunch, and then extended play and learning from 11:30-1:00.  

Visits & Tours

Opportunities to Visit 

Mark your calendar for the upcoming preschool visitation opportunities. 

Peek Into Preschool

January 7, 5:00-6:30 at Edgewood School
You and your preschooler are invited to visit Circle of Friends Preschool classrooms during our Peek into Preschool events. You will have the opportunity to learn about all our program options and spend time with our licensed preschool teachers.  No need to register.

Tour and Talk

For an adult-only visit , join one of these Tour and Talk presentations at Edgewood School.  Adults will tour Edgewood School with our Early Learning Coordinator, discuss program options and view preschool classrooms.  No need to register.

  • December 5, 10:00 a.m.
  • December 17, 12:00 p.m.
  • January 10, 3:00 p.m.
  • January 29, 5:00 p.m. - This  tour has been cancelled due to weather
  • February 13, 10:00 a.m.
  • March 13, 10:00 a.m.
  • April 10, 10:00 a.m.
  • May 8, 10:00 a.m.

Program Options

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools is an E-STEM District
E-STEM stands for Environmental Education, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It’s an integrated approach to teaching and learning. It is exploration, discovery, risk-taking, wondering, and experimenting. It is a hands-on approach to learning, encompassing not only the letters above, but also literacy, art, creativity, music and social-emotional learning.

We utilize both indoor and outdoor settings to learn about the world around us in real, meaningful ways. Whether you choose a nature-based or more traditional classroom setting, this educational philosophy is integrated throughout all of our programming.

TRADITIONAL CLASSES

Students in traditional preschool classes spend the majority of each day in a classroom setting. Similar to Nature Based classes, traditional classes also follow the philosophy of E-STEM teaching and learning and will spend time learning outside each day. We offer half-day and full-day options.

In our traditional preschool classes, children will:

  • Develop a positive relationship with the natural world.
  • Develop a sense of wonder about the world around them.
  • Experience risks and rewards.
  • Build relationships with peers and secure adults.
  • Develop kindergarten readiness skills, both academic and social emotional.
  • Be outdoors for at least 30 minutes at a time, in most weather.

NATURE-BASED CLASSES

Students in nature-based preschool classes are in an outdoor immersive setting and will be outside every day unless the weather is dangerous. Nature-based classes achieve the same outcomes as a traditional Circle of Friends preschool class, only natural materials are the learning tool with the Great Outdoors for a classroom. Students spend minimal time inside each day and do have a designated indoor classroom should the weather be unsuitable for outdoor learning. We offer half-day and full-day options.   
Recommended Gear for Nature Preschool

In our nature preschool classes, children will:

  • Develop a positive relationship with the natural world.
  • Learn to appreciate all kinds of weather.
  •  Develop a sense of wonder about the world around them.
  • Expand their use of all senses collaboratively, including their sense of balance and movement.
  • Be outdoors for at least 2 hours at a time in all weather.
  • Experience risks and rewards.
  • Build relationships with peers and secure adults.
  • Develop kindergarten readiness skills, both academic and social emotional.

Nature classes are a good option for your child if:

  • You prefer a more intense environmental focus.
  • Your child adores extended outdoor play and exploration (or you would like them to develop this appreciation).
  • You can commit to providing appropriate outdoor gear or will ask for help obtaining it.
  • You value the benefits that a non-traditional setting offers including flexibility, spontaneity, and the outdoors.

Class Schedule Options

Class Schedule Options

2018-2019 Class Option List

2019-2020 Class Options List

 

Preschool Locations

The preschool locations are reflective of the current school year: Edgewood School, Grainwood and Jeffers Pond Elementary Schools. While it is likely classes will remain the same for the next school year, there is potential that sections may need to be relocated after registration and preschool student placement due to K-5 enrollment numbers. In the event that this occurs, the new location will offer equitable resources and will remain within ISD 719 school boundaries. If changes occur and the new location is no longer feasible for your family, families will be afforded the opportunity to withdraw registration and receive a refunded registration fee.

Tuition

Tuition Rates

HALF-DAY PRESCHOOL RATES

  • Two-Day Classes: $135/month
  • Three-Day Classes: $202.50/month
  • Four-Day Classes: $270/month
  • Five-Day Classes: $337.50/month

FULL-DAY PRESCHOOL RATES
Note:  Before and after school care will be a separate registration process and fee for the 2019-2020 school year.  The rates below are only for the preschool portion of the day.

  • Tue/Thu: $96/week
  • Mon/Wed/Fri: $144/week
  • Mon-Fri: $240/week

REGISTRATION FEES

  • 2018-2019 - $75 (non-refundable)
  • 2019-2020 - $100 (non-refundable)

REFUND POLICY
Registration fees are not refundable.

Withdrawals before the school year begins:  If we are notified of a student withdrawal prior to July 10, the first month's tuition will not be charged. After July 10, refunds will be based on the program's ability to fill the class opening. If we are able to fill the spot before the first day of preschool, a full refund will be issued for the first month's tuition. If the spot is still empty once school begins, the first month's tuition will be forfeited in order to cover program operating costs.

Withdrawals during the school year:  a two-week written notice to the office is required. As long as a two-week notice of withdrawal is received, the tuition for the last month in attendance will be prorated for the number of days the child attends preschool.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

How do I apply for an Early Learning Scholarship?

To apply for a Pathway I Early Learning Scholarship for your child, please indicate your request for financial assistance when prompted during the online preschool registration process. 

Our office will contact you in June regarding further steps that will need to be taken.

CALENDARS AND HANDBOOKS

Half-Day Preschool Handbooks

Full-Day Preschool Handbooks

SUGGESTED GEAR FOR NATURE PRESCHOOL

Family Events

family events at Edgewood School

Environmental Education Celebration family event

May 2, 2019
5:30-7:00 p.m. 

End of Year celebration picnic

For families who participate in Circle of Friends Preschool, ECFE and ECSE 
May 28, 2019
4:30-6:30 p.m.