A Fine and Performing Arts Magnet Cluster School
Pre-K Academics

Pre-K Academics

PreK Academics at Ravenswood – Chicago Early Learning (Half Day) and Tuition-Based (Full Day)


Program Description

Our preschool programs are play-based. This means that we understand children learn best through play, or, as some people put it, “play is a child’s work.” Children learn and practice play skills in all areas of the classroom. Embedded in our classroom routines, toys, games, and activities is a wealth of learning opportunities helping children build foundations in literacy, math, science, social studies, music, and art. Of equal importance, children start to develop their social and emotional skills so that when they begin kindergarten, they have the self-confidence and ability to learn and work with others.

Our play curriculum happens both inside and outside. We use the school playground for our regular outside playtime, as well as the field located on the south side of the building. There are several gardens on the Ravenswood School property in which we dig, plant, and watch growth throughout the year. We go for walks around the school and the neighborhood to learn about the community around us. We also take the children on field trips around Chicago to museums, musical and theatrical events, and other major attractions.

Pre-Kindergarten classrooms at Ravenswood are organized for different types of learning and play. In each classroom your child will find: a Writing Center, Tech,, Library, Listening Center, Manipulative Center (sorting, counting, games, puzzles), Art Center, Science/Discovery Center (sand, water, science table), Block/Woodworking Center, and a Dramatic Play/Dress Up Center.

Ravenswood School and our Pre-K programs foster a deep sense of appreciation and acceptance; we celebrate diversity, for it is what makes each one of us special. Our program serves children of all races, ethnicities, abilities, religions, family make-up, and the list continues. We value and love all children!

We use several specific curriculums that target literacy, math, and social-emotional development.

Literacy: We use a Balanced Literacy framework for teaching language and literacy. The specific curriculum that we use is Creative Curriculum. Literacy instruction includes read-alouds, individual reading time, daily journaling, shared writing experiences, and more. We also use Handwriting Without Tears, which is an approach to early writing instruction that uses songs, games, and hands-on experiences to give preschoolers exposure to reading and writing.

Math: Our math curriculum is Everyday Mathematics for Pre-K, which is a research-based curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. It is a sequential math curriculum, which means instruction is sequenced so that it builds upon and extends the students’ knowledge and skills of the previous year. Math instruction includes whole group and small group read-alouds, math games, songs, fingerplays, and math talk woven through all subject areas.

Social-Emotional: Our social-emotional curriculum is based on Positive Discipline, which is a philosophy of human development based on the theories of social support and mutual respect by Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs. Using this philosophy, our program focuses on helping children develop skills of self-regulation, positive relationships, and problem-solving through class meetings and classroom problem-solving.

Project Approach: The Project Approach is the approach that encompasses all of the learning in our program. Based on the children’s interests, the teaching team devises learning opportunities to support and challenge students’ current knowledge base. These projects are student-driven and teacher-supported. Some past projects in our classrooms have included “The Grocery Store Project,” “The Flower Shop Project,” and “The Toilet Project” to just name a few!

Ravenswood offers two Pre-Kindergarten programs: the half-day Chicago Early Learning Pre-K program and the all-day Tuition-Based Pre-K, to meet the needs of individual families.

Chicago Early Learning

Tuition-Based Preschool


Half-days Monday – Friday.

Morning Session: 8:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Afternoon Session: 1:05 p.m. – 3:35 p.m.

Full days Monday – Friday.

8 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Play-based preschool curriculum

Play-based preschool curriculum; extended day allows additional time for learning centers, recreation, naps, snacks, lunch, etc.

# of Seats Available

40 (20 children in each morning and afternoon session)

20 children per classroom


One certified teacher + one assistant teacher

One certified teacher + two assistant teachers

Who is eligible?

3- and 4-year-olds by Sept. 1 and toilet-trained.

3- and 4-year-olds by Sept. 1 and toilet-trained.

How to enroll?

Chicago Early Learning Enrollment

Applications are available in the school office or print an online application.

  • Application to the TBPK program begins on the first day of school each Fall.
  • Admittance to the TBPK program is first come, first served, according to the order in which applications and deposits are remitted to the school office, with preference given to in-boundary families and siblings of current Ravenswood students.

Preschool Options at Ravenswood Elementary from 1st Gear Inc. on Vimeo.