Innovative Curriculum

Early Childhood

Creativity is the product of an open environment that fosters imaginative thought and varied experience.
The young learner's day at Barstow includes exploratory play, structured small group projects, whole class activities and one-on-one time with the teacher. In addition to the 10 classroom interest areas, Barstow's early childhood program includes specialized instruction in music, Spanish, art, library and creative movement.

Early Childhood & Kindergarten Roundups

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  • Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024

    Preschool prep, preschool, pre-K and kindergarten
    9 a.m.-noon

    Call the Office of Admission at 816-277-0306 to schedule roundup and classroom visits. All visitors and roundup participants must have an application on file before these events.

2023 Open Houses


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  • Discovery by Design

    Preschool is a time for discovery and creativity. By designing active, play-based lessons, our faculty encourages the young student's curiosity and builds their excitement to acquire new skills.

    Preschool students learn pre-writing, pre-reading and number sense to build their skills. Interactions with teachers and classmates give them the confidence to pose questions and observations that lead to “lightbulb moments.”

    Building with blocks leads to science-based questions about shapes and physics. Playing with yarn prompts math-based questions about lines. Listening to a story might lead them to write their own adventure. That's transformative thinking, and every activity in our preschool classrooms is designed to encourage it.

    Talking with students about their work, drawings and feelings during one-on-one teacher time makes a student feel valued. Every day, our faculty sparks curiosity and eagerness, initiative and persistence, and invention and imagination in each child.

Only at Barstow

List of 5 items.

  • Interest-based

    Our preschool teachers listen to what sparks students’ imaginations — and they build the curriculum to reflect those interests. That could mean an entire unit about dinosaurs: counting scales and measuring tails for math, creating a dinosaur habitat in science, or reading and writing about them for language arts. The next month, it’s on to transportation. Or zoo animals. Learning is more memorable when it’s designed around children’s interests.
  • STEAM Stations

    Manipulatives and activities that encourage students to apply science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics are available in specialized interest areas and during small group time.
  • Daily Creative Movement

    Young children thrive when they get up and get moving as they learn. Daily Creative Movement combines physical education and music so they can recharge and refocus.
  • Special Visitors

    In-person and virtual visits enrich classroom curriculum. While learning about community helpers, students can ask firefighters how much their gear weighs or learn how police officers train and work with K9 partners. Mystery readers generate excitement in language arts and visiting artists encourage creativity and expression.
  • Cultural Experiences

    Barstow enjoys partnerships with schools on nearly every continent through our Global Education program. Though international trips are currently on hold, we regularly host students from Central and South America, France, Senegal, Australia, Spain and China on campus. They visit Early Childhood classrooms to teach students about their countries, cultures and languages. We also arrange virtual classroom visits so Barstow students can share lessons with peers around the world.

Preschool Faculty

List of 7 members.

  • Photo of Minka Rudman

    Minka Rudman 

    Director of Early Childhood, Preschool - Kindergarten, International Programs and Barstow Global Online, EC Technology Coach
    (816) 277-0382
  • Photo of Stephanie Freeland

    Stephanie Freeland 

    LS Preschool Lead Teacher
    (816) 277-0335
  • Photo of Sarah Hill

    Sarah Hill 

    LS Early Childhood Art
    (816) 277-0381
  • Photo of Alexa Taylor

    Alexa Taylor 

    LS Preschool Lead Teacher, Varsity Girls Swimming Head Coach
    (816) 277-0393
  • Photo of Yayoi Domae

    Yayoi Domae 

    LS Preschool Teaching Associate
    (816) 277-0393
  • Photo of Kim Trudell

    Kim Trudell 

  • Photo of Abby Green

    Abby Green 

Additional Information

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • Entry Requirements & Enrollment Options

    • Must turn 3 on or before September 1.
    • Must be fully toilet trained.
    • Three-day or five-day programs available.
    • Full day, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Sample Daily Schedule

    7 a.m.Extended Care available
    8 a.m.Arrival & interest area
    9:10 a.m.Morning class meeting
    9:30 a.m.Jolly Phonics instruction
    10 a.m.Snack & outdoor classroom
    10:30 a.m.Creative Movement
    11 a.m.Lunch
    11:40 a.m.Story time, music or art *
    12:10 p.m.Outdoor classroom
    1 p.m.Large & small groups
    1:30 p.m.Rest time
    2:30 p.m.Afternoon snack
    2:40 p.m.Afternoon class meeting
    3 p.m.Dismissal
    3-6 p.m.Extended Care available
    * Music and art classes meet twice a week.


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  • Building Community

    At Barstow, experienced early childhood educators partner with children’s first teachers — their parents — to build a bridge between home and school.

    The pre-K learning community also includes teaching assistants, specialists and peers in consistent and familiar groups that give young learners security and confidence as they begin assembling the critical building blocks of reading, writing, math and science.

    Social-emotional learning is also important, so pre-K students practice concepts of acceptance, empathy, kindness and leadership. Our students are known and recognized for their unique talents and interests. They learn to solve problems, think critically and collaborate through STEAM learning. When all these elements come together in an active and engaging environment, children are prepared for success in kindergarten and beyond.

Only at Barstow

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  • Building Community

    Barstow enjoys a single campus where students from preschool-grade 12 develop in a diverse learning community. Pre-K begins with getting to know each other, then getting to know others as they explore the world around them. Community experiences include:
    • Trips to our campus garden and orchard with the upper school environmental science teacher.
    • Singing and speaking with students from Spain, Senegal, France, China, Costa Rica, Argentina and Australia — virtually for now and in person when conditions permit — through Global Education cultural exchanges.
    • Learning about helping professions from police officers, firefighters, doctors and nurses.
  • The Five Senses

    Pre-K students learn their senses through hands-on science activities and experiments. They make popcorn to experience taste and sound. They shape playdough for a memorable way to understand touch. Observing colored water travel up a flower’s stem and creating music with water jars teaches sight and sound. Each lesson produces moments of wonder — and lasting learning.
  • Jolly Phonics

    Jolly Phonics is a fun and child-centered approach to teaching letter sounds and blending on the way to reading. With actions for each of the 42 letter sounds that enhance understanding of the 26-letter alphabet, this multi-sensory method is motivating and rewarding for children and allows teachers to see and assess achievement.
  • Play-based

    At this age, children learn best while they are active and at play. Pre-K students might not even realize that they are building engineering and design skills as they test the strength of bridges for three billy goats gruff. They refine motor skills and critical thinking skills at the same time, using real tools to make rocket boxes. Dramatic play, daily Creative Movement, art projects and interactive iPad games reinforce language, math, social studies and science lessons.

Prekindergarten Faculty

List of 7 members.

  • Photo of Debbie Siler

    Debbie Siler 

    LS Prekindergarten Lead Teacher
    (816) 277-0325
  • Photo of Lily Owens

    Lily Owens 

    LS PreKindergarten Teaching Associate
    (816) 277-0325
  • Photo of Carly Ning

    Carly Ning 

    LS Prekindergarten Lead Teacher, Coach-7/8th Girls Volleyball A Team
    (816) 277-0387
  • Photo of Catherine Lang

    Catherine Lang 15

    LS Prekindergarten Teaching Associate, MS Cross Country and Track & Field Assistant Coach
    (816) 277-0387
  • Photo of Leslie Schulte

    Leslie Schulte 

    LS Prekindergarten Lead Teacher
    (816) 277-0338
  • Photo of Flannery Cashill

    Flannery Cashill 

  • Photo of Kim Trudell

    Kim Trudell 

Additional Information

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • Entry Requirements & Enrollment Options

    • Must turn four on or before September 1.
    • Must be fully toilet trained.
    • Five days a week.
    • Full day, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Sample Schedule

    7 a.mExtended Care available
    8 a.m.Arrival, interest areas
    8:50 a.m.Morning class meeting
    9:20 a.m.Art, music or Creative Movement*
    9:50 a.m.Snack
    10 a.m.Jolly Phonics
    10:20 a.m.Outdoor classroom
    11 a.m.Lunch
    11:35 a.m.Math instruction
    12:15 p.m.Outdoor classroom or small group
    1 p.m.Story time, sharing or craft
    1:45 p.m.Quiet time
    2:30 p.m.Snack, afternoon class meeting
    3 p.m.Dismissal
    3–6 p.m.Extended Care available
    *Creative movement daily
    Music & art twice a week