Preschool Program

Serving Francis Howell Children Preschool Age to Kindergarten Entry
Located at the Early Childhood Family Education Centers:

Central School Road
4535 Central School Road, St. Charles, MO 63304
Serving Central, Fairmount and Castlio Families
phone: 636-851-6400 fax: 636-851-4106

Hackmann Road
2555 Hackmann Road, St. Charles, MO 63303
Serving Henderson, Harvest Ridge and Becky David Families
phone: 636-851-6200 fax: 636-851-6202

Meadows Parkway
4810 Meadows Parkway, St. Charles, MO 63304
Serving John Weldon, Daniel Boone, Independence and Warren Families
phone: 636-851-6000 fax: 636-851-6198

Fairmount Elementary (Full Day Program Only)
1725 Thoele Road, St. Peters, MO 63376

Warren Elementary (Full Day Program Only)
141 Weiss Road, St. Peters, MO 63376

What do we offer?
The Francis Howell Preschool is one component of the Early Childhood program. It is an integrated program that meets children’s educational needs and is developmentally appropriate for all children. Experiences are provided to stimulate learning in the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development areas so that all children may reach their potential through developmentally appropriate activities. Each child is viewed as a unique person with an individual pattern and timing of growth and development.

Who is working with your child?
The Francis Howell Preschool employs teachers with degrees in Early Childhood or Early Childhood Special Education, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and well-trained paraeducators who prepare the environment for children and their interaction with peers and adults.

What is our philosophy?
The Francis Howell Preschool operates under the philosophy that learning is child-centered, process oriented, and choice driven. A variety of learning opportunities are provided, such as dramatic play, blocks, science, math, games, puzzles, books, art, music, and motor skill development. Instruction is organized in thematic units across the content areas. Children learn through play in a safe environment that fosters discovery while building on each child’s strengths. Teachers and paraeducators facilitate the development of self-control in children by using positive guidance techniques such as modeling and encouraging appropriate behaviors, redirecting, and setting clear limits.

What is the curriculum?
The Francis Howell Preschool implements a developmentally appropriate practices curriculum. The focus is on hands-on learning from experiencing a wide variety of classroom activities. Each activity is chosen based on the developmental skills of the children. This practice promotes independence and enhances thinking skills. All classrooms are well equipped with developmentally appropriate materials. All children are exposed to technology, as all classrooms are equipped with computers with appropriate games and activities to enhance language and problem solving skills. All sites have kitchen facilities and outdoor play areas designed for young children. The preschool implements the pre-kindergarten “Growing With Mathematics” curriculum which is also used in our K-5 elementary schools. We assess developmental progress using the Work Sampling System.


The Francis Howell Preschool offers a program for all children who are three to five years of age. It is our belief that all children can learn, and all children benefit when, regardless of ability, they are served together in an inclusive environment. All children have much to contribute and in an inclusive setting the environment is enriched by diversity among students. We believe that children with special needs learn social skills and benefit from interacting with typically developing peers. Typically developing children learn tolerance for differences among people and show improved self-concept and growth in developing healthy socialization skills. Based upon these beliefs, the Francis Howell Preschool will offer the following types of classrooms for the 2012-2013 school year:

  • Some classrooms have two thirds of the children developing typically and can have up to one third of the children with disabilities as the school year progresses. This classroom begins the school year with about 15 children and will have no more than 18 by the end of the school year. The increase is due to the placement of children with disabilities throughout the year. An early childhood teacher leads this classroom with a special education teacher and paraprofessional in the classroom for the children with disabilities.
  • Some classrooms have approximately 50% children developing typically and approximately 50% children with disabilities. There will be no more than 14 children by the end of the school year. An early childhood special education teacher and a paraprofessional lead these classrooms.

The Francis Howell Preschool offers classes that are multi-age groupings of children. Learning and instruction is individualized as children progress at their own rate and experience success. Children engage in real, meaningful activities at their own level of development. Research shows that when the classroom is composed of a community of learners with a range of abilities and gifts there are measurable gains in socialization, independence, and interaction with peers. Younger children will be nurtured by older children and benefit from collaborative learning. Older children will show increased levels of competence and leadership. Consideration will be given to the balancing of ages and gender in each classroom.

The Francis Howell Preschool places a high priority on parent involvement in the education of young children. Teachers and parents work together in partnership where frequent communication is encouraged. Parents take an active role in the classroom as a parent helper six times per year.

Background checks are required for all parent helpers.
Parents are also encouraged to help in planning classroom parties and participating in parent education. Parent meetings and family activities are offered throughout the school year to help parents better understand their young children’s development and how they learn.