Pre-K Information Page


SMNS is so proud of its unique and sophisticated Pre-K program.  We have worked hard to develop a program that honors our focus on the arts and process oriented learning while addressing the Kindergarten readiness needs of our children and families. The program offers a multitude of experiences and supports to help the children and the families’ transition to a new school environment.  SMNS students achieve Kindergarten readiness through three primary focus areas in our Pre-K programming:

  • Academic Readiness. We work with the children to broaden the literacy skill building started in early years at SMNS. Pre-K students learn the alphabet with a primary focus on recognition, then written letters and letter sounds.  Letter strings and reading may also be a part of the lessons as appropriate for the individual child’s readiness.  We also work with children on counting, simple addition and subtraction, measurement, comparison, shapes and scientific concepts.  Kindergarten classroom etiquette is an important element of the Pre-K classroom times and we work with the children throughout the year so that each child arrives at Kindergarten ready to learn.
  • The Arts and Self-Expression. Arts are central to the SMNS overarching learning program and the age – exclusive environment of the Pre-K class allows the SMNS arts programming to culminate in three theater performances over the Pre-K year.  The performances are developed from the ground up by the class with characters and lines, music, props and rehearsals. We also have a highly sophisticated visual arts focused curriculum in partnership with University City Arts League (UCAL). This program builds basic visual arts knowledge, collaboration and critical thinking skills which students carry with them into Kindergarten despite the reduction of visual arts programming in area public schools.
  • Citizenship. The Pre-K experience enhances fundamental SMNS lessons of citizenship by engaging students as not only members of a supportive community, but as leaders and agents responsible for creating and maintaining that community.  The teaching staff works with Preschool through Pre-K students to create a forgiving, generous and absolutely loving environment that consistently demonstrates our priority of continually creating a community that is welcoming to all regardless of any perceived obstacle. Area teachers have shared that SMNS students arrive in their Kindergarten classrooms not just as students, but as positively contributing, socially sensitive citizens of a classroom community.

New Developments. We have added some elements to our programming to deliver a comprehensive Pre-K experience. In September 2014 we expanded our Pre-K exclusive programming from 2 hours to 4 hours daily. In addition to morning and afternoon Pre-K focus classes, this age-exclusive time includes nature walks, play and exploration time. We have also grown our partnership with UCAL. In June of 2015 we piloted a new program where UCAL hosted our morning Pre-K class time at their site at 4226 Spruce Street.  We will continue to have Pre-K students meet at UCAL weekly.  The details will be forthcoming.

Schedule Details.

10:00 AM: Art Class (led by UCAL teaching artist Sara Karlen).

Sara develops lessons that use a daily content focus to address the SMNS-wide weekly learning topic focus in the context of the yearly curriculum. The Pre-K exclusive Art Class is a wonderful opportunity for the children to work with materials that may be too mature and/or complex for the wider range of ages. This provides a unique opportunity where problem-solving skills are taxed and appropriately challenged with the lessons and materials, fine motor control and stamina are developed and increased throughout the year and special demands are made on the children to increase their social sensitivity, their patience and their ability to work in cooperation with their peers and their teachers.  The morning Art Class is not a task-oriented lesson, but a rich process centered experience that is simultaneously demanding and esteem building.

1:00 PM: Afternoon Pre-K Class (led by SMNS staff)

The afternoon Pre-K class will focus specifically on the Kindergarten academic readiness skills.  These lessons are developed by the SMNS teaching staff in the context of the learning topics and the content focus. These lessons mix traditional ideas of academic learning with a creative twist.  The progress of each Pre-K student is tracked with respect to our programmatic goals and each child’s development and growth throughout the year with reports compiled in late October, late February and late May.  The Pre-K developmental reports build upon the reports compiled at each child’s initial enrollment and throughout their learning experience at SMNS.



This following is intended to be a resource for SMNS families looking ahead to Kindergarten for their child(ren). There are many options for Kindergarten and grade school. Not all of the options are listed on this page; however, we do aspire to make this page as informative and useful as possible. Please let us know if there is something you wish to see on this page and we will see if we can accommodate.


For parents looking into the Philadelphia Public School District Schools for Kindergarten and Grade School Admission…

Kindergarten Registration historically begins in late January of the year your child will enter Kindergarten. We anticipate the registration date for children entering Kindergarten in September 2016 to be in January 2016. You may register only at your catchment school beginning on the announced date. To determine your household catchment, you may go to the following website:

Please note that enrollment procedures may vary from school to school. The following are district wide policies and procedures; however, each school may have its own policies in place. Websites for public schools in our community are listed below the following district wide information.

Q. When do I register my child for Kindergarten?

A. Registration for 2016-2017 school year will be held January 19th, 2016 through May 31st, 2016.

Q. Where do I register my child for Kindergarten?

A. At your neighborhood catchment school. See above to find your catchment school.

Q. What do I need to register my child for Kindergarten?

A. Kindergarten Registration Policies for the Philadelphia School District.

Q. How do I apply to a school outside my catchment?

A. Voluntary Transfer Information Web Page. Please note, not all schools accept registration outside of the local catchment.  On-Line Registration begins October 15, 2015 and ends November 13, 2015.

Local Public Schools

(near to SMNS)

Sadie Alexander Penn Partnership School (PAS), located at 43rd and Locust- Website:

Henry Lea, located at 47th and Spruce – Website:

Samuel Powel, Located at 36th and Powelton – Website:

Albert Greenfield, Located at 22nd and Chestnut – Website:

Philadelphia Charter Schools

Charter schools enrollment is specific to each school. Admission is done by a lottery system and each school conducts its own lottery. Below, we have listed several charter schools that recent SMNS graduates have attended, or to which recent graduates have applied. Click on the name of the school you would like to learn about to be redirected to the charter school’s website.

Russel Byers

Independence Charter School

Folk Arts Cultural Treasures

Wissahickon Charter School

Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School

Columbus Charter School

2015-2016 Philadelphia School District Calendar

Philadelphia School District Website: