The New E3 School in Norfolk, an innovative laboratory school that aims to prepare children between ages one and five for kindergarten-readiness, is featured in a new video. The video showcases how the innovative curriculum, combined with a state-of-the-art facility and trained staff, can help prepare children for kindergarten.
The school is the result of an exciting partnership between Elevate Early Education (E3) and the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. Dr. Amanda Williford and Dr. Bridget Hamre (CASTL) lead the partnership.
A recent study led by Dr. Williford, shows that 34 percent of children in Virginia who are entering kindergarten lack key skills. The New E3 School, the first of its kind, aims to change that. “The New E3 School is designed to be a statewide model of best practices of early childhood education spanning from infancy to preschool,” says Dr. Williford.
CASTL is developing the school’s curriculum and professional development approach. Kate Mathew, the lead content developer at CASTL explains how the curriculum and PD focus on building the core skills that form the foundation for all other learning. “Teachers support children’s capacity to relate to others, regulate attention and behaviors, think creatively and explore, communicate needs and thoughts, and move to achieve goals and stay healthy.” Simultaneously, the curriculum focuses on important early academic skills in science, technology, reading, engineering, arts, and math (S.T.R.E.A.M.).
Dr. Hamre is excited about what the school has to offer. “The curriculum really builds from the latest science about how young children learn, with a focus on supporting teachers to interact with children in ways that help them become critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators early on in life. It’s these skills, coupled with early academic skills in STREAM and literacy that help set young children on a pathway to success in kindergarten and beyond. “
According to E3 and CASTL, by serving as a model the school has the potential to advance early education in the region, state and nationally. Several of the CASTL researchers and scientists are featured in the video.