top of page

PRESCHOOL FAQS

PHILOSOPHY OF CARE

How Is Happy Hall School Different from Other Preschools?

Happy Hall School prides itself on a legacy of educational excellence dating back to 1951 and a distinctive, enriched approach to early childhood education. Here’s what sets us apart:

  • Experiential Learning Philosophy: We champion Experiential Learning, engaging children in hands-on, immersive, and real-world exploration, ensuring a deeper and more personalized learning experience that goes beyond conventional methodologies.

  • Inclusive and Diverse Community: We celebrate diversity, fostering an inclusive, respectful, and rich learning environment where every child and family feels valued and welcome.

  • Holistic Development: Our programs are meticulously designed to cultivate emotional, social, physical, and intellectual independence, focusing on the whole-child development approach and character building.

  • Innovative and Tailored Curriculum: We offer an innovative curriculum that emphasizes creativity, critical thinking, and emergent learning, tailored to cater to the individual strengths, passions, and needs of each child.

  • Integrated Technology: We utilize technology to enrich classroom activities and foster family engagement, ensuring a seamless connection between learning experiences at school and at home.

  • Safety and Well-being: The safety and well-being of our children are paramount. We employ advanced security measures and emergency protocols to create a secure and nurturing environment.

  • Community Engagement: We believe in active participation from our families in the learning journey, creating a close-knit community where parents are integral partners in their child’s education.

  • Outdoor Exploration: Located in a residential area, our school offers varied and specifically designed playgrounds, allowing children to connect with nature and learn through outdoor activities.

  • Nutritious Meals: We provide wholesome, freshly prepared meals and snacks, focusing on nutritional balance to support the active learning and play of our children.

  • Qualified and Caring Staff: Our experienced and spirited teaching team is committed to maintaining a creative and safe environment where children develop new skills and positive attitudes towards learning.

 

Our commitment to these principles and our continuous endeavor to evolve and adapt to the needs of our children and families make Happy Hall School a distinctive choice for early childhood education. We invite prospective families to visit us and experience firsthand the warm, innovative, and enriching environment that Happy Hall School offers.

How do you assess children, and how are they used?

At Happy Hall Schools, students are evaluated across seven key skill areas, ensuring a comprehensive approach to their development. Assessments are conducted throughout the school year, with data and observations gathered for discussion during biannual parent-teacher conferences.

 

Assessment Areas and Methodology

  • Social Emotional Skills - Focused on developing interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, the curriculum aims to foster empathy, cooperation, and self-regulation.

  • Math & Science Skills - Emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving through hands-on experiments and math concepts, preparing students for logical reasoning and scientific inquiry.

  • Literacy Skills - Targets reading and writing capabilities, enhancing comprehension and expression through age-appropriate literature and storytelling activities.

  • Physical Skills - Concentrates on gross and fine motor skills, promoting physical health and coordination with activities that encourage movement and dexterity.

  • Health & Safety Skills - Educates on personal hygiene, safety rules, and healthy habits, ensuring students understand how to care for themselves and others.

  • Cognitive Skills - Develops cognitive processes such as memory, attention, and flexibility in thinking, through puzzles, games, and problem-solving tasks.

  • Language Skills - Aims to improve communication abilities, focusing on vocabulary expansion, language usage, and effective expression in various contexts.

 

Observations and Conferences

Each skill area includes specific class goals for the year and outlines the curriculum used to achieve these goals. Observations are tailored to each child and documented in two phases:

  • Fall Observations - These initial assessments are reviewed during the mandatory winter conference, providing insights into early development and progress.
    Spring Observations - Evaluated during the optional summer conference, these observations highlight advancements and areas needing continued focus as the school year concludes.

 

This structured assessment framework at Happy Hall Schools not only tracks individual progress but also supports tailored educational approaches, ensuring each child receives the guidance needed to thrive academically and personally.

ADMISSIONS & ENROLLMENT

What is the admissions process like at Happy Hall School?

At Happy Hall School, we aim for our admissions process to be a welcoming and informative first step for families considering joining our community. It’s important for us to ensure a good fit between what our school offers and what each child and family needs.

 

Family Tour (Required)

All interested families are required to tour our school as the first step in the admissions process. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to witness our vibrant learning spaces, our enriching programs, and our nurturing environment firsthand.

 

Acceptance Communication

Upon review, our Director will communicate directly with you regarding the acceptance of your child into our program and will inform you about the earliest possible start date.

We’ve designed our admissions process to be straightforward yet comprehensive, focusing on mutual alignment with our school’s philosophy and values. Being admitted to Happy Hall School is about joining a community where education and relationships are treasured, and we hope every family feels a sense of pride and belonging from the very start.

 

We eagerly look forward to meeting you and your child and hopefully embarking together on an exciting journey of discovery, growth, and joyful learning!

Is there a waiting list, and if so, how does it work?

Yes, we maintain a waiting list to accommodate families interested in joining Happy Hall School when our programs are at full capacity. If there are no immediate openings at the time of your application, you have the option to be placed on our waiting list.

To secure a spot on the waiting list, there is a $50 non-refundable fee. 

 

We value the interest and patience of each family on our waiting list and feel delighted every time we can welcome a new member into our vibrant learning community.

What are the age requirements for enrollment?

  • Our Santa Inez location takes children starting at 18 months old.

  • Our Dolores Way and Pacifica locations take children starting and 2 years old.

What are your school’s hours, and do you offer extended care?

  • Our regular school hours are from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

  • Our extended care hours are from 7:00 AM to 7:30 AM and from 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM (additional fees apply).

  • Our admin office is available to assist you from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

What is your Tax Identification Number?

  • Our Provider Tax ID: 94-1552733

  • You can access Account Statements and Year-End Tax Statements in the 1CORE Portal.

HEALTH & SAFETY

How does the program ensure a secure campus?

Our Santa Inez and Dolores Way locations use a security keypad system; this system ensures that access to the center is available only to parents/guardians and authorized personnel.

To maintain the integrity of our security measures, we kindly request all parents/guardians to be vigilant about not allowing others to enter the premises alongside them (“piggyback”) during entry or exit. It is crucial that all entry and exit doors are securely closed upon entering and leaving the campus.

Our Pacifica locations are located on the elementary school campus. There are exterior gates that are locked during the school day. Please communicate with your center's staff to access the program.

By adhering to these protocols, we collectively create a safe and secure learning environment for our children, where focus can remain on joyful learning and development.

 

How does Happy Hall handle emergencies?

At Happy Hall, we are committed to the utmost safety and well-being of our children, staff, and families, and we have robust protocols in place to respond effectively to emergencies. Annually, our directors undergo extensive training through the San Mateo County Office of Education's Big Five Training. This training equips our team with the necessary knowledge and skills to swiftly and efficiently address a range of emergency situations, ensuring the safety of everyone on campus.

The Big Five encompasses immediate action responses for various emergencies, including:

  • Shelter In Place: For situations requiring protection from external threats by staying indoors.

  • Drop, Cover, and Hold On: To protect from objects falling during emergencies like earthquakes.

  • Secure Campus: To safeguard against potential threats near the campus.

  • Lockdown/Barricade: To shield from immediate and imminent threats on campus.

  • Evacuation: Safe and orderly relocation in case remaining on campus is unsafe.

 

These protocols are designed for quick implementation to address the distinct needs of diverse emergency situations. When emergencies occur, our well-trained staff members act immediately to protect themselves, their students, and everyone on the premises, ensuring a secure and responsive environment for our learning community.

 

How Does Happy Hall Address Allergies?

Given the severe reactions nuts can provoke, we operate as a nut-aware environment, requesting families and staff to vigilantly avoid bringing in any products containing nuts or nut traces, including food items and personal care products like lotions. However, it is essential for families to understand that, despite our earnest efforts, eliminating all risks for children with food allergies is challenging, and parents/guardians must assess whether group care aligns with their child’s health needs.

To ensure constant awareness, a list of children’s allergies, along with photos, is conspicuously posted in all classrooms and the kitchen. Our staff is trained rigorously on consulting and adhering to this list to prevent any allergic reactions.

Does Happy Hall Accommodate Special Diets?

We pride ourselves on providing nutritious food that surpasses state licensing requirements, including morning snacks, lunch, and afternoon snacks. While we do have alternative food to address certain allergies, we can’t accommodate every specific need. Families have the flexibility to bring nut-free food from home, but we can't offer food storage, heat-ups, or refrigeration.

This approach allows us to create a nurturing environment that is as safe and inclusive as possible, catering to the diverse needs of our cherished little ones.

bottom of page