Q&A: Alternative Kindergarten Programs


Do you have an alternative kindergarten program in Western MA to recommend? Leave a comment below and share your recommendation.

Lori Peters writes, “My son is kindergarten age next year and I am thinking about school options. I know that kindergarten isn’t mandatory in Massachusetts and I am wondering if anyone has tried an alternative program. Are there part-time kindergarten programs in the area? I work full-time so home schooling for that year isn’t a great option. I would love some feedback.”

  • Holly Alexander recommends, “Our son goes to the Greenfield Center School. It is full day, except on Wednesday, which is half day. It is as alternative as possible and a perfect fit for us.”
  • Christine Moynihan Huntley recommends,Mountain Brook Children’s Center has a kindergarten program (in South Deerfield). It is fantastic and science oriented. They have flexible schedules.”
  • Myssie Casinghino recommends,The Hill Institute in Florence has a half day option.”
  • Lyza May recommends, “You can do 5 mornings and 2-4 afternoons at The Common School in Amherst for kindergarten. We LOVE it.”
  • Katryna Nields recommends,Full Circle School in Bernardston is afternoons only, Monday thru Thursday. My friends there love it. Does Red Gate Farm (Buckland, MA) have options for you?”
  • Barbara Nichols Zaccheo recommends, “We love Bement School in Deerfield- very nurturing, educational and fun kindergarten.”
  • Lori Peters replies, “I will look into these. We are in Goshen so most are a hike. I wonder if there are any programs up here?”

[Photo credit: (ccl) Jack Amick]

7 Comments on “Q&A: Alternative Kindergarten Programs

  1. Several Pioneer Valley Independent Schools with Kindergartens will be present at an informational fair this Saturday, October 22 from 10:30-12:30 in the Kittredge Building at the Bement School in Deerfield. School representatives from Academy Hill, Bement School, The Common School, The Hartsbrook School, The Montessori School of Northampton, and The Smith College Campus School will be on hand to answer questions. The event is free and open to the pubic.

  2. I was going to mention Hartsbrook School, too. If you work full time, the options for doing barter / homeschool stuff would be hard, but there are some homeschool groups that hold “school sessions” and perhaps someone who doubles as a daycare provider would take in your child into their homeschool if they also have a child around 4-6…? Some home daycares are run as preschools and some have rich curriculum / great play / social experiences too.

  3. The Hartsbrook School is holding an All School Open House (Pre-school through High School) this Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10am-12noon, where parents will be able to spend time with the Kindergarten teachers in a Kindergarten classroom, walk around the beautiful campus and see the animals. Kindergarten is a 5 morning program and you can add 3, 4 or 5 afternoons until 3:15pm. They also have an Extended Day Program until 5:30pm. Check out their website, http://www.hartsbrook.org, for more information.

  4. Have you looked into the Hartsbrook School in Hadley? They offer a full day program on a beautiful campus with gardens and lots of farm animals.

  5. RH Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington offers a full day kindergarten program with rest and activity time after lunch. Activity times may include music, art, cooperative games, and free choice. The school-wide program (PreK-6) is designed with children’s needs first, recognizing that every child is unique and is considered as such in creating his or her individualized learning goals.

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