Pre-K students looking at books

Children at the Center

Blake’s pre-kindergarten program is grounded in the belief that respect for the child is paramount to a meaningful education. On our Highcroft campus in Wayzata and our Blake campus in Hopkins, teachers hold our youngest learners at the center of the educational experience. To be eligible for pre-kindergarten, children must be at least 4 years old by Sept. 1.

Pre-K students working with paste

The Power of Play

Hands-on or imaginative experiences, experimentation and play are the most powerful forms of learning for young children and are at the heart of Pre-K teaching and learning.

Pre-kindergarten classrooms are considered “the third teachers” at Blake. In these spaces, children are encouraged to make decisions about where to spend their time and what to explore. Classrooms are designed intentionally with books, activities and materials that promote autonomous learning through play. Children may work individually or in pairs and small groups.

Small class sizes mean teachers can carefully observe and interact with each student to learn their unique interests and needs. Teachers provide the scaffolding to help students reach the next level of learning while supporting early literacy, mathematical, scientific and critical thinking skills.

Extended Day

Complimentary morning care is available from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. on a drop-in basis.

An afternoon extended day program is offered from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in a warm, secure environment where children enjoy friendships across age groups. The day includes snack and a variety of free play and structured activities. Families may enroll students in one or more days per week.

Spanish Instruction

Pre-K students are part of Blake’s language proficiency program. Instruction is led by language education degreed faculty who are native and near-native speakers and who have lived, studied and worked in Spanish-speaking countries. Spanish instruction occurs for 20 minutes, twice a week. The curriculum is aligned with that in Blake’s Kindergarten through grade 5 where Spanish is offered daily for 30 minutes.

Blake hosts Amity Interns from a Spanish-speaking country who support teachers and students. In cooperation with the Spanish teacher, the Amity Intern offers small group activities, differentiation and personalized instruction.

Daily Schedule

A pre-kindergarten student’s day is from 8:30 a.m. to noon with an optional afternoon program. Although every day can be slightly different, here’s what the days holds:

7:30-8:15 a.m.: Optional, complimentary care (with escort to classroom) 

8:15-8:30 a.m.: Children and families play and greet each other

8:30-9 a.m.: Circle time

9-11 a.m.:
Gross motor activity (either physical education class or outdoor exploration)
Independent exploration
Teacher-initiated experience
Small group work
Visual art and music 
Spanish instruction (twice a week)

11-11:30 a.m.: Storytime

Outdoor exploration or recess 
(Noon dismissal from morning program)

Optional Afternoons

More than half of our families choose to have their child spend one or more days in our afternoon program in the pre-kindergarten classroom with pre-kindergarten faculty. Children may enroll for one or more days per week.

After recess: a 30-minute healthy lunch
Transition: includes a teacher read-aloud
Quiet rest time: Some children nap, while others listen to audio stories
Work choice: independent exploration or teacher-guided experiences
3:30 p.m. dismissal: to either carpool, bus or extended day
3:30-6p.m.: Optional, fee-based extended day program