We Cultivate the Whole Child

The Pre Kindergarten program at Tahoe Expedition Academy is widely regarded as one of the best Pre Kindergarten Preschools in Lake Tahoe. We offer a one-of-a-kind educational experience for three and four year old children. We integrate adventure-based learning within an academic environment, instilling both confidence and achievement for our students. Our Pre Kindergarten classroom environment is founded upon a developmentally appropriate classroom routine where students have the opportunity to interact with the natural world and cultivate deeper learning. The Pre Kindergarten classroom focuses on numeracy, literacy, and social/emotional skills which will support ongoing academic success for a lifetime. Our full day program, with a scheduled rest/nap period, allows children to experience an environment of trust and a matrix of safety where all students are known well by their teachers and peers.

Learning Expeditions Bring Learning to Life!

Learning Expeditions are semester-long, themed interdisciplinary studies that require research, critical thinking and collaboration to ensure students gain an “inch wide, mile deep” approach to learning. Our community of highly experienced, passionate, and dedicated Crew Leaders align learning expeditions with California Preschool Early Learning Foundation Standards to guide daily instruction in numeracy, literacy, and social/emotional skills.

One of these Learning Expeditions is titled “Wheels Make the World Go Round!” Throughout this semester-long curriculum unit, which integrates core subjects like science, social science, math and literacy, students explore the wide world of bikes – how they work, where they go and why they are so important to our community.

Just like doors or the things that we sit on, wheels are such a basic feature of life that most people, including children, may take them for granted. A project on wheels can help them form new perspectives on familiar items as well as an inter-disciplinary understanding of the world.

From visiting the local bike pump track and bike shops to riding the tram and speaking with experts at each location, our students learn firsthand from experience in their pursuit of knowledge about wheels. By taking these exciting field studies, students build engagement with and excitement for the learning process.

From reading and discussing books like Duck on a Bike, Zoom and Gracie Goat’s Big Bike Race, students gain a deep understanding of this important aspect of their lives. In doing so, they hone their academic and literacy skills and find success in learning.

From putting on their own bike event with Kings Beach FRC and writing their own bike safety and maintenance manual, our students can make an impact on their community. By taking this kind of initiative and collaborating with professionals and community members alike, our students can find meaning in the learning process – something we want them to have for the rest of their lives.

What You Can Expect From our Pre Kindergarten Program

  • Adventure-based learning with an emphasis on science and outdoor discovery
  • Kindergarten readiness with literacy, numeracy, and social development
  • An environment of trust where students are known well by their teachers and peers
  • A community that values life-long learning and hands-on education
  • Staff with decades of experience in early childhood development
  • 6:1 student to teacher ratio

Meet Our Amazing Pre Kindergarten Teachers

Anne Chippendale - Pre Kindergarten Director & Founding Teacher

annie.458x0-isAnne Chippendale has been a teacher and coach in the Lake Tahoe area for almost 30 years. Anne earned her Teaching Credential from University of Nevada, Reno while coaching the Squaw Valley Ski Team and facilitating swimming lessons at the Truckee Pool. Soon after, she began teaching at the State Preschool in Tahoe, where she developed a fun and creative multicultural program for her students and families. Prior to Tahoe Expedition, she spent four years at Creekside Cooperative Charter School.

Outside the school environment, Ms. Annie loves traveling and seeing the world beyond our immediate reach. She volunteered and cheered for our local athletes at the last two Olympics (Italy 2006, Vancouver 2010), has skied in Argentina and enjoys biking and hiking in our backyard, on the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Ms. Annie, as she is affectionately called by all who love and appreciate her, wholeheartedly believes that education is much more than classroom academics. She encourages the opening of doors to explore our environment, other people and cultures. With a positive outlook on life, she believes a well-balanced person will thrive, and in turn, benefit those around them as well as the future of our world.

Before moving to the area, she spent her childhood in Palo Alto and earned a Degree in Human Development from U.C. Davis.

Stephanie Gibbons - Pre Kindergarten Teacher

stephanieStephanie has been in the field of education for over twenty years. Her extensive experience in the classroom coupled with her love of the outdoors make her integral to our Expeditionary Learning faculty. A graduate of Salem State University, Stephanie has a Bachelors of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, and is a certified teacher. She has rich knowledge, experience and training in Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Fountas and Pinnell’s literacy instruction, Responsive Classroom approach, Expeditionary Learning curriculum, and Wilderness First Responder certification.

Stephanie’s vision of an effective classroom is based on a foundation of setting rigorous academic standards, thoughtful assessments, and responsive social-emotional instruction. She combines collaborative, authentic learning and individualized instruction to help each student reach his or her full academic and personal potential. In her free time, she takes full advantage of all that Tahoe has to offer, and may be found devouring a book on the lake, skiing with her children and husband at Alpine Meadows, backpacking through the Sierras, or heading into downward dog.

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