For the administration and faculty of the Holy Martyrs ARS Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool, the formative years are the most treasured and significant, and every step is taken to make sure the children’s developmental, emotional and social needs are met and surpassed, sprinkled with a large dose of fun and games.
As the year draws near, glancing over the list of the Preschool’s accomplishmen’s during the past twelve months truly defines the concept of “exceeding one’s expectations.”
Part of the preschool’s success is due to Director Vehik Gabrielian’s philosophy of establishing close relationships with parents and the community.
“To ensure the success of our children, we need to have the support and cooperation of all our stockholders,” said Gabrielian. “That includes our faculty and staff, our parents, and our precious children;and because we’re all on the same page, we will continue to see the amazing results that we have been enjoying over the years.”
One thriving approach to keeping parents involved and aware have been the Parent Teacher Conferences, scheduled once a semester. During the 20 minute visit, the teachers review each child’s Portfolio, a tool by the Portage Project, designed for observation and planning from birth to six years. The teachers observe children for about six weeks and record their developmental milestones. Each portfolio consists of teacher observations, samples of the child’s work, photos taken during different activities, and a parent questionnaire.
Another means of staying connected with the parents are the preschool’s Parent Workshops–seminars about the latest progress in child development. The most recent, led by Dr. Ani Karayan, an established and well respected psychologist, was a discussion about “How to Meet Your Child’s Needs without Being Manipulated.”
It turned out to be quite engaging for the large group of parents, who not only enjoyed the anecdotes, but walked away content, knowing that they were not alone in facing challenges from their resourceful preschoolers.
Additionally, the preschool has a very dedicated and hard-working PPTC (Preschool Parent Teacher Committee), which hosts fundraising events throughout the year. Their most recent venture was a Live Cooking Presentation by Celebrity Armenian Chef George Duran (Guldalian). Duran visited the North Hills Campus and cooked for a packed house. The guests not only enjoyed watching his professional techniques, but also had the privilege of savoring his creations and receiving a signed copy of his cookbook.
Another result of the PPTC’s hard work has been raising sufficient funds to purchase Shading Covers for the playground, including the sandbox.
The daily experiences of the preschoolers include reading, music, role playing, arts and crafts, creative play and physical activities. Additionally, the 3 year-olds and 4 year-olds went on their first field trip on December 3, 2009. The exciting bus ride took them to the Zimmer Museum in Westwood, where they experienced make believe playing at its best.
The latest pride and joy of the students, faculty and parents is the production of the “Chari Vertche” compact disc. The Hovannes Toumanian musical was the creation of music teacher Araks Varderessian, and was performed live at the 2007-08 End of the Year Program. The 4-year old actors have since moved on to Kindergarten, however, their youthful voices and excitement will forever be immortalized on the CD, which are available for purchase from the school office.
To ensure the safety and well being of all the children, the preschool faculty and staff collectively participated in extensive Disaster Preparedness Training, as well as renewed their certificates on Pediatric First Aid and CPR. Additionally, the head teachers received special training on DRDP (Desired Results Developmental Profile) at the Western Prelacy Board of Regents’ Staff Development on November 10, 2008, while the assistants participated in a workshop by Madlen Aslanian, M.S. The workshop topics included “Children’s Physical Development,” “Developmental Levels of Play” and “Developmental Levels of Two to Three Dimensional Art.”
“We have accomplished so much this year,” concluded Gabrielian proudly. “I am grateful for everyone’s hard work and dedication, and look forward to finding new ways to make our facility even more unique.”