FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 25, 2020
Saint Louis Zoo Preschool Goes Virtual for 2020-2021 School Year Beginning Sept. 8
Applications available for the nature-based program for children ages 3-5
The Saint Louis Zoo Preschool program for 2020-2021 school year offers nature-based, child-directed and individualized learning for children ages 3-5 and their families in a safe, virtual space. The purposefully crafted virtual preschool experience includes individualized weekly curriculum, virtual one-on-one teacher time and small-group classes, guided in-person nature experiences, nature-play meet-ups, science learning kits, virtual Zoo field trips and exclusive interactive experiences, and more.
“The safest option available for the Saint Louis Zoo Preschool right now is to connect with children and families virtually and in small groups in outdoor settings,” said Laura Seger, Saint Louis Zoo Manager of Learning Experiences and Preschool Director. “We aim to nurture young children and their families through nature safely in this time of change and challenge.”
Tuition for this year has been reduced by 25% from the traditional, in-person Zoo Preschool program, which opened at the Zoo in 2014. The 3- to 4-year-old class meets on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and is $300 per month, per student. The 4- and 5-year-old class meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and is $450 per month, per student.
The Zoo's early childhood team has a combined 68 years of experience in early childhood and environmental education. Each team member has a minimum of a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a related science degree. The Zoo's program offers a student-teacher ratio of one teacher for every six students, which exceeds the state of Missouri's minimum requirement, allowing for more individualized time with each child.
“Our students learn to think of themselves as scientists and as part of a scientific community by developing relationships with Zoo staff and using them as resources in their projects,” she added. “These unique relationships and experiences lay the foundation for becoming critical thinkers and environmentally literate citizens in the future.”
Applications are now being accepted and capacity is limited. Visit stlzoo.org/preschool for application and detailed information on the program. Interviews of parents or primary caregivers are required for admission and will be set by appointment for qualified applicants.