Early Education | Ages 18 Months-5 Years

Mission of Our Early Education Program

The Mission of the Early Education Program (otherwise known as preschool or nursing school programs) at Pilgrim School is to develop Passionate, Imaginative Learners who are Go-getters and Risk takers with Inquisitive Minds. 

The Vision of Pilgrim Early Education Program is That We:

  • Respect each child as a growing individual. We treat each child as a unique student who develops physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally at their own pace. 
  • Believe all children are competent learners, capable of engaging with ideas and the world around them. 
  • Center learning topics around student interests. Students learn best when they are having fun. Play, art, and hands-on experiences are the foundations of academic readiness. 
  • Value children as co-learners, and see parents as members of our team.
  • Embrace and ensure the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging of our community.
  • Share and acknowledge the wide range of feelings expressed by each child.
  • Create nurturing and safe, home-like environments where children thrive.
  • Provide indoor and outdoor learning experiences.
Pilgrim Stats

Toddler Program (18 Month Olds)

During the Toddler years, children learn to come to school without moms or dads. Our separation practices follow sound attachment theory. We work with each family to create a safe and happy transition from parent to teacher and from home to school. Once separated, our toddlers practice self-help skills, build vocabulary, lengthen attention stamina, practice moving from solitary play (playing alone) into parallel play (playing next to others), and learn the routines of a classroom.

List of 4 items.

  • Social and Emotional Skills

    • Asking for help and helping others
    • Expressing feelings, needs, and ideas
    • Recognizing others as separate individuals
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills

    • Holding a writing instrument using a fisted or palmar grasp
    • Engaging in activities that require control of fingers such as: pulling up pants, feeding self-using utensils, and  holding cups
    • Strengthening hand-eye coordination like rolling or tossing a ball
    • Developing a sense of one’s body
    • Building physical stamina through outdoor play activities like running, hopping, and climbing.
  • Cognitive Skills

    • Following simple directions
    • Responding when addressed by teachers and peers
    • Naming everyday objects in pictures and surroundings
    • Sustaining attention in the learning circle for the duration of one story
    • Accepting redirection from teachers
  • Specialist Classes

    • Music 
    • Art
    • Library
    • Dance
    • Free Gym Exploration

Pre-School Program (3 Year Olds)

In our Preschool classrooms (3-year-olds), we continue to support healthy transitions from home to school, learn to resolve conflicts, problem solve, and build vocabulary. Our classroom and outdoor activities focus purposefully on moving from parallel play (playing next to others) to interactive play (playing with others). As language develops, children begin to build first friendships and learn to navigate the social implications of making friends. In addition, activities are designed to build fine and gross motor skills, paving the way for future writing, reading, math, and science explorations.  

List of 4 items.

  • Social and Emotional Skills

    • Cooperating with others and accepting limits
    • Learning to take responsibility
    • Solving simple social challenges 
    • Respecting rules
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills

    • Holding writing instruments using a tripod or quad grasp
    • Engaging in activities that require control of fingers such as: stringing, rolling, and pulling
    • Demonstrating agility, balance, and endurance while walking and running, climbing, and dancing
  • Cognitive Skills

    • Demonstrating an interest in letters and numbers
    • Restating stories, identifying main characters, and story sequencing.
    • Identifying primary and secondary colors
    • Naming complex shapes
    • Following two-step directions
  • Specialist Classes

    • Music
    • Art
    • Library
    • Dance
    • PE

Jr. Kindergarten Program (4 Year Olds)


Our emergent curriculum, which begins in our JK program, ties directly to Kindergarten readiness skills. An emergent curriculum means that the focus on learning comes from the students’ interests. Our trained teachers provide exciting topics for children to explore and, through observation, materials choices, and learning centers, facilitate rich and meaningful experiences for learning. At the end of the JK school year, Pilgrim students move on to our Elementary School Kindergarten program with strong literacy skills, solid numeracy skills, and the ability to sustain attention for the learning ahead in Kindergarten.

List of 4 items.

  • Social and Emotional Skills

    • Developing empathy skills
    • Respecting, tolerating, and understanding differences in others
    • Demonstrating self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence
    • Learning to self-reflect and self-advocate
    • Responding positively to constructive criticism
  • Fine and Gross Motor Skills

    • Holding writing instruments correctly while demonstrating either a dynamic or tripod grasp
    • Engaging in activities that require control of fingers, such as tearing paper, taping objects, and using scissors.
    • Demonstrating agility, balance, and endurance while walking, running, climbing, dancing, hopping on one foot, skipping, galloping, and climbing
  • Cognitive Skills

    • Following complex, multi-step directions
    • Identifying both first and last name
    • Giving reasons or examples for classification and sorting objects of different characteristics
    • Showing interest in stories and identifying characters, sequencing stories, and predicting what may happen next
    • Dictating stories to go with drawings
  • Specialist Classes

    • Music
    • Art
    • Library
    • PE
    • Dance

Other Program Details

Full-Day with Before and After School Childcare (included in tuition) 7:15-5:30

School Day 9:00-3:00
Hot Lunch and Milk available for purchase
After School Enrichment Classes
Community Monday Activities
All School Special Events
Special Events for Early Education
Parent Education Classes

Early Ed Leadership

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Sheryl Cohen

    Dr. Sheryl Cohen 

    Early Education and Elementary Director
    University of California, Los Angeles - B.S.
    Pepperdine University - M.S.
    University of Virginia - PhD
  • Photo of Sonia Rodriguez

    Sonia Rodriguez 

    Pilgrim School
    Early Education Director
    Cerritos College - A.A.