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Academics >> Early Childhood

Early Childhood Program (EC) 

We inspire a child’s natural curiosity through exploration, discovery, creativity, and persistence. This program is designed for bright and curious learners turning 3 years old by September 1st and offers a morning class with an extended day option.

Benefits of Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood education builds the foundation for lifelong learning. The goal of The Early School at Avery Coonley is to develop a positive self-image for learners so their natural curiosity grows seamlessly into critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity.


Schedule (for 2019-2020)

Morning Program
8:30 AM -11:15 AM
Monday - Friday 

Extended Day Program
8:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Monday - Friday 


The Early Childhood program is instructed by three teachers who nurture the academic, social/emotional, and physical development of our early learners, and build the self-esteem required for lifelong learning.


The former home of ACS’s Head of School, the Early Childhood Gatehouse is the perfect setting for the transition between home and school. The Gatehouse provides developmentally-appropriate opportunities for children to explore technology, art, movement, and cooperative play. In addition to the Gatehouse, Early Childhood students benefit from the advantages of the 10-acres of campus with nature walks, visits to the library, and interaction with Lower and Middle School students.


Our Curriculum is designed to build the foundation for future success in school. Large and small group activities include math, science, literacy, social studies, music art, and physical education. Music and movement are integrated throughout the curriculum to enhance spatial intelligence, problem-solving and sequencing skills, memory, and recognition of patterns. While exposure to traditional curricular areas is important, our primary goal is to inspire each child's natural curiosity through exploration, discovery creativity and persistence. 

Daily Schedule

  • Free choice activities
  • Gathering music & movement
  • Large group lesson - learning concepts
  • Small group lesson - hands-on activities
  • Free play
  • Snack
  • Story
  • Outside - gross motor



Seahorse Hunt – The students' first "field trip” to the Big School involves searching campus for seahorses of all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Farmyard Fun/ Bulb Planting – the EC parking lot is converted into a petting zoo each October. Children also plant tulip and daffodil bulbs that will eventually sprout in spring!

Pumpkin Carving – EC children join their dads to create their very own jack-o-lantern to take home for Halloween.

Santa's Visit – On the last day before winter break, Santa visits EC to wish the children a happy holiday season.

Dad's Sledding Party – An EC favorite! Dads sled with children and then head inside to warm up with songs and treats.

Mother's Day Party – Children make beautiful bonnets for their moms as they celebrate this special day with songs, snacks, and lots of fun.

Special Events

  • Fun Run
  • Grandparent's Day
  • Party Celebrations
  • Holiday House
  • End-of-Year Performance
  • Downers Grove Fire Dept Presentation
  • Family Enrichment and Sharing Time (F.E.A.S.T.)
  • Mother Goose Visit

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