NAPERVILLE/PLAINFIELD, IL (December 9, 2019) – KLA Schools have been dedicated to the best early childhood education since 2008, and they utilize the Reggio Emilia Philosophy. The Reggio Emilia approach to education is one of the most celebrated and respected early childhood philosophies in the world. This past November, the educators from all the KLA Schools in the United States attended an exclusive Reggio Emilia study conference. “The conference reinforced our belief that we, as educators at KLA Schools, are on the right track and are nurturing the intrinsic motivation, confidence, self-esteem, emotional intelligence of our children by respecting their interests and curiosities,” said Selvei Rajkumar, Managing Director and owner of KLA Schools Naperville and KLA Schools Plainfield.
December 9, 2019, Owners, Directors, Principals, Pedagogistas, Atelieristas, and Teachers from the different KLA Schools from all over the country met to share presentations created by each of the people who went to Reggio Emilia, Italy in November. The concepts shared were in connection to the guiding principles in the philosophy, including parents’ participation, the role of the teacher, environment as the third teacher, and documentation.
Morgan Sartain, the Admissions and Pedagogical Director of both KLA Schools of Naperville and Plainfield, took part in the study experience. She passionately stated, “Having this experience has enlightened me, inspired me to grow, and strengthened my determination to advocate for the rights of children. The goal is that schools must mirror reality. For children to not only be observers but to participate in the world around them by expressing themselves through the 100 Languages.” When Ms. Morgan speaks about the 100 languages of learning, she is referring to the vision and work of the late Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the philosophy. The phrase “the 100 languages of learning” is a metaphor that refers to a hundred ways of thinking, expressing, understanding, and encountering. Sartain also went on to say, “Children are natural-born scientists who build their knowledge through creative and expressive ways. Even children who are not verbal yet can represent what they know through many different materials. All children wonder, do hypotheses, test, and experiment, no matter their age. As human beings, research is one of the dimensions of our lives.”
After the trip to Italy, each of the KLA Schools shared their takeaways e and their action items. When it was time for KLA Schools of Naperville and Plainfield to share, one of the key points was how excited, and enthusiastic the leadership team is to incorporate digital technology in our STEAM Atelier and classrooms. The KLA students investigate concepts tied to their year-long projects through inquiry and investigation. Adding digital technology will allow the students to work collaboratively to solve problems through new and exciting ways. Two of the items that KLA plans to add to the classrooms and their Atelier are laptops and digital microscopes for the children to use daily.
KLA also plans to take the light and shadow aspect to the next level. Currently, light and shadow already play a huge role in the environment at the schools. Carrie Hemmer, the Assistant Principal at the Plainfield campus, stated, “We plan on incorporating Analog, and Digital Light plays in the Atelier. Physics was always one of my favorite subjects in Highschool, and I am so excited that our young learners will be exploring many of the concepts that are so intriguing and complex. There are so many concepts that children can learn about with analog light play like the properties of reflection, colors, luminosity, etc. We will also be incorporating light with programs like ScratchJr, which our students already use during our Innovative Computing enrichment.
Ms. Erica, the School Principal at KLA Schools of Plainfield, leads much of the professional development with the school’s team. After visiting Italy, she described a few of the new action items, “It is essential before we introduce the new tools to our children that the teachers feel comfortable with them first. At KLA, we support our teachers in a plethora of professional development. During the next weekly collaborations, which are age-specific, the teachers will explore the digital tools and hypothesize all the possibilities that could happen within the classroom. They will also project experiences for the children with our schools Atelierista who specializes in digital and technology.”
KLA Schools have always embraced and encouraged their children to explore with their senses and test their curiosity using the scientific method and engineering process. They host an annual STEAM Fair every year and believe that events such as this strengthen families’ involvement and bring awareness to the community and global issues. With their STEAM curriculum improving year after year and continuously evolving with the world, students are set up for lifelong success in whatever dreams they wish to pursue as they grow.
ABOUT KLA SCHOOLS
KLA Schools is the best preschool with extended care environment for children between the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years of age. The school’s founding principle is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, which has been heralded as one of the best programs in the world and was featured by CNN and Newsweek magazine. By incorporating and combining the use of natural environments and a nurturing atmosphere, children have the best opportunities in education for their young minds.
If you would like more information about KLA Schools or programs offered by KLA Schools of Plainfield or KLA Schools of Naperville, please contact Morgan Sartain at 815.617.9552 (Plainfield) or 630.448.2552 (Naperville).