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A Coeducational School | Early Learners to Third Grade
Teaching & Learning


Beauvoir admits approximately 63 children to pre-kindergarten each year. There are three pre-kindergarten classrooms with approximately 21 students and two teachers in each room.

The Pre-Kindergarten Program

Pre-Kindergarten students are actively, joyfully and constantly engaged in making meaning of the world around them. Beauvoir teachers intentionally create classroom communities and cultures that support children’s intellectual, social and emotional growth. Our teachers do so guided by Beauvoir's core values of childhood, collaboration, creativity, curiosity and courage.
At Beauvoir, pre-kindergarten teachers honor childhood by putting the specific needs of four- and five-year-olds at the heart of every decision. Sometimes there is outdoor arrival and the day begins on the playground. Sometimes morning or closing meeting lasts for only a few minutes. Sometimes the schedule is swept aside to give necessary attention to an exciting discovery, while other times we closely follow our schedule because consistency is reassuring. Our youngest learners have a quiet rest time every day to provide much-needed cognitive and physical rest. Some of our students sleep, while others have a chance to practice mindfulness activities that they have learned.
While four- and five-year-olds are typically considered to be fairly egocentric, when given meaningful projects, pre-kindergarten students are quite capable of collaboration. Whether it be collaborating around a model of a pond or making a list of questions for a guest expert, students listen to each other and build upon others' ideas to create a stronger end result. In our Maker Space, pre-kindergarten students demonstrate empathy and practice their collaborative skills, noticing when a friend needs another piece of tape or offering to hold a structure to give the builder a chance to look at it from another angle.
In pre-kindergarten, students begin to build a solid foundation in learning, developing the understandings, skills, and dispositions to be competent and confident students. They are welcomed into the community as young mathematicians, readers, writers, scientists, artists and musicians. They engage in service projects, physical education activities, social studies units, library visits and Global Studies celebrations. As such, there are myriad ways to practice creativity, from developing conjectures in mathematics to creating books in the literacy center to experimenting with new techniques and materials in art to developing ways to document and share their learning using technology.
In pre-kindergarten, students participate in meaningful projects that allow them to develop, investigate, and answer questions using primary sources, including their own powers of observation. Their innate curiosity is nurtured and valued as an important driving force in the learning process. Teachers choose subjects for projects that are engaging to young students, are able to be studied first-hand, and with which students already possess some background knowledge. Within these parameters, students learn how to learn and how to be active participants in the ongoing sense-making process.
When our students feel safe, they are better able to take an active role in their learning. Our social curriculum helps students to understand how we treat each other in a community, and how to function as a partner, member of a small group, classroom and broader school community. When students feel valued as a member of a community, they are able to demonstrate courage, whether improvising a verse in music, trying a conversation in Spanish, or reading a self-published book to the class.

Our Pre-Kindergarten Team

List of 8 members.

  • Photo of Sarah Pickard

    Sarah "Annie" Pickard 

  • Photo of Jordan Wright

    Jordan Wright 

  • Photo of Louis Berman

    Louis Berman 

    Partner Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten
  • Photo of Elizabeth King-Balan

    Elizabeth King-Balan 

    Partner Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten
  • Photo of Mayana McDavid

    Mayana McDavid 

    Partner Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten
  • Photo of Dawne Miner Baggett

    Dawne Miner Baggett 

    Partner Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten
  • Photo of Deirdre Parker

    Deirdre Parker 

    Partner Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten
  • Photo of Colleen Williams

    Colleen Williams 

    Director of the Early Learning Center and Pre-Kindergarten
3500 Woodley Road, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Tel: (202) 537-6485
Fax: (202) 537-6512

Our Mission

At Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, we provide an extraordinary early childhood education in a diverse community that values every individual. Beauvoir’s program encourages creative, courageous learners and builds an enduring foundation for a lifelong spirit of inquiry and joy in learning.
© 2020 - Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School