Tauxemont FAQs

What does it mean for a preschool to be NAEYC accredited?

NAEYC accreditation is one of the most rigorous and thorough accreditation systems for preschools in the U.S. done through the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  Tauxemont is proud to be the only preschool in the Fort Hunt corridor, and one of the few in Alexandria, to carry such a distinction.  To become NAEYC accredited, preschools must apply and undergo a lengthy process to ensure that the school meets the organization's high standards and guidelines for areas such as health and safety, teacher training, and language and discipline styles.  For more information about NAEYC accreditation process and standards, please click here.


Why is play such a vital part of the Tauxemont preschool experience?

Ongoing scientific studies and research continue to confirm that play is a significant and essential building block to a child's learning and development.  Children learn best by doing activities that are fun and meaningful to them.  Play based learning promotes creativity, innovation, and sparks a love of learning and curiosity at a young age that will propel them forward as they navigate through kindergarten and beyond  For more information about the benefits of play and children's learning in the classroom, please visit http://www.naeyc.org/play.


Which class will my child be placed in?

At Tauxemont, students are placed in specific classes based on a combination of age, social readiness as determined by teacher observation, and the need to balance the ages of current students in each class.  Tauxemont begins accepting students who are at least 2.5 years old by September 30th of the school year.


Does Tauxemont offer kindergarten?

Yes we do!  The Five Day Fives, our class for our oldest students, may be used as a kindergarten* for children who are of kindergarten age, or children who are five on or by September 30th of the school year.  Depending on the age range of applicants, the class may also include some children who are slightly younger than the traditional kindergarten cut-off age.  

Tauxemont feels strongly that early childhood education can greatly influence how a child continues to learn as they develop. We strive to teach in ways that meet the developmental needs of each individual child. We use materials and techniques that are considered the best, and proven by experience and research by early childhood professionals. 

Our kindergarten curriculum covers the Standards of Learning set by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  We meet these standards in a setting with fewer children and more adults than most kindergartens, and we do it in a relaxed and appropriate way. We aim to establish a love and enthusiasm for learning. We respect that early childhood is truly unique, and that young children learn differently from primary school age children. Our students go on many field trips, typically almost once a month, and play outdoors (almost daily) for an extended time.  Our kindergarten is developmentally appropriate, encompasses hands-on, experiential learning activities, takes place in a large room filled with natural light and has plenty of free play.


What are school jobs?  Does each family have a school job?

At Tauxemont many of the things needed to operate the school are done by the families of our students. A large part of the administrative and physical work needed to keep things working smoothly and safe are the tasks, the work that are the School Jobs. Each family has a specific school job, which is vital to the continued success of the school.

After a child is placed in the school, and their family joins the coop, the family is sent a survey listing many of the jobs with their descriptions.  There are a variety of jobs, covering a wide range of skill sets and social styles, as well as scheduling needs to best meet time restraints and lifestyles of individual families. Things need to be made, maintained, and repaired. Records must be kept, supplies must be purchased and bills must be paid. Funds need to be raised, and as a community we need a bit of fun and food! These are all school jobs. Some are jobs that a person can work as an individual, some as a member of a committee; some jobs require doing something weekly, others monthly, and some seasonably.

Each job falls under the supervision and support of a board member.  Families are asked to choose and rank several choices. The school board member responsible for school jobs, Parent Participation Chair, goes through all of the surveys and matches families with available jobs.
There are circumstances where having a school job may not be an option for a family. Families may buy out of their job for $1,500 per school year.


The potential time and energy commitment of a coop preschool seem intimidating.

Many parents tell us that cooping in the classroom has been a highly enriching and enjoyable experience that they look forward to.  Cooping is one of the few times a parent can observe their child in a classroom setting interacting with their teachers and classmates.

School jobs also serve an essential function, and there are a wide range of roles to fit both the interests of the families and the needs of the school.  Each family will have an opportunity to indicate their school role preferences, and no role will be assigned unless a family has expressed an interest in it.

Each family will also be responsible for helping out at two Saturday Work Sessions (SWS) during the school year.  These take place once a month on Saturdays from 9-1.  Since we are a coop, the work sessions are vital for maintaining the grounds and classrooms and ensuring that they not only look fantastic, but continue to be a healthy and safe environment for the students.

The memories created from cooping and the school events are invaluable, as are the sense of community these activities build among families, teachers, and the children.  Perhaps this is why in a recent school survey, 98% of the families responded that they were very satisfied with their overall Tauxemont preschool experience.


Does my child have to be potty trained in order to attend?

Children do not have to be potty trained in order to attend Tauxemont.  The teachers understand that this is a developmental milestone and that there is no set age when children develop the necessary physical and cognitive skills necessary for potty training.


Does Tauxemont offer after care?

Tauxemont does not offer after care.  Afternoon classes end at 4 pm, and all the morning classes except for the 5x5s end at 11:45 pm.  The oldest 5x5s class ends at noon.


If we are waitlisted this year, will we need to apply again the following year?

To give everyone a fair shot at being part of Tauxemont, our policy is to begin with a clean slate each academic year.  If you are waitlisted and do not end up enrolling at Tauxemont, you will need to re-apply the following year.  Currently enrolled families will also need to re-apply as well but they are guaranteed re-enrollment as long as their application is submitted by the priority application deadline before Winter Break.


Who qualifies as a priority applicant?

Prior to opening up the application process to the general public in January, qualifying families may apply and be considered for admission to Tauxemont as long as their application form is submitted by the earlier priority application deadline before winter break.  Priority applicants include returning students, alumni families, and members of the Tauxemont community.


Does Tauxemont offer any scholarships or discounted tuition?

Tauxemont offers a number of half and full scholarships based on financial need.  To apply, please complete the Scholarship Application form on the Join Us! page and email the completed form to our membership chair at tauxemontcoop@gmail.com.  Applying for a scholarship is separate from the admissions process and will not impact any admissions decisions.


*Traditionally Tauxemont children who will be five by the start of the new year are placed in the 5 day 5s. If a family intends to use Tauxemont as Kindergarten for their child and their birthday falls between between Oct. 1st and Jan. 1st, we work with the family and place the child in a class that is for children slightly younger, so that the child will be kindergarten age when they are in the 5 day 5s.  Some families of school age children in the Five Day Fives choose to use the class as a pre-kindergarten experience, and not as a kindergarten.