Early Childhood Education (ECE) // Educación Temprana (ECE)

Colfax offers Full-Day ECE for 3 and 4 year olds. Classes combine both ages and the maximum size of any classroom is 16 students with a full-time teacher and a full-time paraprofessional.

The mission of the Early Education Department is to deliver integrated, comprehensive and quality early education in every classroom.

At Colfax, we give our youngest learners the time they need to develop and grow through play and experience, and we teach them how to become contributing members of our global community.

Our staff supports families in their roles as advocates for their child’s education at DPS and provides parent involvement opportunities that lead to their child’s academic achievement.

Tools of the Mind Curriculum

Tools of the Mind is a research-based early childhood model combining teacher professional development with a comprehensive innovative curriculum that helps young children to develop the cognitive, social-emotional, self-regulatory, and foundational academic skills they need to succeed in school and beyond.

In a Tools ECE classroom, a play theme unifies the room. The year begins with adaptable play themes close to children’s lives, and over the course of the year, as children’s levels of make-believe play, self-regulation and executive functions develop, the play themes develop as well.

Intentional make-believe play is the heart of a Tools of the Mind ECE classroom, but there’s lots more going on in a day! Children engage in activities designed to support the development of literacy, math and science skills at the same time as self-regulation and executive functions skills are developed. Most learning takes place in small groups and partnered activities, engaging children in interacting with one another to learn, build social relationships and create a positive classroom culture.

Tools activities, like Play Planning, are multi-level, designed to challenge and support each child at his own level.  Children who are developing typically and those who have special needs are engaged in the same activity, performing at a challenge level appropriate to each child.

What a Typical Day Looks Like in ECE

A sample schedule from one of our classrooms: