EARLY LEARNING ACADEMY.

For Families .

In partnership with Preschool for All, the Early Learning Academy is a pilot site for Multnomah County's universal preschool initiative. It is offered at no cost to families. To be eligible for 2023-24, children must be age 3 by September 1, 2023, and have a parent or legal guardian living in Multnomah County. Applications will be available on our website in Spring 2023. If we receive more applications than openings in our program, we will run a lottery. Enrollment in the Early Learning Academy (ages 3 - 4) does not automatically lead to enrollment in the Learning Academy (grades K - 5). Please send questions to EarlyLearning@KairosPDX.org.

For Educators.

Are you an educator who’s eager to bring zest and grit to your work alongside children? Do you believe that children have agency in their own learning, which happens through constructing ideas, working with the languages of materials, and building understandings with others? If you’d like to invite children to bring their whole and worthy selves to school, where we practice living and learning together each day, we want to hear from you! Please send a cover letter, resume and three professional references to Careers@KairosPDX.org.

For School Leaders.

We offer trainings and custom consultations to support and challenge your faculty around centering equity and belonging, designing learning environments and using materials as thinking tools, nurturing children’s social-emotional intelligences, and practicing the Habits for Success in children and adults. We’d love to have a conversation with you about your hopes as we imagine the future of our community’s teaching and learning ecosystem. Please reach out to us at TrainingAcademy@KairosPDX.org.

EARLY LEARNING ACADEMY.

KairosPDX exists to eliminate the prolific racial achievement and opportunity gaps by cultivating confident, creative, compassionate leaders. Established in 2013, the KairosPDX Learning Academy has grown to serve 250 Kindergarten to fifth grade leaders attending to their social, emotional, academic and cultural development. We engage and empower children through a liberating education by which each individual is free to show up with their whole, complex and worthy self. We are creating a new narrative around children and families of color placing strength and excellence at the fore. Establishing the Early Learning Academy is vital to realizing our mission and vision. We know that rich and meaningful early childhood experiences contribute to an essential foundation for lifelong learning and civic engagement.

The Early Learning Academy is designed to affirm and celebrate Black identity in young children and their families. It is grounded in the belief that culturally-specific, early learning experiences expand opportunities for children to actively engage in creating their own lives and to contribute fully to the quality of the world around them. We value the creativity, interests, ideas and questions of the children and adults at our school. We practice listening, observing, inquiring, being attentive, and reflecting together with children and families. We value the role of the arts and sciences as languages for thinking, expressing ideas, communicating who we are, and telling the stories of those we belong to – past and present.
We are the ones we have been waiting for. – june jordan
Children have opportunities for developing their emotional intelligence, respecting themselves and others, and taking responsibility for their words and actions. This happens through an ecosystem of listening and relationships alongside structures and supports that are equitable. We believe children are hardwired for connection, challenge and conflict. It is natural to bump into others – literally and figuratively – in an early learning community. We do not eliminate conflicts or intervene and fix them for the children. When conflicts occur, we facilitate problem-solving in order to offer the children time to practice the skills needed to verbalize their feelings, negotiate with others, and listen to multiple perspectives. This is how they develop a sense of agency and the skill of empathy, which are necessary for advancing equity and justice in this world.
When we are given the opportunity to tell our own stories and to speak our truth, we can reshape how the world perceives us. – sarain fox
The Early Learning Academy aspires to be a learning community where engaging in the art of living and learning together in constructive and productive ways is an essential part of the curriculum. Respect for the well-being of each individual and the whole learning community are prioritized. The teachers strive to support each child to develop a keen sense of identity and belonging. Through a strong network of relationships, the children develop a personal commitment and take action in ways that are consistent with the school’s core values of respect, responsibility, honesty, service and excellence. With practice, they are able to integrate and demonstrate the school’s evidence-based habits for success.
If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice. – bell hooks

Habits of Success

Zest

Enthusiasm for learning, and trying out ideas.

Grit

Willingness to try again despite disappointment.

Discipline

Ability to follow through and fully engage.

Self Control

Social emotional regulation.

Optimism

Ability to reflect on and expect good things.

Gratitude

Appreciation for what they have/do.

Empathy

 Ability to connect and relate to others.

Curiosity

Interest in the world and the possibilities around them.

Cultivating Confident, Creative, Compassionate Leaders

Our stance on teaching and learning relies on a strong image of children, a pedagogy of listening and relationships, and an intentional learning environment.

Strong Image of Children

Children as Creators:

Children are competent, resourceful and creative with imagination and
curiosity about the world around them. They come to school full of experience and wisdom in their
natural approaches to make meaning of their lives.

Children as Collaborators:

No child lives or learns in isolation. A child is always in search of
relationships. Children learn and become themselves through interaction and relationships with
other people, ideas, objects and symbols.

Children as Communicators:

Children make their thinking visible to us in many ways, including
words, drawing, numbers, dance, painting, building, sculpture, shadow play, collage, drama, music
and more. Children use many kinds of materials to discover and express what they understand,
wonder, feel and imagine.

Pedagogy of Listening + Relationships

Culture of Respect:

Respectful agreements and boundaries support the need for physical and emotional safety as they are identified, discussed, practiced, and experienced within a culture of listening, dialogue, and exchange between children and adults. Teaching and learning are best supported within a system of reciprocal and respectful relationships among people, ideas, the natural and built worlds, age-appropriate academic content alongside the children’s abilities and emerging skills.

Children and Adults as Researchers and Co-Creators:

This is a learning community where children and adults collaborate as researchers to co-create experiences. They are engaged in continuous discussion, negotiation and dialogue. Teachers collect data and use this information to plan, prepare, provoke, assess and inform the community of the Early Learning Academy’s practices and outcomes.

Documentation as Assessment:

Careful attention is given to the collective work of children and adults by transcribing dialogue, capturing photographs and videos, and making visible the ideas of children in many media. Documentation informs children, teachers, and families of children’s learning strategies and socially constructed understandings.

Intentional Learning Environment

Environment as Teacher:

The intentional design and use of physical space encourages encounters, communication, and relationships. It informs children and adults about possibilities. There is order and beauty in the thoughtful arrangement of space, equipment and materials.

Organization as Foundational:

The well-designed use of space and organization of materials, routines, and curriculum are essential to the creation of this learning community, where the animating forces are respect, responsibility, honesty, service and excellence.
In partnership with Preschool for All, the Early Learning Academy is a pilot site for Multnomah County’s universal preschool initiative. It is offered at no cost to families. To be eligible for 2023-24, children must be age 3 by September 1, 2023, and have a parent or legal guardian living in Multnomah County. Applications will be available on our website in Spring 2023. If we receive more applications than openings in our program, we will run a lottery. Enrollment in the Early Learning Academy (ages 3 – 4) does not automatically lead to enrollment in the Learning Academy (grades K – 5). Please send questions to EarlyLearning@KairosPDX.org

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