St. Timothy's Episcopal Preschool (also called STEPS) is a non-profit, self-supporting school for children two through five years of age. It was established by the church in 1985. The mission statement of the preschool is "to glorify God by creating a community of Christ's love that nurtures growth for ministry to others.
Schedule: The school is in session from late August through mid-May, with classes held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. We follow the Hamilton County schedule for holidays and snow days.
Philosophy: Our goal is to provide each child with a learning environment and experience which will help him or her develop physically, socially, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Our program has been carefully planned to challenge each child and provide for all areas of development “ including the specific social, motor, cognitive and language requirements of early childhood. The child's individual needs, interests and abilities are always considered and addressed.
Curriculum: Daily activities include individual and group opportunities in math, art, science/nature, social studies, language arts, health and technology, with methods determined by the developmental level of the child. Through the activities we plan and the way we organize the classroom, select toys and material, plan the daily schedule and talk with children, we seek to accomplish the goals of our curriculum and give children a successful start in school. Music and chapel are offered once a week.
Special Events: Our special events provide opportunities to explore new ideas through stories, art, music and dramatic play. We have visits from doctors, nurses, dental hygienists, musicians, storytellers, puppeteers, animals from the Tennessee Aquarium, the Nature Center, and the Chattanooga Zoo. Along with the usual holidays, we have also celebrated St. Patrick's Day, Fire Prevention Week, the birthdays of various presidents (and the Cat in the Hat!) and many other special occasions.
Staff: Working with director Susan Laseter is a staff of six experienced teachers, five aides, an administrative assistant, bookkeeper and part-time specialty staff for music. The entire staff is certified in First Aid and CPR. The director, teachers and aides earn more than eighteen continuing professional education hours annually. Memberships: STEPS is a member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the National, Tennessee and Chattanooga Associations for the Education of Young Children.
Board of Directors: School policies and procedures as well as administrative responsibilities are under the direct control of the Rector and Vestry (lay governing body) of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, who delegate responsibility to the Board of Directors. The Board is composed of members of St. Timothy's and preschool parents. Ex-officio members include the Rector, the preschool director, a teacher representative and a member of the Vestry.
Fees and Enrollment Information: Current fee information and information about enrollment may be obtained by calling the preschool office at: 423-886-3713.
STEPS exceeds the state standards in staff qualifications and training, class size, program materials and safety. As additional enrichment to the program, resource teachers come into the preschool to provide specialized activities for the children. The school is licensed by the Tennessee Department of Human Services and in 2002 it was awarded "Three Stars on the Department's Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale. This is the highest rating a preschool can receive and since 2002 we have continued to earn that rating each year.