Frequently Asked Questions

What Would You Like To Know?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept infants and toddlers?


No, we are a preschool and only have spots for children 33 months - 5 years old.




Do you offer part-time?


Yes, families may select two, three, or five days per week. Each day is limited to 12 students.




Do you offer half-days?


No, we do not offer half-days. However, you can choose to send your child for a shorter day, or even plan on slowly lengthening the amount of time your child stays each day. The tuition is still a flat monthly rate, regardless if you choose a schedule that is less than full time.




What is your student to teacher ratio?


The ratio changes throughout the day. Midday our ratio is 6:1, and there will never be more than 12 children for 1 teacher at any time.




Do you have different rooms for each age?


No, having 12 students per day, we keep them together in one group. We see such a benefit in mixing these ages. The children are very aware of the “older preschoolers” or pre-kindergartners and look forward to being one of the older kids the following year. The older children take their “teaching” role very seriously as they are asked to show the younger ones how to do things and set an example.




Do you have nap time?


Yes, we offer a quiet time every day. We feel it is important for everyone to disengage for awhile each day and have some “down time” even if they do not fall asleep. We set up individual sleeping bags to rest for 45 minutes daily. Children who do not typically nap are welcome to color and read quietly at their spot. Children who fall alseep have the opportunity to sleep up to an hour and 45 minutes.




When is your school closed?


Hidden Valley Preschool is open for the school year session with start and end dates coinciding with the Duluth Public Schools. We are closed for one week between the school year and summer sessions. Additionally we are closed for the following holidays: 1. Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving 2. Approximately two weeks around the winter holidays 3. Memorial Day 4. Fourth of July We do NOT close for Duluth Public School's additional recesses, vacations, or teacher in-service days. We DO follow the Duluth Public Schools closures due to weather.




What if my child has a food allergy or sensitivity?


We are happy to accommodate food allergies and sensitivities, and have been experienced at doing so since we opened in 2010. The small size of our school means we adjust each session according to that group of student's needs. We have had severe peanut allergies in the past where it was safest to be peanut-free for that session. For other more mild allergies or sensitivities we adjust our snack selection accordingly. The director, Katie, has food sensitivities of her own, so she is adept at modifiying recipes to safely include all students.




Do you provide lunch?


Yes, we provide morning and afternoon snack daily, but ask that students bring their own lunches. We use the refrigerator to store them in the morning, and the teachers can use our microwave to reheat any meals that need to be warmed at lunch time.




Do you have parent/teacher conferences?


Yes, we offer a fall and spring parent/teacher conference for our school year session. We also communicate through emails, phone calls, monthly newsletters, and our school's secret Facebook page.




Do children have to be toilet-trained to attend preschool?


Yes. At times during the day, our student to teacher ratio is 12:1. If even one child needs constant help in the bathroom, that means 11 other students are not receiving the attention they need. This impacts student learning, but moreover, student safety. (That being said, we spend our days with 3-5 year olds, so we are prepared for the occasional accident.)




What are you doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?


With only 12 students on any given day, the small size of our school already drastically limits the number of other people our students are exposed to. Parents now report their child's temperature upon arrival each morning. We have changed locations of certain activities within our building, and increased our outside time as much as possible. We have also provided visual cues to help them spread out for certain indoor activities. Teachers now pass out food for snack, rather than students serving themselves "family-style." We have increased the throughness and the frequency of our exisiting personal hygenie lessons and cleaning procedures. Parents and teachers are wearing face masks indoors. We are in contact with St. Louis County Public Health for guidance on how to proceed in case of future potential exposures. As early childhood educators, we find ourselves balancing the need to keep students safe, while simultaneously supporting their growth and development. Seeing our facial expressions is absolutely essential in their social emotional development. So we typically do not wear face masks during our outside time. This location is safer for uncovered faces and provides a large portion of the day where students can see our facial experssions. And as always, we are adapting with new situations and new data.




Is there a fee to join the waitlist?


No, there is not a fee. Submit your application and we will contact you if we have an opening that matches your needs.