kids on playground

Preview our Early Years program where we begin the education process and nurture children as young as 2 years, 9 months.

Early Years Program at the Academy

student and teacherAs part of the Academy’s commitment to teach your child what he/she “needs to know for life,” we have pioneered a three-tier Early Years Program (EYP) that is second to none. Unlike traditional programs that use age as the sole criteria for placement, our EYP takes into account skills and social development as well. Your child’s needs are at the critical development stage during age two years, nine months through age five and a half. We will guide your child toward reaching his/her potential through age-appropriate challenges and support based on his/her individual readiness. The Academy excels at providing a nurturing, stimulating, fun program in small classes within a gentle, caring Catholic school environment. Curriculum flexibility ensures steady progress while meeting the specific needs of each and every child, and preparing them for a smooth transition to the next level.

Pre-Kindergarten (Age: 2 years, 9 months)

two students looking at camera

The Pre-K program at the Academy of Notre Dame is an ideal transitional setting that prepares students for the rigor of kindergarten. It is designed for children two years and nine months or older who are just beginning in a formal educational setting. The Academy’s experienced faculty will assist students who are in the final stages of toilet training with the expectation that all students will be fully trained by December 1. The Pre-K program focuses on developing six key areas of learning - cognitive development, creative expression, language and sound discrimination, social and emotional development, executive control and functioning, and physical development.  

The Pre-K curriculum includes the introduction of all 26 upper case letters and some lower case letters. Students will be able to recognize their own name and most will be able to print it by the end of the school year. Pre-K students will develop letter/sound recognition and begin to see the connection between them. Pre-K faculty will begin to instill in children the love of reading by engaging them in read-alouds, role playing, and academic songs. Students will also learn colors, shapes and objects, and begin numbers and counting. Unlike traditional nursery/daycare programs, Pre-K students are exposed to courses in art, music, physical education, and library.

Pre-K utilizes a discovery approach to learning, powerful instructional methods that guide and motivate learners to explore information and concepts, embrace new knowledge, and apply new behaviors. The faculty will allow students to learn by interacting with their environment in a hands-on, multi-sensory approach within our wonderful campus. Students will explore initial letter and sound recognition, introductory math and science concepts, social and cooperative learning skills, and structured play and relationship building.  

Kindergarten 1 (K1)

happy kids with funny hatsThe K1 class is available to students who have shown increased skill and social development within the Pre-K program. Here, the skills covered in Pre-K are built upon using a combination of whole class, small group and independent activities. Curriculum focus includes oral language, listening comprehension, phonological awareness, upper and lower case letter recognition and fine motor writing skills. Students will develop independence, self-confidence and responsible work habits, skills that ensure they are well prepared for the Academy’s K2 program. Weekly classes in art, music, computer, physical education and library are included throughout the school year.

Kindergarten 2 (K2)

Candidates for the K2 program must be five years old by October 15th (unless already enrolled in our K1 program), and be socially and developmentally ready for a challenging academic curriculum. Although the program is more rigorous, we are continuously in tune with each child’s developmental readiness so as to minimize stress. K2 students build on their K1 experience and practice following three-to-four step instructions while developing the reading, math, science and social studies prowess designed to ensure success in first grade. French and Spanish foreign language will also be offered within the K2 curriculum.

At the Academy, your child will transition through each stage of the Early Years Program appropriately with teachers who guide his/her academic challenges and support his/her social development in an environment that encourages strong character and solid values. Your child will blossom, as teachers work with you in partnership to support your child’s needs. As your child’s first educator, you know him/her best, and teachers will seek your wisdom along the way.


Art, music and physical activity are very important parts of the school day, integral to the development of fine motor skills, listening skills and self-expression. Children will get creative with a wide variety of artistic materials, and will experiment with musical instruments. They will enjoy outside play on our playground or by exploring nature on campus in a safe, supervised environment.

We extend an invitation for you to visit us in person. Please contact the Admissions Office via email at, or by calling 978-649-7611, Ext 327 to arrange a tour. We’d love the opportunity to meet you and your child.