Advancing Wonder Since 1878


University Liggett School’s prekindergarten program uses the self-guided Reggio Emilia approach to learning — our youngest students are encouraged to draw upon their innate curiosities, empowers them to ask questions and explore both independently and collaboratively their understanding of the world and their place within it.

The Liggett Approach In Prekindergarten


Learning begins with questions, not answers.

Numeral identification assessed with puzzles

Generational bridge between students and GrandPals through The Rivers excursions.

Use of Glow Forge to create individual letter puzzle pieces

Student wonder of jewel sparkles leads to experimenting with reflection and angles using mirrors and flashlights.

Students find gems in the “mine” and choose their own method for finding the sum.

More to Explore: Prekindergarten

Prekindergarten fun with Parachute in gym class

Children who thrive in our program are independent, socially and emotionally ready, curious, respectful, and kind. They are ready to be away from you for longer periods of time.

For the 2024-25 school year, we accept applications for students that are or will be 3 no later than December 1, 2024. We give priority to applicants that are or will be 3 no later than September 1, 2024 All students must be fully toilet trained and able to communicate basic needs/wants to their teachers. 

Our admissions process is designed to assist you in determining if University Liggett School is a good fit for your child at this time. Please reach out with questions.

Students are greeted at their classroom door by one of their teachers and encouraged to independently put away their things and prepare for their day at school. Students have a soft opening to their day where they can enjoy open-ended classroom provocations. 
Our youngest learners travel to resource classes, including Physical Education, Art, Music, Library, or Yoga, early in the day to allow for uninterrupted class time after these resource classes conclude. Daily classroom routines consist of various activities like morning meetings, imaginative play, sensory activities, literacy work, math work, snack, outdoor recess, and inquiry-based project work.
For students enrolled in a full-day program, lunch is provided by the school and prepared fresh daily. Students enjoy lunch in their classroom with a teacher. After lunch, students prepare for an afternoon rest in a quiet and calm classroom environment with shades drawn, low lighting, and soft music. 

3 Year Old Program Options:

3 half days M/W/F: 8 - 11:30 a.m.

3 full days M/W/F: 8 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

5 half days: 8 - 11:30* a.m.

5 full days: 8 a.m. - 2:45* p.m.


4 Year Old Program Options:

5 half days: 8 - 11:30* a.m.

5 full days: 8 a.m. - 2:45* p.m.

*Lower School late start every Thursday. Classes begin at 9 a.m.

Aftercare is available for an hourly rate until 6 p.m.

We build upon children’s natural curiosities through Project Work, starting in prekindergarten. Our students ask themselves what they already know about a topic; they conduct research to discover what more they want to know; and, finally, they demonstrate and share what they've learned.

A brilliant example of the Project Approach is our prekindergarten class’ exploration of fabrics. Arising organically from students’ interest in classroom scrap fabric, teachers led a discussion on “What do we know about fabrics?”

The class discovered that there was much more to the topic than clothing, alone. That simple ask of questioning led to a wonderfully interwoven set of inquiries, discoveries and hands-on experiences that unfolded throughout the school year to deepen student connection with the topic and its place in their world.

Through the Fabric Project, our teachers integrated the subject matter in a variety of ways to bring about greater meaning and understanding:

  • Identifying the numerous ways fabrics appear in our lives and asking students to bring in examples of those
  • Sorting, labeling and describing fabric samples for presentation
  • Engaging the students in textile art projects, including tie-dyeing and batik
  • Fine tuning small motor skills with weaving and sewing projects, including Monster Dolls.
  • Integrating physical education with the use of student-created dancing ribbons
  • Exploring the science of fabrics, as well as the different ways fabrics are used and valued around the globe

Click here to see our Prekindergarten Faculty.

Peggy Dettlinger
Head of Lower School

Sheila Bracken

Sheila Bracken
Prekindergarten Coordinator