6535 Delridge Way Southwest, Seattle, Washington 98106, United States

(206) 767-6896

Refugee and Immigrant Family Center Bilingual Preschool

FAQ

How old does my child have to be to enroll in RIFC?

 Children must be three or four before September 1st to enroll in one of our preschool classrooms. 

How soon should I submit an application?

Enrollment typically begins mid to late March for us with applications being due in April, however we continue to accept applications beyond that date until classrooms are filled. Once classrooms are filled, children can be put on our waiting list and are contacted as soon as a spot opens up. If your child is younger than three and you wish to add them to our wait list for a later school year please give us a call! While a child’s position on our waiting list is one factor we consider when making enrollment decisions, we also strive to create a balanced classroom in terms of gender, age range, and diversit

What are some resources to help cover additional tuition costs?

 There are a couple of resources that aid in covering some tuition costs that work alongside RIFC. The Child Care Subsidy Program offered through Washington's Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) offered through the City of Seattle. These applications need to be turned in along with our Seattle Preschool Program Application.

Can I visit RIFC?

We offer program tours each month. If you are interested in attending a tour, please contact us at 206-767-6896 or email our director at lcasio@soundchild.org 

What are the classroom hours and days?

Our Half-Day program is open Mondays -Thursday, AM session is 8:30-11:30. PM session is 12:30-3:30. This session runs September to June.

Our Full-Day program is open Monday-Friday from 7:30am - 5:30pm. This sessions goes all year long.

What are the qualifications of RIFC teachers?

 Our six teachers have over 50 years of combined experience. Most of our teachers have AA and BA degrees and some have MA degrees. All of our faculty receive ongoing training through on-site coaching, monthly in-service training, workshops, and conferences. 

Are you open in the summer?

Our Full-Day program is open for the summer and we have a Summer Camp available Monday thru Thursday's From late June until August.

Our Part-Day  program runs from September to June.  

What are your closure days?

We are closed for all major holidays and for the two weeks between Christmas and New Year’s. Our Part-Day program has the two weeks between Christmas and New Year's off while our Full-Day only has a week off. 

Do children have to be potty trained?

For our Part-Day program, children are required to be potty trained.

For our Full-Day program, children do not need to be potty trained.

Are there any formal conferences held between teachers and parents?

Yes, we hold parent-teacher conferences three times a year where we have scheduled meet ups with parents to create a learning plan for their child and see how they progress throughout the year.  

Family Involvement

At RIFC, we value the collaborative relationships we have with our families to build a strong community here. There are plenty of ways for families to get involved to offer their ideas, help create an event, donate money and more. 

Family Events

  • Tea Party (Orientation): The Tea Party is held at the beginning of the school year with food and drinks to give a chance for families to meet their children's teachers, peers and more. 
  • Harvest Festival: Our annual Harvest Festival fundraiser is held every fall, filled with food, games and more for families to enjoy! 
  • Cultural Potluck: The cultural potluck is one way we celebrate diversity here at RIFC. The children perform for the parents and we ask that every family bring a dish from their own culture to share with everyone.
  • Kindergarten Transition Night: We have a representative from the Seattle Public Schools come and speak to parents on how enrollment for Kindergarten works, how Choice enrollment goes and more. We also have computers set up for parents to complete enrollment right away.
  • Parent Resource Night: A night where we have informative gatherings on topics such as kindergarten transition, or positive discipline as well as providing parents with other helpful resources.
  • Parent Gatherings: We hold parent gatherings throughout the year, where parents get to decide what topic each gathering should focus on and we then bring in professionals to speak on those topics. These gatherings have ranged from community safety, curriculum night and more in the past.  
  • Silent Auction: Our annual silent auction, is a way for us to raise funds for the program. Providing parents, community members and friends to join us for dinner, entertainment and an auction.
  • Clean Up Project: This project is an opportunity to have families help the RIFC team clean up the perimeter of our school.

Events for Children

  • Children's Day/Dia Del Niño: Children's Day is a global holiday celebrating how amazing children are! At RIFC we organize games, music, and have a potluck style lunch with the families!
  • Raising A Reader: Raising A Reader is a national program that is brought to us thanks to the Seattle Public Libraries. This program allows us to send our students home with a Red Book Bag each week where the children check out two award-winning books to read at home and practice the tradition of sharing books!
  • School Garden: In our own Delridge Community we have our own P-Patch where we can grow and care for our own plants alongside our community members. As well as having our own personal garden at RIFC, where the children have the opportunity to plant and tend to fruits and vegetables with the teachers. 
  • Enrichment Programs: Throughout the school year, we bring programs to the school such as musical guests, authors, scientists, and our local Fire Dept. or Police Dept. to teach and meet with the children! 
  • Field Trips: We hosts a variety of field trips throughout the school year that are related to what the children are learning that week or month! Whether it is learning about the ocean and sea life with a visit to the aquarium or relating back to our play based curriculum with a visit to the children's museum, all the field trips are fun and educational.

Emergent Curriculum

Teachers see children as active participants in their own learning.

Following the example of the master educators from Reggio Emilia, RIFC uses an emergent curriculum model, also referred to as “child centered” curriculum, this describes a process where the teachers observe children at play, meet together to share their notes and come up with possible “next steps”, and then implement their ideas in the classroom.

One helpful description of this approach is to imagine that a child has a metaphorical ball of clay that he or she marks in some way, before tossing it to the teacher. The teacher then theorizes the meaning of the child’s marks, and then makes her own mark on the ball, before tossing it back. If the teacher’s understanding of the child’s ideas were correct, the child will respond by accepting the ball, making new changes to it, and tossing it back again. In this way, knowledge and ideas are grown, challenged, changed, and expanded as the “ball” continues to be passed back and forth.

 

In the classroom, this might manifest itself in a teacher responding to a group of children’s interest in music by bringing in different instruments, exploring dance, or creating their own musical language. Embedded in this work, would be opportunities to explore physical movement, literacy, mathematical concepts, and social problem solving, as well as opportunities to expose the children to the music and dance of non-dominant cultures. This helps ensure a positive and supportive relationship between the children and the teachers. It also helps the children have more control over what they do in the classroom as this emphasizes the children's ability to see themselves as capable learners and grow a better sense of community.  

Since this work is so specific to the children involved, extended investigations rarely include all the children in a class, but instead are tailored to meet the needs of small groups of children and are usually facilitated by one teacher from the classroom team. 

Play Based Curriculum

Our program is inspired by children’s curiosity and natural inclination to learn through play.

At RIFC we strongly believe that play-based curriculum is the very best way to meet the developmental needs of the children in our care. Play based curriculum supports not only the more obvious physical and social emotional development of young children, but it also creates an environment where the teachers can fully engage in the Reggio inspired practice of emergent curriculum, thus meeting the children’s intellectual needs as well. When children are fully engaged in meaningful play, teachers are able to closely observe them as they work, collecting information about the children’s passions, developing hypotheses, and areas of growth. We use this data to plan “provocations” in the classroom for the children, with the goal of deepening their thinking, expanding their understanding, and giving them the opportunity to explore and master new skills.

Play based curriculum is also the perfect vehicle for practicing empathy and conflict resolution skills and for learning to work collaboratively with peers; skills that support the development of executive function and that are looked for when evaluating children for placement in elementary schools.  

Document Learning

Children use the language of art to build deeper understandings of their world.

 At RIFC, we put a lot of emphasis on the way we document childrenʼs lives in the classroom. Our curriculum is the life of the classroom, and the way we document that life will give you window onto your childʼs daily experience. 

By observing children, discussing our findings, and writing up our thoughts and ideas, we work together to create an amazing body of written work. Work that includes not only our thoughts but also the children's thoughts and remarks, their artwork, pictures and more. This gives teachers a valuable tool for reflection and planning. It lets parents look in on their childʼs life at school and find out not only what your child is learning, but also gives you insight about how and why they learn as they do. Perhaps itʼs most important job, is to provide children with an amazing record of their work and an avenue for self reflection.


 There are four main areas to look for examples of how we document childrenʼs play. First, youʼll find weekly updates posted outside your childʼs classroom in a designated spot for on-going communication. Second, you can find copies of all documents that feature your child in his or her journal. Third, each classroom has either a classroom blog, or a weekly e-mail update, which will include stories about the childrenʼs work in the classroom from that week. Finally, in the classroom you will see the children's work displayed throughout the class making their thoughts and work visible through drawings, pictures and more. 

Anti Bias

Because of our shared values of anti-racism and social justice, we look for opportunities in childrens’ play to challenge their thinking about ethnic, cultural, disability, family, class and gender bias.

While RIFC is committed to emergent curriculum, we’re also dedicated to our shared values of anti-racism and social justice. Because of this, we look for opportunities in the children’s play to challenge their thinking about ethnic, cultural, disability, family, class and gender bias. When necessary, we even create situations of “disequilibrium” to provoke questions and create room for new ideas. 

 

Our goal is to grow these discussions naturally from topics children are already engaged in, but because of our belief in the importance of this work, we won’t always wait for the subject to emerge from the children. At these times, we very carefully and intentionally introduce new activities or topics of discussions to share with the children in our care.

The four goals of a culturally relevant anti-bias approach are:

  • Goal 1: Demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride and positive social identities.
  • Goal 2: Express comfort and joy with human diversity; accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring human connections.
  • Goal 3: Recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness and understand that unfairness hurts.
  • Goal 4: Demonstrate empowerment and skills to act, with others and alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions. 

Some examples of this are bringing in books about social activism to share at meeting time, mixing paint to match our own skin tones in the art studio, setting out construction vehicles with female construction workers, or using our “persona dolls” to tell stories from a different cultural perspective.

We consistently share our intensions and activities with families through parent-teacher conferences three times a year, parent meetings, classroom blogs, e-mails, printed documentation posted in the classrooms, and make ourselves available for questions and new ideas.