Early Childhood Education
Our vision of excellence
In Tulsa Public Schools, our goal is to ensure that all students have equitable access to excellent early childhood education across the district. Our early childhood programs prepare students for success in elementary school and to realize their potential to become healthy, thriving members of the community. Children engage in intellectually stimulating, culturally responsive experiences and joyful, purposeful play to promote their academic, social-emotional and physical development. Learning is fostered in partnership with families and caregivers to nurture children’s growth and well-being.
Students have equitable access to high quality, responsive early learning experiences.
Effective early learning classrooms value diversity and foster inclusion and acceptance. Teachers are committed to understanding their students as individuals and supporting the needs of all learners. Through culturally and linguistically relevant classroom materials and activities, students begin to develop positive associations with their own identities and to value and learn from each other’s identities.
Students are engaged in joyful, purposeful play.
Effective early learning classrooms leverage students’ natural curiosity and creativity. Teachers create a joyful, purposeful play environment that engages students through exploration, inquiry and conversation to build language, literacy and math skills, as well as problem-solving and social skills.
Students engage in rigorous, intellectually-stimulating work.
Effective early learning classrooms create opportunities for all young children to engage with complex academic work and higher-order thinking in all content areas, including literacy and numeracy, in a manner that is developmentally appropriate.
Students experience an environment that supports their development of social-emotional skills.
In effective early learning classrooms, teachers equally prioritize student growth in key social emotional skills that are critical for success in school and in life, such as understanding and managing emotions, feeling and showing empathy for others, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and making responsible decisions.
Students build oral language skills in linguistically responsive environments.
Effective early learning environments provide intentional opportunities to foster children’s language skills in English and/or their home language, depending on the goals of the program and needs of the children. Children’s voices are valued, respected, and encouraged. In early childhood, students begin to develop the oral language and vocabulary skills that serve as the foundation for their ability to read to learn in third grade and beyond.
Families and caregivers are partners in supporting children’s growth and development.
In effective early learning environments, families and caregivers are welcomed, valued, and respected. Families and caregivers work together with school staff to establish an atmosphere that intentionally builds meaningful connections, trusting relationships, and mutual respect.