Curriculum Statements and Goals

The Olathe Early Childhood Department vision is to “provide early learning experiences that promote future educational achievement and success.”  In this, the Early Childhood curriculum and guidelines was revisited, revised, and updated in 2014, with board approval in July.

Teachers in the Early Childhood Department in Olathe Public schools have similar expectations from classroom to classroom on how to approach their learning units, though there is no prescribed order of units that each teacher needs to follow.  

Foundational Premises

“Effective, developmentally appropriate curriculum is based on what is known about the interrelationships and sequences of ideas, so that children’s later abilities and understandings can be built on those already acquired. At the same time, the rate and pattern of each child’s learning is unique. An effective teacher must account for all these factors, maintaining high expectations while setting challenging, achievable goals and providing the right amount and type of scaffolding for each child.”

Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs from Birth through Age 8, Third Edition

Carol Copple & Sue Bredekamp,  © 2009


A successful early childhood program imple­ments a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and de­velopment in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive.

NAEYC Governing Board 2005


The Early Childhood Classrooms in Olathe District Schools will follow the premise of emergent curriculum.  The term emergent refers to the fact that the focus and content of learning is based on what is naturally occurring and emerging from the life of the children and adults in the program.  Curriculum represents the teacher’s role in the implementation, planning and carrying out of activities related to the children’s interest levels.  The role of the early childhood teacher in an emergent curriculum is to place importance in observation and recording of the everyday interactions of the children, then plan according to the needs and interests represented in the classroom.  Content based learning is then built from that focus, with all developmental skills embedded into the routines, activities and interactions.  


As quoted by Jones and Nimmo, “It’s a planning process that takes place among a particular group of people….The children’s ideas are an important source of curriculum but only one of many possible sources that reflect the complex ecology of their lives” (pg. 5, 1994).

Our Goals

The goal of the Olathe Early Childhood Emergent Curriculum is to support best practices in the field of early childhood education where:

  • Children are active and engaged
  • Goals are clear and shared by all
  • Curriculum is evidence-based
  • Valued content is learned through investigation and focused, intentional teaching
  • Curriculum builds on prior learning experiences
  • Curriculum is comprehensive
  • Professional standards validate the curriculum’s subject-matter content
  • Services and interventions acknowledge children’s unique needs and patterns of development
  • Partnerships between parents and school personnel are critical to the process of achieving student learning targets
  • Assessment practices are developmentally and educationally significant
  • Support is given to children as individuals and as members of families, cultures, and communities
  • Each child will develop and learn at his or her own pace. Development is the result of interaction between biological maturity and the environment. Even though learning proceeds in an orderly and relatively sequential fashion, development is often uneven and disabilities often affect normal growth and development


To download a copy of the Olathe Early Childhood Curriculum and Guidelines click here.


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Written By: Melissa Thomas Date posted: 07/23/2014