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The Preschool Program
An Atlanta preschool and Georgia Pre-K for all children
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Our inclusive environment provides a rich learning space where all kids can thrive.

At the Preschool Program, our high teacher-to-student-ratio, as well as our personal approach to teaching, means we’re equally successful in supporting children with autism as those without developmental concerns.

Our preschool:

  • Develops individualized instruction for each student.
  • Has leading early childhood researchers monitor student progress. 
  • Provides ongoing training for teachers.
  • Values empathy and acceptance.
  • Provides made-from-scratch, farm-to-table vegetarian lunches every day.
  • Has an open-door policy and works closely with families.

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About us

The Preschool Program, now offering Georgia Pre-K, is a collaboration of Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University. We operate as both a school and a place of research on preschool education. Because of this unique relationship, our program continuously creates new and better ways of supporting families and meeting the learning needs of all children.

We are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and located on Briarcliff Road near Emory University. We offer tuition-based classrooms for 2- to 4-year-olds and a lottery-funded Georgia Pre-K classroom for children who are 4 years old by September 1. Our farm-to-table nutrition program provides made-from-scratch vegetarian lunches every day.

We operate on a year-round schedule from August through July. The Preschool Program is licensed as a Child Care Learning Center by Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL; CCLC-47864).

Our unique approach

Our classrooms allow children with and without autism to learn together. Our teachers create flexible classroom environments that accommodate and embrace each child’s individual way of learning. By enrolling in our preschool, your child will discover that all children have their own unique ways of playing, thinking, feeling, relating and learning.

Learning alongside a child with autism

To better understand how our school works, it helps to have a basic understanding of autism. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a child’s social skills, communication or behavior. It often means that a child’s brain develops and works a little differently and can affect how that child understands and relates to others. True to its name, autism is a spectrum. No two children with autism are exactly alike.

Toddlers and preschoolers who have autism may face some unique challenges, but overall they have more in common with their typically developing friends than not. Most differences tend to be subtle and are best understood as part of the range of personalities and learning styles. All children with autism admitted to our program are ready to learn and contribute to their friend’s learning as well.

Our classrooms at a glance

Children ages 2 to 5 years participate in one of three classrooms: Early Preschool, Preschool and Georgia Pre-K. Generally, children are assigned to classrooms based on their age on September 1st of the current school year (August to July). Made-from-scratch, farm-to-table vegetarian lunches are provided for a monthly fee of $120. All stated fees and tuition rates are valid for the 2019/2020 school year.

Classrooms How old are children in this classroom? How many children per classroom? How many teachers per classroom? What is the monthly full-time tuition?
Early Preschool 2 years old on September 1st or 2 years at enrollment 12 3 $1,325*
Preschool 3 years old on September 1st 16 3 $1,275*
Georgia Pre-K 4 years old on September 1st 18 3 Free+

* Half-day enrollment (7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) is possible at a reduced rate; we grant tuition subsidies based on economic need.

+ Georgia Pre-K hours are from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., 180 days per year; before- and aftercare is available for a monthly fee of $490; school-break and summer camps are available for $70 per day or $320 per week.

Admissions

Children are ready to participate in our Preschool Program and Georgia Pre-K classroom if they:

  • Pay attention to and show interest in other children.
  • Have started to communicate using gestures, eye contact and short phrases.
  • Have started to engage in pretend or dramatic play, such as feeding a doll or dressing up.

Students must provide evidence of age-appropriate immunizations at the time of enrollment. Children with autism seeking enrollment must have a diagnosis at the time of admission.

Email our team or call 404-785-6511 if you’re interested in enrolling your child, scheduling a tour or learning more about our program.

Tours are offered on Thursdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.

Our curriculum

The Preschool Program and Georgia Pre-K Program use a two-tiered curriculum that includes The Creative Curriculum and the Social-Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support (SCERTS) Model.

The Creative Curriculum assumes that all children learn and progress through interacting with social and physical environments. It provides an open framework but is informed by a set of guiding principles and practices for children of various developmental levels. The Creative Curriculum allows for modifications to ensure success for all children. It is also inclusive and respectful of a child’s family’s values, beliefs and experiences.

The SCERTS Model is complementary to the Creative Curriculum. It is an assessment-intervention approach that addresses the challenges faced by children who have autism. The curriculum targets individualized intervention objectives for students with the goals to improve social communication and emotional regulation. It uses transactional supports, which are intervention or teaching strategies embedded in everyday activities to support learning and active engagement.

A sample day

The following schedule illustrates a typical day in the Early Preschool Classroom (2019/2020 schedule). This is not a specific schedule and is subject to change.

7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Arrival (attendance)/table top activities/independent play

8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Free play (small group activities and choice time)

9:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Bathroom break/free choice

Transition: Mighty minute/cross body activity

9:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Morning meetings time (Teacher-directed, large group activity, check in, hand washing, transition song)

9:30 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.

Snack story/poem

9:50 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.

Free play (Child-directed, small group activity)
Book discussion cards, intentional teaching

10:10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.

Morning meeting time (teacher-directed, large group activity, rhyme with me)

10:20 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.

Free Play (small group activities and choice time)

10:40 a.m. to 11:05 a.m.

Music and movement/bathroom break

11:05 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.

Outdoor free play (child-directed)
Transition: Songs in Spanish

12:05 p.m. to 12:35 p.m.

Lunch
Transition: clean up and put lunch box in tote

12:35 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Zen Zone 
Transition: Independent reading, individual goodbyes

1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Naptime routine
Transition: Bathroom

3:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Snack story

3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon meeting

4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Free play

4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Outdoor free play afternoon meeting (large group, intentional teaching/music and movement)

5:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Zen Zone/bathroom, goodbye and pickup
Transition: Rug activities

 

School hours and calendar for the Early Preschool and Preschool classrooms (tuition-based classrooms for 2 to 4-year-olds)

Our preschool classrooms are open between  7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Families enrolled in the Early Preschool or Preschool classrooms who select the half-day option are expected to pick up children at 1 p.m.

2019-2020 Early Preschool and Preschool Calendar

  • July 26, 2019 – Last day of the 2018/19 school year
  • July 29, 2019 – Preschool Closed (teacher planning/professional development day)
  • July 30, 2019 – Preschool Closed (teacher planning/professional development day)
  • July 31, 2019 – Preschool Closed (teacher planning/professional development day)
  • Aug. 1, 2019 – Preschool closed (teacher planning/professional development day)
  • Aug. 2, 2019 – Preschool closed (teacher planning/professional development day)
  • Aug. 5, 2019 – First day of the 2019-2020 school year
  • Sept. 2, 2019 – Preschool closed (Labor Day)
  • Nov. 5, 2019 – Preschool closed (teacher planning/professional development day)
  • Nov. 28-29, 2019 – Preschool closed (Thanksgiving break)
  • Dec. 23, 2019 – Jan. 2, 2020 – Preschool closed (Winter break)
  • Jan. 3, 2020 – Preschool closed (teacher planning/professional development day)
  • Jan. 20, 2020 – Preschool closed (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • March 13, 2020 – Preschool closed (teacher planning/professional development day)
  • April 6-10, 2020 – Preschool closed (Spring break)
  • May 22, 2019 – Preschool closed (teacher planning/professional development day)
  • May 25, 2020 – Preschool Closed (Memorial Day)
  • July 3, 2020 –Summer Camp Closed (Independence Day)

All classrooms are subject to close during inclement weather conditions. Closure due to weather will be decided by the preschool’s administration on a case-by-case basis.

School hours and calendar for the Georgia Pre-K classroom

The Georgia Pre-K hours are from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Unless families select the before-/aftercare option, they are expected to drop their children off after 8:30 a.m. and pick up their children before 3 p.m. Before-care is available between 7:30 a.m. and between 8 a.m., and aftercare is available between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

2019/2020 Georgia Pre-K Calendar

  • July 29, 2019 – August 2, 2019 - Pre-K Classroom Closed (Teacher Planning/ Professional Development Day)
  • August 5, 2019 – First day of the 2019/20 school year
  • September 2, 2019 – Pre-K Classroom Closed (Labor Day)
  • October 10 – 11, 2019- Pre-K Classroom Closed – Day Camp available
  • October 14, 2019 – Pre-K Classroom Closed (Teacher Planning/ Professional Development Day)
  • November 5, 2019 – Pre-K Classroom Closed (Teacher Planning/ Professional Development Day)
  • November 25-27, 2019 – Pre-K Classroom Closed – Day Camp available
  • November 28-29, 2019 – Preschool Closed (Thanksgiving Break)
  • December 23, 2019 – January 2, 2020 – Preschool Closed (Winter Break)
  • January 3, 2012 – Pre-K Classroom Closed (Teacher Planning/ Professional Development Day)
  • January 20, 2020 – Pre-K Classroom Closed (Martin L. King Day)
  • February 14, 2020 – Pre-K Classroom Closed – Day Camp available
  • February 17, 2020 – Pre-K Classroom Closed – Day Camp available
  • March 13, 2020 – Pre-K Classroom Closed (Teacher Planning/ Professional Development Day)
  • April 6-10, 2020 – Pre-K Classroom Closed (Spring Break)
  • May 21, 2020 – Last day of the 2019-2020 Pre-K Classroom
  • May 22, 2019 – Pre-K Classroom Closed (Teacher Planning/ Professional Development Day)
  • May 25, 2020 – Pre-K Classroom Closed (Memorial Day)
  • May 26-July 2, 2020 – Summer Camp
  • July 3, 2020 –Summer Camp Closed (Independence Day)
  • July 6-July 24, 2020 – Summer Camp

All classrooms are subject to close during inclement weather conditions. Closure due to weather will be decided by the preschool’s administration on a case-by-case basis.

Have more questions?

View our Preschool Program frequently asked questions

Email our team or call 404-785-6511 if you'd like to connect with our team directly. We would love to hear more about your child and are happy to schedule a school tour at a time that works for your family.

Director (DECAL): Michael Siller, PhD

Executive Directors: Lindee Morgan, PhD, and Michael Siller, PhD

Marcus Autism Center

1920 Briarcliff Road NE

Atlanta, GA 30329

How do I schedule a tour?

  • We’re excited that you’re interested in our preschool. Tours are offered on Thursdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.
  • Email our team or call 404-785-6511 to schedule a tour.We hope you think our Preschool and Georgia Pre-K Program is the right school for your young child.

We’d love to support your family’s early education goals.