The Davis Academy is expanding its pre-kindergarten program.

The Reform day school announced Wednesday, Nov. 11, that its full-day Mechina: Kindergarten Prep academic program will accommodate multiple classrooms for 4-year-olds and young 5-year-olds in the 2016-17 school year.

Davis also will provide a one-time Little Learners grant of $3,500 to each child accepted into Mechina next school year. The children must be at least 4 years old on the first day of school.

Mechina pupils engage in independent learning activities using tablet technology.

Mechina pupils engage in independent learning activities using tablet technology.

“Integrating these young students into the dynamic learning culture and environment of our vibrant elementary school delivers a qualitatively different experience than can be provided in other settings,” said Drew Frank, the Davis associate head of school and principal. “Further, the training of our teachers combined with the structure of our teaming enables an age-appropriate and inquiry-based curriculum to be developmentally adjusted for individual learners within and across classroom groupings.”

The Mechina program aims to provide a nurturing environment that challenges and supports the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of each child heading into elementary school, whether the child is going through pre-K or taking a transitional year.

Full-time, certified teachers run the classrooms and have the support of counselors, a school psychologist, specialized instructors (world language, science, art, PE) and clergy. The curriculum includes innovative instructional technology, student mentors, divergent learning spaces, field trips, hands-on learning and purposeful playtime.

“The Mechina program was an amazing introduction into the larger Davis experience,” said Stacy Wolff, who sent a son through the program and has a second child enrolled this year. “Having the early exposure to a full-day academic curriculum positioned our son for success in kindergarten. He felt comfortable in the school environment. He was used to the hallways. He knew and loved the teachers, and he had confidence on the playground.”

The small group instruction was important for parent Sari Block, whose Mechina alum is now in kindergarten at Davis. “Not only was it a warm environment where our child felt the support and encouragement from the teachers and their friends, but the learning that took place in the classroom prepared our daughter for a seamless transition into kindergarten.”

Davis will host a Mechina parent information session Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. with a tour of the school and current Mechina parents available to discuss the program. Contact Lisa Mirsky at 678-527-3300 or lmirsky@davisacademy.org for more information.