RPS Preschool text

Preschool is all about wonderful new learning experiences that build skills for a lifetime. It is about turning everyday experiences and interactions into powerful opportunities of learning. At Rochester Public Schools Preschool we understand that each child has unique educational needs and we emphasize learning through age-appropriate practice in a play-based environment.

We use purposeful play because we know that our young students learn best in a playful, hands-on setting. We also believe that effective learning takes place when we build and sustain strong partnerships and relationships with our students and their families. To best meet the varied needs of the children and families we serve, we offer a variety of locations, times and programming options.

Students playing with toys in a preschool classroom with text "RPS Preschool building skills for a lifetime"

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Please feel free to contact us with any questions about RPS Preschool, reach us below or call (507) 328-4024.

Contact Us


  • Northrup Education Center
    Downtown Rochester
  • Mighty Oaks Early Learning School
    Southeast Rochester
  • Hoover Early Learning School
    Northwest Rochester


Building Skills for a Lifetime

Preschool Basics

What is the curriculum?

Our licensed teachers build positive relationships with each child to support and enhance early learning, growth and development. Children will experience a variety of early childhood learning activities in the classroom. RPS Preschool utilizes the research based Creative Curriculum, along with other supplementary curricula. Creative Curriculum covers all areas of development including: social-emotional, physical, language, literacy, cognitive, mathematics, science, and arts. Instruction occurs in both large and small groups. A circle time and snack are also included in programming. 

Are there attendance requirements?

Routines and schedules are an important part of preschool and school readiness. Curriculum components build on what was learned the day before. Regular attendance is required and non-illness related absences should be kept to a minimum. 

When are classes held?

RPS Preschool begins one week after the start of the K-12 school year and ends during the first full week of June. Class calendars will be distributed during the month of August. 

Are there conferences or assessments?

Each parent and guardian will have the opportunity to conference with their child’s teacher at least two times a year - fall and spring. RPS Preschool uses Teaching Strategies GOLD and the Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs) as our preschool assessments. Teacher observations and assessment information is shared with parents on an ongoing basis and at the fall and spring conferences. 

Our Teachers

Rochester Public Schools early childhood teachers lead preschool classrooms, applying the very best state and national research in brain development, social and emotional skills, and the quality of adult-child interaction. RPS also offers parent learning opportunities, facilitated by our licensed parent educators. 

Unique to school-based programs, RPS Preschool is proud that 100% of our teachers have completed at least a Bachelor’s degree—many have earned Master’s or PhD credentials—and hold a Minnesota teaching license in their field. Our teachers are expected to grow their professional skills continually through district trainings, higher education courses, and other professional learning opportunities. 

Our Approach

Preschool teachers employ today’s best practices in helping children develop as people and as learners, to support life-long success. We feature The Creative Curriculum®, a nationally-recognized early learning system, and we assess student progress across learning and development domains with the Teaching Strategies GOLD® tool. Together, these allow us to individualize teaching and learning to help students make the most growth and develop their love of learning. 

Across RPS Preschool, we evaluate the quality of teacher-student interaction with a research-based tool called CLASS®, which provides administrators and teachers a productive framework to expand cognitive development and meet student needs. For students who require additional services to meet their goals, RPS Preschool offers special education services including speech and language support, mental health support, and other positive interventions. Our professionals work as a team to meet our students’ needs. 

Individualized Learning

We recognize that all children need individualized learning experiences offered in a play-based learning environment by teachers who are skilled in building strong and nurturing relationships. RPS Preschool offers a variety of preschool options (including AM, PM and evening) and services for young children and their families.

Parents Partnering in Education

What happens in the home environment is key to a child’s success in school. All of our preschool classes engage parents in their child’s learning and some provide a designated parent education day. Parents who participate in these opportunities better understand and respond to their children’s behavior, read and talk with their children more frequently, feel more confident in their role as a parent, and are more likely to be involved in their child’s education.

RPS Preschool offers some preschool classes with a parent education day. On these days, parents participate in a discussion led by a licensed parent educator, exploring the many facets of parenting a preschooler, including the developmental domains of early childhood. Parent attendance is required for classes with a designated parent day component. See Class Schedule for classes with a parent education day. Sibling care is offered on parent education days (as space is available) for children 9 months to kindergarten enrollment not enrolled in the preschool class.

Parent Education Days and PACT

Some programs offer a Parent Education Day, on this parent attendance day, teachers provide a variety of instructional materials that parents can share in our child’s excitement in discovery, exploration and manipulation of items in the environment. 

Parent day participation is a requirement for those classes that offer it. One excused absence per semester will be allowed if a parent or guardian is not able to attend the parent day. This must be pre-approved with the PAIIR/ECFE office prior to the absence.

Sample Parent Education Day Schedule:

  • Greetings: Recognize and locate name card and wash hands.
  • PACT (Parents And Child Time together): During this time teachers will provide a variety of instructional materials that you can share in your child’s excitement in discovery, exploration and manipulation of items in the environment. Examples of these would be art, science, math, small muscle, and language and literacy activities.
  • Parent and Child Circle: Singing, rhymes, movement and stories to increase early language and cognitive development.
  • Parent and Early Childhood Education: Parents will move to a separate classroom down the hall for a discussion lead by a licensed parent educator. Discussion topics will explore the developmental domains of early childhood. These include, but are not limited to: Personal and Social Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematical and Logical Thinking, Scientific Thinking, Social Studies, and Creativity. During this time the children will be involved in a number of early childhood activities. Some activities include: Sensory tub (using different mediums), small muscle manipulative, discovery center, computers, play dough, creative art, quiet corner, and dramatic play. This is also the time in which we are working on improving social development and communication skills.
  • Clean Up: Teaches responsibility by picking up after ourselves and putting away toys, books or games. Then we wash our hands.
  • Snack and Conversation: The children are encouraged to pour their own beverage and count out their snack while engaging in conversation with other children and teachers.
  • Small Group Instruction: Children participate in small group instruction with curriculum activities focusing on language, literacy, math, social and emotional skills, and motor skills.
  • Children's Circle Time: We will be increasing our vocabulary by learning new songs and rhymes. The children will be encouraged to speak during sharing time. We will build on our social skills by listening to stories and sharing.
  • Goodbye: Parents will return to the children’s classroom for final announcements and goodbyes.

Registration and Fees

How do I register?

We still have openings for the 2019-2020 School Year, and prices are slightly different. Please call (507) 328-4024 to find out about openings, pricing, and registration for the current school year. 

Please note that prices listed are for the 2020-2021 School Year.

Families are welcome to register online or complete a paper application and submit your form to the ECFE/PAIIR office. A $75 non-refundable deposit is required with registration. The deposit is applied to the May tuition payment. Call (507) 328-4020 or visit the ECFE/PAIIR office at the Northrop Education Center for more information or help with registration. Your child will need to be the appropriate age for class, on or before September 1, of that program year and each child needs to be registered separately. 

What is tuition, and is there financial assistance?

Preschool tuition and fees are billed monthly, and due the 24th of each month prior to attendance. Limited preschool scholarships and financial aid options are available for qualifying families. 

Explorers Class

Location Dates Times Cost
Hoover M/W/F 9:00-11:30 AM $270/month
Mighty Oaks M/W/F 9:00-11:30 AM $270/month
Northrop M/W/F 12:30-3:15 PM $270/month

Learn more about the Explorers Class.

Pathfinders Class

Location Dates Times Cost
Hoover M-F 9:00-11:30 AM $350/month
  M-F 1:15-3:45 PM  
Mighty Oaks M-F 9:00-11:30 AM $350/month
  M-F 1:15-3:45 PM  
Northrop M-Th 12:30-3:30 PM $310/month

Learn more about the Pathfinders Class.

Trailblazers Class

Location Dates Times Cost
Hoover M-F 1:15-3:45 PM $350/month
*full day* M-F

9:45 AM-3:45 PM

Mighty Oaks M-F 9:00-11:30 AM $350/month
*full day* M-F 1:15-3:45 PM $765/month
Northrop M-F 12:45-3:45 PM $350/month

Learn more about the Trailblazers Class.

STEM Class

Location Dates Times Cost
Mighty Oaks M-F 1:15-3:45 PM $350/month

Learn more about the STEM Class.

Parents Partnering in Education

Engaging in a student's learning is the key.

Four Star Parent Aware Rated

RPS Preschool has earned a Four-Star rating from Minnesota’s Parent Aware Quality Rating System.

A variety of classes for every child.

RPS Preschool offers a variety of learning classes to fit the need and nurture the potential of every child. 

Our Approach

Our teacher help children develop as people and as learners, to support life-long success.

Individualized Learning

All children need individualized learning experiences offered in a play-based learning environment.

Our Teachers

Care for and support each child.