7380 Girard Avenue, La Jolla

Gillispie School / Our Programs / Kindergarten


Gillispie’s Kindergarten provides a smooth transition bridging the Early Childhood and Elementary programs. We are dedicated to challenging our students to greater achievement while responding to each child individually. Understanding that play is the work of young children, we continuously encourage our children to grow both socially and academically throughout our busy days. Teachers of all the classes listed below plan and develop materials with a mind towards helping children discover the connections among all of the subjects and often engage students in cross-disciplinary project-based activities.


The processes of reading and writing go hand-in-hand, and many of the activities in Kindergarten address both of these skills. Guided by the UFLI Foundations Phonics Program, an explicit and systematic approach, we ensure that each student read connected text every day to support reading accuracy. Teachers adhere to the Science of Reading principles to promote phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension – concepts that are essential for reading proficiency. This is done through small group lessons, alphabet games, read-alouds, word-building activities, journaling, and more, to help children gain the foundations necessary to see themselves as readers and writers. As the school year progresses, they will become more comfortable with decoding and sounding out words, as well as recognizing key sight words. Throughout the year, we will continuously address both the phonetic nature of words as well as the deeper comprehension of text. Children will be continuously assessed and activities will be planned based on their individual development and needs.


Number sense, analytical and conceptual thinking, and problem-solving skills are taught through the use of the Singapore Math approach and other complementary programs. Using a hands-on and mental math approach, the application of math concepts and skills are taught through a wide range of activities.


Social Studies and Science

In Social Studies, students are guided by a set of Gillispie Values: Integrity, Compassion, Attitude, Respect, and Effort, which create the acronym ICARE. These values aid in our study of our campus and our community. Students and adults on campus show they care about themselves, each other, and the world around them by exhibiting these five values in all areas of school life. Science in Kindergarten is guided by interest and inquiry. Students will build skills through questions, investigation, observation, and organizing gathered information.


Each week, students attend specialty classes so that they may develop an awareness of a wide range of content and practice and build essential skills.

Kindergarten at a glance

Educational Philosophy:
Social-constructivist inspired

Class Sizes:
8:1 or lower ratio

Full-day program  8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Extended Care (optional):
7:30-8 a.m. and 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Click here to see current tuition rates and learn more about affording a Gillispie education. 

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