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About HCA Preschool at St. Mary

Holy Cross Academy Preschool at St. Mary is located in the Parish Life Center tof St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

While it is at a different physical location than Holy Cross Academy, it is the preschool to Holy Cross and falls under the administration of Holy Cross Academy and the guidance of the Office of Catholic Schools at the Diocese of Arlington.


Our preschool program was established in 2003 and serves approximately 90 children in a variety of classes. We are happy to offer a positive early childhood experience to our Catholic community!

Preschool Philosophy of Learning

At HCA Preschool at St. Mary we provide an environment rich in experiences necessary to promote emotional, social, physical, and intellectual growth in the preschool child. In a caring, positive Christian atmosphere we create a warm and happy place for your child to learn. As we bridge the gap from home to school, we guide children to a continued good self-image while building social skills in a school setting.

Our curriculum standards are set forth by the Diocese of Arlington, but activities presented in the classroom are developed through teacher observation and evaluation of each student's needs.  Concepts and skills are introduced which are appropriate to each child’s stage of development. Concrete, hands-on activities and experiences are planned according to a calendar of themes and units which are relevant to the children, providing meaningful learning.

Sensory, motor, perceptual and language skills are reinforced through manipulative materials and activities which are both child-centered and teacher-directed. Projects are planned which emphasize “the process rather than the product,” fostering a sense of accomplishment and pride for each child. We teach a love of learning by allowing and helping children to experience success without pressure.

Based on the theory that “children learn through play,” classroom experiences encourage each child toward active involvement and creative exploration of his/her environment. Classroom schedules are designed with a balance of structure and free choice, as well as active and quiet times.

Preschool Curriculum

The curriculum is not just the goals of the program and the planned activities but also the daily schedule, the availability and use of materials, transitions between activities and the way in which routine tasks of living are implemented. Young children are expected to learn through active and positive manipulation of the environment and concrete experiences that contribute to concept development.

Without limiting the rights of the school under section VIII of this handbook, modifications may be made in the environment and staffing patterns for children with special needs.

The daily schedule is intended to provide a balance of activities with attention to the following dimension of scheduling:

  • Daily outdoor play, weather permitting

  • Alternating periods of quiet time and active play

  • A balance of large muscle and small muscle activities is provided

  • Various small group or large group activities throughout most of the day

  • A balance of child-initiated and staff-initiated activity is provided. The amount of time spent in staff-initiated, large group activity is limited.

Developmentally appropriate materials and equipment that project heterogeneous, racial, gender and age attributes are selected for use.

The school will use media, such as videos, online learning games, or apps that have been previewed by the staff prior to use. The purpose of technology in the classroom is to enhance and support the curriculum concepts being introduced.

The goal of the school is to emphasize concrete experiential learning and to achieve the following goals:

  • foster spiritual development;;

  • foster positive self-concept;

  • encourage children to think, reason, question and experiment;

  • develop social skills;

  • encourage language development;

  • enhance physical development and skills;

  • encourage and demonstrate sound health, safety and nutritional practices;

  • encourage creative expression and appreciation for the arts;

  • respect cultural diversity.

Staff provides materials and time for activities, but children choose from among several activities that the teacher has planned or the children initiate. Staff respect the child’s right to choose not to participate at times.

HCA Preschool at St. Mary follows the curriculum guidelines set forth by the Diocese of Arlington. To view those standards, please visit:

HCA Preschool at St. Mary's address is:

1009 Stafford Ave.

Fredericksburg, VA  22401

Phone: 540.373.7553

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