preschool girl smiling

Preschool 3s


"Our son's teachers have been such an important part of his life. For some three- and four-year-old kids and their parents (especially in NYC), school can be stressful, but in our case, it was an absolute pleasure. Our son loved his experience and could often be found running to school in the morning. He respected and learned from his teachers, and the environment that they fostered was undoubtedly special. We appreciate the time, energy, and care they put into their work!"
- Amy and Brett, Parents of Ben, 3s Program


In our warm and nurturing 3s Program classrooms, teachers encourage children to explore the world around them while gaining confidence in a school setting. Students are increasingly social, and teachers provide many opportunities for sharing and cooperation. Language and vocabulary are developing quickly, and children are encouraged to express themselves in a variety of ways. Learn about our Preschool 3s application process and apply today.

Apply to Preschool 3s 

Age: Children who turn three years old prior to September 1 of the academic year
Class size: Each class has a maximum of 15 students with two to three teachers
Curriculum: First year of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program
Language: Spanish, additional languages available for a fee in after-school programs

Select from Several Program Options:

  • Monday through Friday mornings, 8:30 am - 12 pm
  • Monday through Friday full days, 8:30 am - 2:30 pm

Early-drop off, extended day, and extensive after-school activities are available. 

Transitioning to School

Before school begins, we offer classroom visits for all students entering our 3s Program. This allows children to meet their new teachers in the classroom environment. The school year begins with a gradual separation and a “phase-in schedule,” working up to a full session by the second week of school.

A Day in the Life & Sample Schedule

Daily activities for 3s classes include choice time/free play, small group work, circle time, outdoor play, snack/story time, and, for full-day classes, lunch, and rest. The 3s also enjoy weekly visits from their music and Spanish specialists, as well as scheduled gym, library, and studio (arts and science) time.

Here is a sample schedule for our full-day program:

Peek Inside the Classroom

You might find the 3s student:

  • Visiting the NYC Transit Museum as the culmination of our study of travel and transportation
  • Exploring red envelopes filled with coins as they listen to a parent in traditional dress talk about the traditions of Chinese New Year
  • Counting and rehearsing favorite songs about weather and colors ―in Spanish!
  • Working in small groups to practice letter recognition in Alphabet Bingo and tracing the letters in trays of sand or glitter
  • Designing "blueprints" and building their own inventions after reading and discussing Rosie Revere, Engineer
  • Learning African dance with a special guest to accompany a favorite African folk song from Music class
  • Using cooperation and collaboration to create "partner paintings" while exploring color mixing

Explore the Curriculum

Curriculum Guide 

With increasing confidence, children in the 3s Program begin to focus on adults and move beyond their immediate family, as they begin to grow in independence. They show a widening interest in their surroundings and spend time observing and imitating. Pretend play begins to emerge as children create imaginary worlds and make sense of reality. Our classrooms provide opportunities for this through dressing up, using toys and props, construction, and block play.

Children of this age are increasingly social, and teachers provide opportunities for sharing and cooperation. Language and vocabulary are developing quickly and children often use word play by repeating words and sounds over and over again. They thrive on conversation and are able to follow instructions and accept suggestions.

Learning Spanish allows children to build the foundations for foreign language acquisition. Repetition and practice are important, as children like to revisit stories, rhymes, and play familiar games. They are able to categorize and are interested in similarities and differences. Teachers build on this and develop themes that encourage observation and questioning. Early mathematical concepts are formed and children are guided to practice their counting and to solve simple problems.

With growing skills, three-year-olds love to be active! They can run, jump, and hop, and are beginning to cooperate in simple games. Their fine motor skills are developing and they’re able to make marks, paint, draw, and represent with a variety of tools and materials. Through sand and water play, they are able to pour, dig, scoop, and investigate the properties of natural materials.

What's Next

Dwight's Preschool Program


Chris Allen
Director of Preschool
(212) 362-2350 Ext 703



Nora Thomson
Director Preschool Admissions
(212) 362-2350 Ext 748