Where can you find a family-oriented school with top notch teachers who are passionate about early childhood learning? The answer is The Goddard School of Knoxville (Hardin Valley). We spoke with co-owner, Anoula McCarren, to learn more about this childcare facility located right in Hardin Valley.
Facility Opening and Operation, Location and Hours
The Goddard School of Knoxville (Hardin Valley) was opened in September 2008 under the ownership of Don and Anoula McCarren.
The Goddard School is a franchise and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA with over 500 schools in the United States, but each school is independently owned. All the schools have high quality owners and directors who go through background checks and an intensive 3-week training to become well equipped to own and direct the facility.
The Hardin Valley location is at 10720 Virginia Pine Way, Knoxville, TN 37932, and the hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7am-6pm.
Qualified Staff with a Heart for Children
The facility has 34 staff members consisting of an Operations Director, Education Director, full-time and part-time teachers. Full-time teachers have an Early Childhood Education or are working toward a degree or certification. In addition to full-time teachers, there are part-time teachers who provide assistance in the afternoons.
Staff follow Goddard protocols as well as rules set for by the state of Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS), but teachers are able to plan their own lessons in advance, creating a customized experience to enhance student learning.
The Goddard Experience
The school serves children from six weeks old up to the age of six with infant rooms all the way up to a junior kindergarten. Class sizes are based on DHS requirements, but the ratio of teachers to students in infant classes is 1:4, and there are two teachers in every classroom. Full capacity at the school is 172 students.
Most of the children at the school attend full time (7am to 6pm), and parents are encouraged to have the children to school by 10 a.m. when snack and a breakdown of the day’s activities are shared with the children. Anoula noted that children are often disappointed on days when they have to leave early from school as they are having fun and don’t want to miss out on the planned activities, a testament to the high quality experience from the children’s perspective!
Teachers provide a structured experience but include plenty of room for creativity and fun in the classroom. There are group activities as well as 1:1 activities for the children.
The facility is open all year, though there are a few holidays when the school is closed, including closure the week between Christmas and New Year, but parents receive the schedule in advance as well as receive reminders close to these dates.
During the summer, the curriculum changes to include more outdoor activities and special visitors.
What makes Goddard unique?
Goddard School of Knoxville (Hardin Valley) is set apart from other childcare facilities for many reasons. One significant way is due to its extremely high teacher retention. Most of the staff have been with the school 5-12 years, so there is very low turnover.
Our high quality teaching staff prepares and implements their own lesson plans daily. These lesson plans are displayed through an app, where families can communicate with the teachers, share pictures, videos and store developmentally appropriate evidence of milestones each child meets.
In addition, many families have been with the school from infant through junior kindergarten and parents of multiple kids have all their children go through The Goddard of Knoxville (Hardin Valley). These families have a lot of faith in the school and staff, and for good reason. The goal is to provide high quality experiences to get the children school ready, career ready, and life ready.
Furthermore, the school is very family-oriented. They want their parents to be involved and do a lot for families (prior to COVID-19 but plan to restart when advised), including Science fairs, Chess tournaments, Art Shows, Parent Night Out, Pre-K Graduations, Fall Festivals to raise money for the Children’s Hospital and the Early Education department at Pellissippi State Community College.
Families know that they can always reach Anoula, the owner. She is available for them days, nights, and weekends, and this added support is another quality that truly sets the school apart from other childcare facilities in the area.
Steps to take if interested
The first step recommended if parents are interested in having their child(ren) attend The Goddard School of Knoxville (Hardin Valley) is to give the facility a call at 865-531-9599. Staff will be happy to answer any questions during this call.
In addition, parents can go to their location’s website, https://www.goddardschool.com/knoxville/knoxville-virginia-pine-way-tn, to learn more or by visiting The Goddard School main website (www.goddardschools.com). Furthermore, parents can receive an informational brochure via email and can set up a tour.
Once parents decide that The Goddard School of Knoxville (Hardin Valley) is the place for their child, they will be placed on the waitlist.
The school is very upfront with potential families about their current waitlist. The waitlist is at least a year out. They do their best to fit people in, but they cannot guarantee anything at least a year out. Once on the waitlist, if there is an opening, staff will go down the waitlist making phone calls and providing parents with a timeframe to let the staff know if they are still interested.
At the time of the interview (May 11, 2021), staff and children were the only ones allowed inside the facility. Parents are required to take temperatures in the morning before drop-off and then temperatures are taken once the children arrive at school. All faculty must wear masks and have their temperatures taken as well.
The staff are awaiting advisement from The Goddard School corporate office regarding any changes to the current regulations (as of May 11, 2021).
The facility uses a sanitizing machine that cleans masks, toys, and similar items in thirty minutes. They also run a machine nightly to sanitize the school.
In addition to checking out the website, www.goddardschools.com, browsing by location, and reading reviews, parents can also check out The Goddard School of Knoxville (Hardin Valley) on social media (Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GoddardSchoolKnoxvilleTN and Twitter – https://twitter.com/GoddardKnox). Reviews from parents, teachers, and past families can be read on the website and on social media.
We are excited to spotlight such a wonderful childcare facility in Hardin Valley and encourage you to check them out!
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