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BrightStars, Rhode Island’s Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement system, assists families in finding care and recognizes and supports quality in early care and education programs.

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BrightStars Program Focus: Emmanuel Day School

Emmanuel Day School, located in Newport, began its BrightStars participation in 2015. The program “offers a nurturing, intimate, and exciting learning environment with enriching opportunities for preschool children to discover and explore,” says Carissa Perkowski, director and lead teacher. “By building on children’s natural passion for discovery, we encourage students to work together in a multiage environment to investigate new concepts. Our intimate setting gives each child an individualized learning experience that excites the imagination, inspires creativity, and instills lifelong curiosity.” Carissa and her staff’s vision comes to life in a spacious, multi-age classroom, which is located in a converted meeting hall in Emmanuel Episcopal Church.  The open space is filled, wall-to-wall, with whimsical interest centers that foster play across all domains.

Under Carissa’s leadership, Emmanuel Day School has been dedicated to providing high quality child care to Rhode Island’s children. Their efforts recently paid off when the program received an increased rating of 4-Stars with BrightStars. The increased participation with BrightStars has had a positive impact on Emmanuel’s programming. “Since joining BrightStars, we have seen an increase in enrollment and family participation. It has made more people in our community aware of our school and directly impacts how people select our program,” says Carissa, “The renewed energy of our teachers has motivated our parents to be more involved. We now have a very active parent advisory board who has built a strong community of collaboration.”

The BrightStars Framework has also inspired changes to Emmanuel Day School’s programming, keeping continuous quality improvement in mind. “BrightStars has provided a variety of resources to enhance our entire program. With the help from our BrightStars Navigator and technical assistance [from the Center for Early Learning Professionals], we have reworked our philosophy and curriculum to better reflect our values and practices. Inspired by professional development, and the environmental rating scale, we have a stronger commitment to play. We work to facilitate meaningful activities through hands on learning each day. Our dedicated teachers have insightful interactions with our students guiding them to discovery. This has fostered renewed feeling of warmth and community in our school.”

The benefits of investing time and energy to continuous quality improvement are obvious at Emmanuel Day School, and we at BrightStars look forward to their continued participation!

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