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Beginning Learners

Capturing the imagination of young children is at the heart of our preschool and kindergarten programs. With a focus on early literacy, math skills and social development, students are immersed in a predictable, developmentally appropriate learning environment. Practicing independence, working with friends, and becoming a part of a learning community complement the endless opportunities for academic growth.

Our Early Childhood Center includes junior pre-kindergarten (age 3), pre-kindergarten (age 4) and kindergarten (age 5). These students have their own Enchanted Forest Playground for recess and Early Childhood Gardens adjacent to their building.

Junior Pre-Kindergarten

Promoting natural curiosity, well-designed play, purposeful discovery, and meaningful exploration are at the heart of our JPK classrooms. Focusing on social and emotional development, our program provides the fundamental building blocks for early development. The program includes Spanish, P.E., music, library, and yoga on a rotation basis. The daily schedule is designed to foster the social, physical, and cognitive development of our youngest learners. JPK students may be enrolled for three or five days a week with daily dismissal at 1 p.m. They bring lunch from home.

Pre-Kindergarten

A year of endless imagination, our PK students join their friends each day, eager to learn. A safe, nurturing environment promotes the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of every student. A few of our pre-kindergarten traditions include a Thanksgiving feast, gingerbread man hunt, king and queen of hearts day, and luau in the spring. The program includes Spanish, P.E., music, library, art and shop, and yoga on a rotation basis. Every week in pre-kindergarten brings new opportunities for each child to learn and grow. The daily schedule includes lunch in the cafeteria and daily dismissal at 1 p.m.

Kindergarten

With enthusiasm and endless energy, our kindergarten students soar as learners. Kindergarten is a magical year that engages students’ imagination and builds their academic skills. Well-planned literacy and math workshops allow students to build a foundation for future academic success. The program includes daily P.E. and Spanish, music, library, art and shop and technology on a rotation basis. Having a fifth grade buddy and acting in a school play are highlights of the kindergarten year. Daily dismissal is at 3 p.m. 

Eco-literacy Initiative

Teachers and students dedicate one day a week to focus on outdoor learning across our campus, including the gardens, playground and trails. Students bring boots and rain jackets to school in case it rains on their outside day. There is growing evidence of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social benefits of outdoor education for early learners, and Bright is not the first and certainly not the last school to venture into the outdoors. An article in a recent issue of Independent School Parent magazine noted several reasons to offer outdoor experiences: Students understand that learning happens everywhere, not just the classroom. Outdoor learning leads to greater resilience because students are encouraged to take appropriate risks, be challenged, ask questions and ponder. Developing a love and respect for nature and how we interact with the environment is key to the mission of Bright, where students learn to become “wise and compassionate citizens of the world.”

After School

Our after school program, called Bright Afternoons, allows parents the flexibility of keeping their child at school longer during the day. We offer after school classes for preschool ages that last until 3 p.m., and Bright Afternoons is open until 6 p.m. every day. To learn more, visit our Bright Afternoons page.

Summer Program

We offer Bright Days, a summer program for early learners, starting in June and running through the first week of August. Bright Days is available to preschool age children to rising third graders in the community. To learn more, visit our Bright Days page.

Teachers

Rachel Berger

Junior Pre-Kindergarten

Joined Bright faculty in 2018
B.A., University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Cathy Hicks

Junior Pre-Kindergarten

Joined Bright faculty in 1994
A.S., Chattanooga State Community College

Karen Thompson

Junior Pre-Kindergarten
Joined Bright faculty in 2000

Emily Hon

Pre-Kindergarten

Bright alumna '86
Joined Bright faculty in 1998
B.S., Vanderbilt University

Jill Johnson

Pre-Kindergarten

Joined Bright faculty in 2018
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Katie Shirley

Pre-Kindergarten

Joined Bright faculty in 2015
B.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville
M.Ed., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Bill Greene

Kindergarten

Joined Bright faculty in 2015
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Jasmine Mathews

Kindergarten

Joined Bright faculty in 2017
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Mary Bosshardt

Kindergarten
Phone: 423-265-0024

Joined Bright faculty in 2016
B.S., University of Georgia

Assistants

Mady Ashe

Junior Pre-Kindergarten Assistant

Joined Bright faculty in 2017
B.S., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Kayla Greco

Junior Pre-Kindergarten Assistant

Joined Bright faculty in 2017
Student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Chasity Robinson

Junior Pre-Kindergarten Assistant
Phone: 423-267-8546

Joined Bright faculty in 2017
Student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Hannah Layton

Pre-Kindergarten Assistant

Joined Bright faculty in 2016
B.S., Bryan College

Lynne Stutts

PK Assistant

Joined Bright faculty in 2019
B.S., University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Sydney Graham

Kindergarten Assistant
Phone: 423-265-0024
Joined Bright staff in 2018
Student, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Affiliations