"With so many choices when it comes to parenting, it can easily feel overwhelming. Choosing Prairie Hill's Early Childhood Program for our children is one choice I never question. Every child would be so lucky to grow in an environment that nurtures love, compassion, self-discovery and joy."


A complete childhood:

In our Kindergarten, childhood is protected, play is essential, and relationships are nurtured. This leads to children who are confident, self-aware, and balanced as they enter the rigorous academics found in the grades. Pre-academic skills fostered by our play-based curriculum include sequencing, sensory integration, eye-hand coordination, vocabulary, memory, abstract thinking, and other basic skills necessary for the foundation of academic excellence. In this loving and creative environment, the children are given everything they need to prepare for the next phase of school life.

The Waldorf Kindergarten is modeled on the home, with the teacher being the loving and guiding authority. The majority of our Kindergarteners' day is spent outside in our extensive outdoor classrooms. Here they have freedom to explore, an outlet for their vibrant energy, and a deep appreciation for the world around them. A gentle rhythm carries them through their day, with more exuberant activities balanced with calming ones. The rich social environment of a mixed-age group provides opportunities for emotional growth and maturity. 

Your child will enjoy:

  • Learning stories, poems and songs by heart
  • Helping prepare healthy meals and snacks
  • Practicing good manners with their classmates
  • Learning to resolve conflict with compassion
  • Exploring nature year-round
  • Plenty of time for creative free play
  • Participating in cleaning and chores
  • Developing their own games and stories
  • Lavender foot rubs at nap-time
  • Creating art projects with natural materials
  • A schedule designed to create a gentle transition to first grade

    Our Kindergarten teachers:

    Jenifer Minor Lead Kindergarten Teacher

    Jenifer Minor

    Lead Kindergarten Teacher

    Jenifer Minor began her studies in child development and anthroposophy in 2016 as a student with the Great Lakes Waldorf Institute. Native to Wisconsin, she was attracted to the reverence, beauty, and love that Waldorf education brings to the world. Prior to beginning her studies with Great Lakes, she lived in Minneapolis and then New York City, earning a bachelor’s degree in flute performance. More recently, Jenifer held an Early Childhood position at the Emerson Waldorf School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Miss Jenifer enjoys gardening and being in nature, creating and attempting new handwork projects, connecting with people, and spending time with her tabby cat, Zorro.

    Miss Jenifer warmly greets the children with open arms and an open heart each morning. Her calm and loving demeanor provides a strong foundation for the day's activities as she leads the children through their daily and seasonal rhythms. 

    Leslie Gutkowski Lead Kindergarten Teacher

    Leslie Gutkowski

    Lead Kindergarten Teacher and Summer Garden Coordinator

    Leslie has worked with children in an educational setting for over 10 years, and loves sharing in their days. She received an Associates degree in Early Childhood education from WCTC and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from UWM.

    When not at school, she enjoys outdoor activities, live music, singing, cooking, and spending quality time with friends and family and a very active Corgi dog.

    Miss Leslie brings warmth, calm and love to her classroom, providing the children with the daily rhythm that helps them thrive.

    Stanlee Maliszewski Lead Kindergarten Teacher

    Claire Lippe

    Lead Kindergarten Teacher

    Claire Lippe received her BA in International Relations from the University of Winona State, a Masters of Sustainable Peacebuilding from the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin and has completed a variety of Lifeways Early Childhood courses. In her previous work, she was a director of a Waldorf-inspired daycare in West Milwaukee. Claire has been a part of the Prairie Hill community starting at the age of 2 years old, when she attended Playgroup (parent-child classes). She later graduated with her 8th grade class in 2008. Between studying, Claire returned to Prairie Hill to teach in the Early Childhood and extended Care programs. 

    By offering clear boundaries, demonstrating healthy habits, and encouraging curious minds, Miss Claire provides the children in her care the space for childhood to blossom.

    Additional information:

    4 years to 6 years old. This mixed-aged class includes younger and older students to provide a rich social environment. Classes are filled on a first come/first serve basis.

    3 Day Kindergarten (M, T, W) 8:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

    5 Day Kindergarten (M, T, W, F) 8:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m & (Thursdays) 8:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

    5 Half Day Kindergarten (M, T, W, Th, F) 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Drop-off opens at 7:30 a.m. & After Care Available


    Students intending to join Kindergarten are required to spend a full day in one of our classrooms or attend one of our Early Childhood Adventures. For more infomation please get in touch with our Admissions Coordinator at 262-646-7497 or [email protected]

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