The Beginning School

The Beginning School

Preschool, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten

The Beginning School is a three-year experience designed to meet the needs and developmental stages of Renbrook’s youngest learners. It is here, where we build the foundation for children to become life-long learners.  
First and foremost, we want our students to be socially and emotionally strong so they can be fully accessible to learning. Number and letters are just a slice of the important work students engage in at the Beginning School. In preschool through kindergarten, we are committed to purposeful play as a means for students to learn about themselves, others, and the world around them. Expert teachers cultivate students’ expression, creativity, and imagination, setting the stage for them to be confident engineers, mathematicians, artists, writers, musicians, and so much more. Our teachers’ passion and enthusiasm are contagious! 
Teachers listen to and observe their students closely so that they can respond to their interests and build upon their strengths. Our curriculum which is guided by themes, is expansive and responsive, allowing teachers to respond to children’s big questions and skills. 
None of this is possible without strong relationships. Building relationships with our students and their families is a critical and rewarding piece of everything we do here in the Beginning School. 
I look forward to meeting you and sharing this magical place with you. 
Kelly Bird is the Director of the Beginning School at Renbrook School. Previously, she served as a Coach for Teaching Apprentices in the Urban Teaching Apprenticeship Program at UPenn. She has also worked as a teacher (Packer Collegiate, Little Red School House, the Town School, NYC), Director of Admission (The Hewitt School, NYC), and Division Director (Friends’ Central School, PA). While working at Friends’ Central, Bird founded their innovative “Light Lab” that housed a comprehensive maker program and placed children at the center of their learning. She also has extensive experience facilitating diversity and inclusion conversations, reflecting her belief that children thrive in an environment in which they feel they belong. Dr. Bird earned her Ed.D. in School Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania, an MSEd from Bank Street College of Education in elementary education, and a BA in psychology/sociology from Wesleyan University.
    • Harvest Parade 2020


Our play-based approach encourages children, in partnership with teachers, to make discoveries about themselves and the world around them. Play is an essential component as children learn to socialize, communicate, make choices, show initiative, collaborate, observe, problem-solve, and ask questions.

Outdoor Learning

Nature is central to the learning experience at Renbrook. Being outside develops confidence and resiliency in students, providing authentic learning opportunities in math, science, literacy, and social studies. Our 75-acre campus is the backdrop for countless outdoor adventures in outdoor classrooms, on trails, and at the pond.


Every teacher in the Beginning School is focused on creating a sense of self for each child. The learning environment at Renbrook School is one of inclusivity. Honoring children’s humanity means helping them to understand their own identity and to embrace the identities of others. Children need to develop the skills, knowledge, and strengths to advocate for themselves and others.  

Use the links below for specific grade-level information

Renbrook School is a co-ed private day school serving students in Preschool - Grade 8 in West Hartford, CT.
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