West End Village School

Program Details

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Where to Find Us…

We are located at 251 Danforth Street in the historic West End neighborhood of Portland, Maine. 

Interested in getting on our waiting list for the 2019-2020 school year? Contact us today!

Who we serve

The West End Village School offers a full-day, school-year preschool program, and six week summer camp program with full and part-time enrollment options. We serve families with children ages two and a half to five years old. Mondays - Thursdays during the school year, we also offer an After-school Playgroup from 2:30-4:30pm for our families looking for extended-day care.

Hours of Operation

For both our Summer Camp and School Year Programs, doors open for drop off from 8 - 8:45am Monday - Friday, with pick-up from 2-2:30pm Monday - Thursday. During the school year pick up is at 1:30 on Fridays to accommodate weekly staff meetings and professional development for our teachers.

Our Story

The West End Village School was formally established in February of 2018. As a long-time early childhood educator and curriculum developer, Josephine (our owner and director) designed the West End Village School to reflect the current best practices in play-based early learning, largely inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. The program is purposefully small with a low student-teacher ratio, to ensure a personalized and flexible program that meets children where they're at, offering each child maximum support in his or her unique educational journey. 


Our Philosophical Approach

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A Bit About us…

We Are Play-Based
At the West End Village School, we believe that play is the work of childhood, and that it is when children are deeply engaged in curiosity-driven and self-directed play, both independently and with their peers, that authentic learning occurs.

We Are Child Centered
We believe that each child comes to us with a unique set of strengths, challenges, interests and skills, and that it is our job as teachers to support each child on his and her own educational journey, social/emotional development.

We Are Reggio-Inspired
We believe that children are naturally curious, capable, and driven to learn, and it is our work as teachers to collaboratively construct knowledge, and observe, document, and reflecting the learning process. We believe that the classroom itself is one of the children’s primary teachers, and so we select each material, and design each station in our environment to appropriately and continually challenge and engage our students as they pursue their emerging curiosities and develop their favorite skills. Learn more about the Reggio Emilia Approach here...

We Are Community-Focused
We believe that respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and the natural world are learned values, and so we work daily to model kindness, patience, understanding, and positive communication and problem-solving.

We Are Research-Based

We care deeply about providing children with the highest quality care and education possible, and so our teachers are committed to keeping up with the latest research on child development, teaching and learning. We engage in regular professional development to stay up-to-date in our practices and evolve our philosophy based on what we learn and what we experience in the classroom. Like the children, we are always learning and growing as educators, researching new topics, improving our teaching skills, developing activities, and discovering new ways to explore the skills and interests of our students.


Our Teaching Team

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Josephine B. Roberts
Teacher, DIRECTOR & Owner

Josephine is a veteran early childhood educator and creator of A Barefoot Education, a collection of online resources, handmade toys, classes and workshops designed to help teachers and parents connect young children to the wonders of nature. With a background in play-based teaching and program development, Josephine brings an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the arts & sciences through hands on learning experiences driven by the children’s emerging curiosities and evolving interests and skills. Josephine holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Psychology, and an Interdisciplinary Master of Education degree with a concentration in Personality & Learning Style, both from the University of Vermont.

"After over 15 years of teaching and learning in a diversity of high-quality early education programs, I am so excited to put the knowledge and experience I have gained into action in my own program. I have consciously designed the West End Village School to reflect the teaching practices and theories I have found most effective in creating a positive, nurturing, and optimal learning environments for young children to thrive and grow into the best versions of themselves."

Cayce Lannon
Lead Teacher

Cayce is a certified adult and children’s yoga instructor and experienced classroom teacher with a background in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She is the founder of Maine Kids Yoga and offers weekly classes for children and families across Southern Maine. She also leads yoga workshops and professional development trainings for teachers. Along with her play-based approach to yoga, movement, and mindfulness, Cayce plans to integrate Spanish Language education into the daily experience for our young students. Cayce spent a year practicing Spanish in Madrid where she obtained her TEFL certifiacte. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and an Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education, both from Champlain College. Cayce also holds dual certifications for teaching child and adult yoga (RCYT, RYT 200). 

Heather Schulz

Heather is an experienced educator and mother of three, who has served with children and families over the years in a variety of settings. She has been a case manager for Child Development Services, ensuring that children who have disabilities get the support and services they require. She has provided care as a nanny and has worked in classrooms with children aged from infancy through preschool. Watching the growth and enthusiasm for life and learning that young children possess has been the motivation for Heather’s pursuits. Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education and Women Studies from Wheelock College. (photo coming soon!)

Justina warren
Afternoon teacher

Justina joined our teaching team this winter to lead our after school playgroup and to provide additional support in our day program. She has many years experience working with young children both as a teacher and a nanny, and is currently working toward her degree in education with a focus on art. Justina also teaches full time in our summer camp program. We are thrilled to have her on our team! (photo coming soon!)