Staff

Nancy Bjerke, Head of Schools and Early Childhood Specialist, holds degrees in Social Sciences and Early Childhood Education. As a certified teacher (K-6th grade) she was the first Red Apple Teacher in 1981. She has more than 39 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. She is trained in the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECER-R); has served as an analyst of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLS); developed curriculum and teacher training for the Fairfax County Office for Children and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children (CASA).

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Carrie Edwards, School Principal, has a Child Development Credential in early childhood education and has been an early childhood teacher and supervisor for 19 years. She attended the University of Connecticut. Carrie is trained in the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale and, with great success, has led our school campuses through three cycles of the National Accreditation process.

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Our other 20 teachers have been selected for their educational background, experience and sensitivity to the needs of the young child. We have teachers with degrees, credentials and/or certifications. The Red Apple staff have more than 260 years of combined teaching experience.

The teachers in our schools all meet together on a regular basis, to share, build, and develop curriculum within the guidelines of the Red Apple philosophy. Each teacher then returns to her class to develop an individualized program taking into consideration the specific needs of her specific group. Additionally, all teachers attend classes and workshops in various aspects of early childhood curriculum and teaching strategies.

Young children learn easily and we provide a rich, inviting environment to expand their knowledge, trust and enthusiasm in the world around them. We encourage problem solving and discovery rather than the memorization of facts. Facts are more easily learned and retained through the discovery process. We encourage self worth and the feeling of accomplishment by giving children developmentally appropriate tasks that can be successfully achieved. We encourage singing, dancing, and discovering the joy in the knowledge of the world around us.

We want children to discover that school is fun and they can look forward to each school day. We want our children to learn confidence and trust in themselves as a member of a group. We want them to leave us well prepared for elementary school. We strive to give our children a good start on the road to life long learning.

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* High teacher retention.* Highly educated teachers with degrees & certifications in child related fields. Selected for their sensitivity to the needs of the young child and families.

* All teachers receive 40 hours of additional education per year.

* Each teacher has a class of five to twelve children. Classes with more than ten have assistant teachers as well.

*Teachers are trained in the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECERS).

Safety First!

* All Staff have regular background investigations by the State Police and Social Services

* All staff are certified in First Aid and CPR and have regular TB screening.

* Red Apple is regularly inspected by Fire, Health, and other agencies such as Water Management and the Department of Social Services

* Each location has an AED defibrillator and staff is trained in its use.