What kind of school is Southfield/Smiles?

Smiles Around Us Academy is a family-oriented, nurturing day care and Pre-K in the South Beach Area of Staten Island. Modern colorful classrooms make our day care and Pre-K rooms an inviting home away from home for our young stars. Caring teachers are always ready to help their students and involve families in the kids’ everyday lives. Families play very important role in their children’s learning experience. Smiles Around Us is a community that respects and celebrates all families. Southfield Institute is a private, non-denominational, elementary through middle school. The school goes up to 8th grade. Among Southfield Institute‘s graduates there are students currently attending Staten Island Tech and Tottenville High School Institutes. Specialized High School Test prep is included in middle school curriculum. Our students are educated holistically, we focus on the academics as much as raising upstanding citizens who value friendship, are honest and compassionate. Students know that they will have teachers’ support in all their endeavors; teachers make them do their very best while instilling confidence in them. Our students are programmed for success, for all teachers and administrators each child is of paramount importance.

How do you know that you are teaching the kids well?

Our students consistently show impressive results on standardized tests, New York State ELA and Math, and Stanford Achievement Test. Before we opened middle school, nearly 85% of our first graduating 5th graders were accepted in the most prestigious Scholars Programs in Staten Island and Brooklyn. I.S. 75 Scholars and Mark Twain are among our graduates’ current middle schools and all of them excel.

Our academic curriculum includes reading, spelling and vocabulary, language arts (writing & grammar), math, science, social studies, Russian, Spanish, logic, chess, art, and music. We go a year ahead in reading, math, and language arts, and in the second semester of second grade through fifth grade children read, analyze and write about classical and award-winning children’s books.

We have a wonderful gym class that allows our students stay fit and develop gross motor skills. Our Pfeiffer House music curriculum allows students to learn music appreciation on a high level. Kids perform in front of families twice a year with songs that they learned in music class and skits that they prepared with their classroom teachers. This is a great way for them to learn how to perform well in public and not be shy in front of large audiences.

What are your hours?

The day care and school are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parents have an option of a half day, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Day Care Division children have an extra option of 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. days.

Do you offer meals?

We offer breakfast, hot lunch, hot dinner, and a snack for Day Care Division and Pre-K kids. Hot lunch, hot dinner, and a snack for School Division students are included in tuition. The menu is available for your convenience at the security desk and on our site.

What do kids do after classes are over?

Our daily schedule mandates that homework is done in class. After classes are over the kids eat dinner, go outside, do their homework and then, if they have time, do art projects and play.

Can the school-age kids stay in school during school breaks?

Students can attend school during breaks – while there are no classes, they will be supervised, fed and entertained. Breaks are included in tuition.

Are there any enrichment activities for the kids?

Students grades K through 8 go on trips up to 10 times a year. Pre-K students enjoy 2 trips per school year. We travel to Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Museum of Mathematics, College of Staten Island with Enrichment through the Arts Theater Program, and many other exciting places. There are pre- and post-trip activities that make children’s experience more meaningful. We also have visitors, doctors, writers, fire fighters and police officers, who talk to the students about their professions and answer kids’ many questions. For the little ones we have animal and magic shows. School offers extracurricular activities that students can attend after classes, during extended hours. These activities are not included in tuition, but they are very convenient for parents since students are picked up for these activities during afterschool hours. Activities include, but are not limited to, karate, Chess Club, yoga, gymnastics, and piano classes.

Are there any developments at the school?

In the 2014/15 school year Southfield Institute launched a revolutionary Computer Science program. Digital age imposes additional responsibility to the educators, as we see our current students as successful professionals of the mid of 21st century, and digital technology as their main tool. Our unique Computer Science program is part of the curriculum from K through 8th grade. Kindergarten through 2-nd grade students learn problem solving and abstract thinking skills through working with Lego sets, as well as getting basic knowledge of information systems through age-appropriate assignments. Starting from 3rd grade, students learn get concepts of Digital Citizenship, Internet and Computer security, learn how to use computers for school work, and continue building the fundamental knowledge of information systems, logic, algorithms and data structures through team work and project based assignments.