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James Marshall Parent Nursery School was established in 1954 by a group of parents who decided a preschool program was needed in West Sacramento, since none existed. They obtained approval from the Board of Trustees of the Woodland High School District, however two difficulties still existed. One was to find a building for the school and the other was to find a qualified Director/Teacher. After much effort, the old West Sacramento Land Office Building was obtained and a Director/Teacher was hired. Work parties, consisting of parents, immediately started cleaning and repairing the abandoned building, and later in the school year redecorating was undertaken. By September 1954, school was open.
In 1963 the Nursery School moved to 920 Westacre Road where it took residence in the old kindergarten classroom of Westacre School. Over the years, the preschool was moved four more times: first to a Lutheran church on Evergreen Street; next, to a classroom at Westmore Oaks Elementary School; then back to 920 Westacre Road; and finally, in 2016 it was moved across the street to a former kindergarten classroom at the Yolo Education Center to accommodate renovations to the 920 Westacre Road location. In May, 2017, the Washington Unified School District Board of Trustees voted to remove James Marshall as a district supported program, however allowing us to rent our current space as an independent organization. Although the surrounding school has changed over the years and now the supporting structure as well, JMPNS has, and will, remain the same: a place for learning, playing, and growing- for the entire family.
For the past 60 years, parent have benefited from the evening adult classes as both parents and children have enjoyed the nursery school classes. As we believe that parents are the child's first and most important teachers, James Marshall provides an opportunity for parents and formal teachers to come together to guide a child's early learning experience. It has proven to be a place where both parents and children can learn about themselves and others in an environment designed for growth and exploration.
Our Educational Philosophy
We believe what the experts say, "a child's work is play."
In our classroom you will see elements from Reggio Emilia, we'll engage in activities through the project approach to curriculum building, our environment is full of loose parts exploration, and we strive to meet each child's needs with differentiated instruction. But ALL of that happens within a structure that provides large amounts of uninterrupted free play.
Play is where the child strengthens their understanding of the world and other humans. Play is where they build their vocabulary and ability to use language to communicate. Play provides the opportunity for children to expresses themselves creatively through art mediums, story telling, music and movement. Play is the catalyst for curiosity, exploration, and experimentation.
We believe in play.
Erin Hinton has been teaching at JMPNS since 2008 and has been our director since 2017. She is an advocate for the parent cooperative model of early education and is proud of the quality program we have built at James Marshall.
A bachelor’s degree in music from Alma College, ECE units from Sac City College, and a Masters Degree in Education from Northcentral University have shaped the way Erin views early education. Her work with children is centered around an anti-bias approach that values care and kindness as well as the child's right to be who they are in the moment. These ideals combine to make Erin’s classroom a safe, exciting, and energetic place to be.
At school she’s often barefoot in the sandbox, being chased in a game tag, or surrounded by the mess and beauty of child-led wonder and discovery. At home, Erin can be found sitting on her couch with her nose in a book, listening to Led Zeppelin on vinyl, surrounded by her husband, four children, two chickens, two lizards, and two rabbits.