Passing by a classroom full of The Goddard School of Mason’s “First Steps” children, usually aged 12-18 months, you might notice at a glance that the children are having fun. They’re interacting with toys, the teacher and each other in a bright and exciting space.
Behind the scenes, however, these teachers are well-versed in what children are typically learning and how they are developing at these and other important ages. Teachers prepare lessons and thoughtfully reinforce what children are learning even as the kids experience it as fun with their friends.
The Goddard School of Mason has carried on this tradition of high-quality education for children ages six weeks to school-age in their part-time, full-time, and before-and-after-care programs for 25 years.
“My parents started this location on January 2, 1996, and I started as a teacher, working mostly in the school-aged classrooms,” says Kerra Spaeth, the onsite owner of The Goddard School of Mason. “My mom has an education background and my dad was a business consultant, and they saw this as a good fit for them. When they moved in 2006, I took over and have been the onsite owner ever since.”
The nationally-acclaimed Goddard School standards and goals take into account that children need to find joy in what they are learning.
“We have an education director who makes sure we’re following Ohio standards and Goddard content standards, and we focus on creating a very safe and nurturing environment,” explains Kerra. “We disguise learning with a lot of play and fun, since children will be in school for a very long time. The parents though, see the educational side of everything.”
After they were able to return from a two month shutdown due to the pandemic in 2020, Kerra noticed that the children were ready to socialize and enjoy the activities at school again.
“We had a couple of small kids who were hesitant to leave their parents at first, but as they looked around the classroom, they quickly began pointing and showing that they knew or remembered things,” Kerra shares. “It’s been so important to work together during the pandemic. The kids are coming in so happy, eager and ready to learn.”
Classrooms for infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children are available in both full-time and part-time formats.
“All of our curriculum occurs in the morning, with recaps in the afternoon, but no one, part-time or full-time, misses out on any curriculum,” says Kerra.
Curriculum in these classrooms is attuned to every different age, with children even as young as six weeks involved in developmentally appropriate learning like infant sign language or yoga practice.
Before and after-care students range in ages from kindergarten up through sixth grade. Summer camp options are also offered when school is out.
“We work to avoid the summer slump with school-aged kids, doing some math and language arts. We don’t want them to forget what they’ve learned during the school year,” says Kerra.
No matter what program families choose, children are very eager to enjoy their time at Goddard alongside the friends they make.
“I sometimes have to tell kids to say goodbye to their parents at their morning health screening,” Kerra laughs. “They are so ready to see their friends! It really says something that they are running to get to their classrooms.”
The long-standing reputation of the Goddard School as well as the positive environment it creates, has kept turnover low, with some of the teachers having been part of the team for more than ten years.
“We’re a very family-oriented school, and every teacher knows every child by name, even outside their classroom,” says Kerra. “Once you enter the doors here, you become part of the Goddard family.”
The Goddard School of Mason
754 Reading Road, Mason
What is FLEX Learning? FLEX stands for Fun Learning EXperience. Goddard School combines a fun, interactive environment that feels like play to children, with key learning domains that are also taught in K-12 schools, like language, social studies and science.
Options For Families
Full-time school is available for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, as well as full-day private kindergarten (5 days a week, open 6:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.).
Part-time school is available for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Part-time attendees can choose to attend two, three, four, or five days a week.
Before and after-care is available for children through age 12, with transportation provided by Mason schools and some private schools.
Summer camps are available for school-aged children.