Both of our children attended Melissa Mendoza’s pre-school Paso a Paso and it was a wonderful experience. In addition to learning Spanish, they learned how to follow classroom rules, work cooperatively, and developed relationships with other children. We love that now our children can sing songs, count, and recite the alphabet in both Spanish and English.
The environment at Paso a Paso was always positive and at the end of every day we were greeted with smiles from the teachers and our kids.
Our son had some special developmental needs and Melissa and her team helped identify the issues as well as worked collaboratively with us to get him the professional assistance that he needed.
We are so grateful that we found Paso a Paso and cannot imagine having sent our kids anywhere else for pre-school.
Avery and Jaime Cannon
“There are no words to describe the changes in our son, Landon, since he started preschool at Paso a Paso. He is a completely different kid. He has gone from a shy, cautious, little guy who suffered to separate from us and was not very independent to a happy, confident, friendly little man who happily runs into school (often forgetting to say goodbye), easily connects with his peers, and comfortably engages in new social situations and new activities. It has been mind-blowing to see and it is entirely due to his experience at Paso. In short, is it safe to say that because of his time at Paso, Landon is thriving. Beyond the doors at Paso, there is so much fun, love, laughter, learning, play, nurturing and some kind of magic. Truly. I could not dream up a better environment for our son and he also understands and speaks Spanish beautifully since his time at Paso. The pinnacle for my husband and me was watching our son, who would have refused to walk into a room of people before, happily participate in singing with his classmates at the holiday concert in front of a large crowd of family members. We would recommend to ANYONE to join the Paso Family. It is the best gift we have given to Landon and ourselves.” ~Alison and Scott Swisher
I cannot say enough good things about our experience at Step by Step, Paso a Paso. The level of thought and care and love put into the school was evident from the first time I visited for the tour. The school day has a wonderful mixture of structure and free play, active time and quiet time. The children explore letters and colors and numbers and other concepts at a pace that is good for each child. And, while the curriculum is engaging and fun, the school is also so much more. The teachers focus on the "whole child," paying specific attention to the social and emotional growth of the kids. A guiding principle of the school is kindness. To this end, the teachers give kids the space to sort out conflict where they are able to - building social skills - and step in when kids need assistance and reminders about how to be kind and take care of themselves and others.
The school has creative ways to support the emotional growth of the kids. For example, after checking with all the parents, Melissa adopted a dog (Butter) last year and would bring him into school regularly. Through this experience, the kids learned about how to respect and take care of animals - another opportunity to talk about kindness. My son was afraid of dogs before Butter arrived, and he now likes dogs and knows how to keep himself, others and the dog safe.
In addition to being with Butter, my son's favorite activities include dance class, art projects, outside play, face painting, sharing time, and reading stories. And, if I have any concerns or questions about the school day, the teachers are very responsive. Melissa (Director) is super accessible and texts or calls with updates if my son is having a tough day.
In sum, this is a place that takes pride in really knowing and caring about each child. For example, in the beginning of the year when my son was getting adjusted to the school and was a little sad, the teachers asked him if he wanted to write mommy a letter. So they took the time to write a letter together and then texted it to me so that he felt heard. At the end of the year conference my husband and I sat down with Melissa and talked about the year and areas of growth and areas for continued development. It was so reassuring to talk with someone who had very specific observations about our son that spanned months. Her suggestions really resonated with us and underscored the level of attention each child receives at the school.
So, it is with great appreciation that I say a big thank you to Melissa and all the teachers at Step by Step, Paso a Paso for everything you do for these kids and for the community you have built. I highly recommend this school to anyone looking for a Spanish immersion preschool!
A look at a typical day at Step by Step, Paso a Paso San Mateo location.