Nicole Thomas is the mom of three little boys, aged six, four and one-and-one-half. “When we started at the Joshua School my son Parker was 3, and my middle one, Lucas, was just a newborn,” she explains.
How did you come to TJS?
“During the spring of 2015 my husband and I started touring local preschools. We stumbled upon JECC through a Google search, and learned that JECC was just starting the Joshua Academy program,” Nicole says. “As a former teacher, I know how important it is to find a good fit for your child to help them have the greatest opportunity for success, especially for a child’s first formal learning experience,” she says. Her son, Parker, is energetic, imaginative, and emotionally intuitive, so it was important for the Thomas’ to find a school that would foster and nurture these characteristics.
Nicole and her husband toured several other schools before walking into JECC. “There definitely were good aspects to many of the schools we visited,” says Nicole. “But none of them felt like a match for Parker.” The minute the Thomases walked into JECC they knew they had found “home”. “It might sound silly, but Parker reached for Brooke’s hand as she gave us the tour and he was instantly hooked on every word she said, explains Nicole. “She let him play with some of the toys as we talked and I watched as his little heart opened up to being there and loving it. There is not a day that passes that I regret the decision to enroll him in JECC!”
Tell us about your TJS experience. What stands out the most for you and your child?
“All kiddos come with unique challenges and glows,” says Nicole. “The Joshua School has been able to tackle and embrace those for both of our older boys, thus far.”
Parker quickly learned the academic skills that helped him be ready for kindergarten and he also developed the social skills necessary to handle all types of situations. “He had many opportunities to be a peer model for his friends in the JEI program,” says Nicole. “My favorite story to share with others is that JECC does such a good job of integrating all of their students with one another, that Parker had no idea his best friend after his first year of preschool was a girl had autism.” These two kids became friends because of their similarities, not their differences.
Nicole’s middle boy, Lucas, loves being at preschool. “He has become a leader, a helper, and has developed so many strong communication skills while being at school (which are areas he struggles with at home.),” she says proudly. “The teachers of Twilight Peak have helped him become such a wonderful little person!” Favorite things about TJS…
“I love the teachers and the families who have become close friends,” she says. “One of my favorite things, though, is watching drop-off in the morning for the JEI families. The loving, open arms of the teachers ready to help each child have their best day is inspirational. I can see that sense of relief on parent faces knowing that their kiddo is loved as much at JECC as they are at home!” Words of inspiration and encouragement for other parents?
Nicole emphasizes that parents need to be involved. “The more you can give of yourself to the school through time, talent, or treasure will never be wasted or taken for granted by this amazing school,” she says. “These teachers and staff are truly AMAZING, and love having you as their partners in success for your kids.”