The Day School Difference

Early Childhood Experts

HPPDS has chosen to focus on the early childhood years in order to provide high-quality learning experiences for children during the most impressionable years of their lives. Our teachers and staff understand child development and how to teach young children using appropriate and effective practices that nurture their development in the cognitive, linguistic, physical, social/emotional domains. We understand that a child's first school experiences set the tone for their ongoing education, and make it our mission to help them develop a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.

To stay current and continue to deeply understand early childhood, HPPDS maintains a partnership with consultant Janel Perez, M.S., LPC. Mrs. Perez has a background in child development and has worked with young children for many years. She brings with her a knowledge of childhood mental health, developmental milestones and family systems. Mrs. Perez is a Masters level Licensed Professional Counselor and has counseled individuals, families, adults and children and has worked as an early childhood intervention specialist.

Mrs. Perez is available to teachers and families of HPPDS as needed for a variety of reasons such as parenting help, developmental concerns, behavior changes, difficulty transitioning and more. Additionally, Mrs. Perez leads teacher trainings and hosts "coffee and conversation" with HPPDS families to discuss topics in parenting and child development.

Developmentally Appropriate Practices

HPPDS believes in the value of utilizing educational practices that are appropriate for the developmental level of children in order to maximize learning. Our practices are child-centered and backed by evidence-based research. This ensures the curriculum is delivered in a way that maximizes learning. Young children benefit the most from curriculum when they are engaged - making activity and investigation an imperative component in their educational experience. We provide them with opportunities to make choices related to activities and products, as well as encourage them to ask questions and engage in conversation with peers. Teachers provide focused, intentional teaching that builds on children’s prior knowledge.

Small Class Sizes

We are committed to maintaining small class sizes with a low teacher-to-student ratio. This allows teachers to take the time to truly know each child, thus creating an environment that celebrates and builds upon each child’s unique qualities.


Community Partnerships

HPPDS is committed to building partnerships as we strive for excellence in all ares. These relationships provide helpful resources for teachers, families and staff.

Texas Social Communication Connection

We proudly work closely with Michelle McFarlin, Director of Texas Social Communication Connection. Mrs. McFarlin is a Speech Language Pathologist with extensive experience in educational treatment and planning, early interviention and in-depth specch-language/social communication evaluations. HPPDS families receive a free observation and initial evaluation from Mrs. McFarlin if requested. HPPDS also serves as a host to the Building Blocks and Bridge Builders small-group programs offered by Texas Social Communication Connection

Pastoral Counseling Center

Whether on our campus or theirs, HPPDS children and families are blessed by our relationship with the Pastoral Counseling Center. Executive Director, Dr. Brad Schwall, has been providing counseling, leading social and emotional skills classes for children, training youth professionals, counselors, and educators, and facilitating parenting workshops for over 20 years. He has provided HPPDS with support through providing social skills lessons and teacher trainings. Additionally, PCC provides on-campus social and school skills classes after school for children ages 4-6. 

Theraplay and Associates

Owner Ashley Civello, MA, OTR., has positively impacted the lives of many HPPDS students, as she helps teachers and parents work together to develop strategies for children to experience success in the classroom environment. Once a family establishes a connection with Theraplay, Mrs. Civello and the team at Theraplay may visit HPPDS for classroom observations and screenings as well as to provide services during or after school. Theraplay brings 15 years of professional experience in our community.  They are a great resource for children who are struggling with motor skills, social skills or regulatory processing needs, as well as assisting parents in educational direction for their young children. 


Our Mission & Philosophy

Highland Park Presbyterian Day School believes that the years of early childhood are the most crucial to the establishment of sound educational practices and biblical values. The school strives to meet the academic, spiritual, emotional, creative, social, and physical needs of the young child through a developmentally appropriate approach to learning. Learn about our mission.