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Preschool Program

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Hamilton & Lu Sutton Preschool Programs




Hamilton Preschool Program

Hamilton Community Center, Preschool Room
503B South Palm Drive

Lu Sutton Preschool Program

Lu Sutton Child Care, Preschool Room
1800 Center Road

 *Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Preschool Open House scheduled for April 19, 2020 has been cancelled. If you are interested in learning more about our program and enrolling your student for the 2020/2021 School Year, please contact our Preschool Coordinator, Jenny Jones at 

General Info:

The City of Novato Parks, Recreation and Community Services offers two high quality Preschool Programs at: Hamilton Community Center and Lu Sutton School. Both programs consist of drop-off classes for children ages 3-5 years old. Classes are divided by age and held in a safe and friendly environment with experienced teachers trained in Positive Discipline. Both programs follow the NUSD calendar therefore there are no classes on school holidays.

Classes at both locations offer a play-based experience with age-appropriate academics designed to meet the needs of each particular age group. Classes include activities and projects based on the planned monthly theme as well as indoor and outdoor play, movement, music, fine and gross motor activities, science, and more! Children are supported, encouraged, and loved and become a part of a very special community within our preschool programs.

Classes are designed for children to remain in the same class for the entire August-June school year regardless of an age change mid-year.

Registration for new participants must be done in person at the Novato Gymnastics Center or the Margaret Todd Senior Center. Existing participants have priority to re-enroll in the same class before it is opened to new participants via fax, mail, or walk-in during the specified priority registration period. Class sizes are limited.

Please contact Program Coordinator, Jennifer Jones at or 415-985-5448 for more information. 

LuSutton Tiny Tots

Our Philosophy:

We are a quality program that focuses on social, emotional, and academic development. We provide a safe, loving, warm environment for children to play, learn, laugh, and grow. We believe children learn through their play as well as a small amount of direct instruction. We are credentialed teachers and moms that have worked in and have/had children in the Novato preschool and elementary school system and have taken that knowledge into our program so that they are well-rounded and prepared for Kindergarten. We have also been trained in the Positive Discipline philosophy. We have used it with our students and our own children and believe in it. We have encompassed all of these philosophies into an affordable, quality program located in the Hamilton Community Center and the Lu Sutton Childcare Preschool Room.
  • We offer a high-quality program taught by loving, experienced, and credentialed teachers  with a 1:6 teacher student ratio.
  • Our program focuses on social, emotional, and academic development of the whole child.
  • We provide a safe, loving, and warm environment for children to play, laugh, grow, and develop an inspired love of learning.
  • We believe in teaching the fundamentals through the 8 learning styles:  Verbal, Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Combination, Solitary, Social, and Logical.
  • Our goal is to provide an environment where children feel belonging and significance; we hope to nurture a sense of responsibility for self and compassion towards others by utilizing the Positive Discipline philosophy.
  • Our teachers and Director partner with Novato Unified Elementary Teachers/ Principals consistently in order to align curriculum and teaching strategies.
  • Teachers frequently attend professional development trainings in order to deliver progressive curriculum, strengthen teaching practices and strategies current to state standards and 20th century competencies.
  • Teachers and Director are in close constant communication with parents about their child's development.
  • We have encompassed all of these philosophies into an affordable, quality program located in the Hamilton Community Center and the City’s Lu Sutton Childcare Preschool Room.

What Makes Us Special:

  • I think what makes us special is our background and experience with kids as well as the wonderful space that Parks and Rec has created in order to offer a quality program that is more accessible to southern Novato residents. It's especially convenient if you live in Hamilton and would like a warm, nurturing, affordable program that you and your child can even walk to!

      Here are a few things parents have said about our program:
  • "Thank you for making the classroom warm and inviting and ensuring a fantastic experience for our little girl!"
  •  "Just wanted to say thanks for a great kick off to the school year. The boys are excited to go to school and talk about all three of you teachers all the time. They are very fond of Teacher Jennifer! She seems really great with all of the kids and seems to have a calm and sweet demeanor. I am grateful for you and this program and the fact that I know the boys are in good hands when I leave them!"
  • "Thank you for being such wonderful teachers! I love listening to our daughter speak excitedly about her school day and listen to her as she "reads" me stories and recites her letters. You have made a wonderful school experience and we are so grateful."
  • " I am so grateful that we found this program and that the boys have you as a teacher."
    "Both of the girls love to go to school, we are so glad we found you."

LuSutton Preschool


Meet the Staff:

Jennifer Jones, Preschool Coordinator/Lead Teacher (Hamilton Pre-K, Tiny Tots): Jennifer (Jenny) received her Bachelor's Degree from Sonoma State University before receiving her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Dominican University. She has 16 years of primary teaching experience in both public and private schools (Pre K and Elementary), and has taught grades Pre K through 2nd. Over the years, she has mentored and supervised teachers new to the profession and works diligently with families to meet the best needs of their childrenShe is the proud mother of three amazing children. As a Novato resident, all three of her children attend school in the Novato Unified School District. As a family they love to bike, hike, fish, swim, and have family movie nights. 

Jennifer Oppegard, Teacher's Assistant (Hamilton Pre-K): Jennifer was born in Southern California and received her B.A. In Economics from UCSB and her M.B.A. in Finance from Georgia Tech. Her prior work experience is in commercial loan underwriting and credit analysis. She and her husband have two daughters ages 7 and 10. She is very active in their school classrooms and their various sports activities and is a Girl Scout troop leader. As a family they enjoy spending time together outdoors.

Brenda Zahn, Teacher's Assistant (Hamilton Tiny Tots):
Brenda is a mother of two who's lived in Novato for 12 years. With a background in writing and editing, she's spent the past few years teaching the Young Writers Workshop, where children and teens can expand their writing skills. Brenda regularly volunteers at Pleasant Valley Elementary School, and loves working with children of all ages.
Amy, Ondricek, Lead Teacher/Teacher's Assistant (Lu Sutton Pre-K):
Amy grew up in San Anselmo as the fourth oldest in a family of 10 kids. When she was young she enjoyed working with kids while babysitting, teaching swim lessons and dance classes. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, she worked in the Preschool and Kindergarten departments at San Domenico School when she realized that she wanted to pursue teaching. She went through the Multiple Subject Credential Program at San Jose State, then got married and had her son and daughter. She decided to stay home with them for a number of years. As they grew, she started teaching swim lessons at Rolling Hills and coached the Junior Stingrays for a couple of years, then became a yard supervisor at Pleasant Valley Elementary where she worked with Teacher Beth. They also assisted with the ELL program and as 5th grade aides while they were there. She happy to be working with Teacher Beth again in the Lu Sutton Pre-K program.

Beth Rodgers, Lead Teacher/Teacher's Assistant (Lu Sutton Pre-K):
Beth grew up in San Diego, California. She attended San Diego State University where she majored in Political Science and a minor in Psychology with an emphasis in Child Development. She has enjoyed working with children for the past 11 years, first as a Program Coordinator for a Community Learning Center in San Francisco, then in numerous positions for Novato Unified School School District. She began working for Novato Park and Recreation Preschool at Hamilton in January of 2014. She loves her current position at the Lu Sutton Preschool Campus in the Pre K classroom. Beth is married with 3 children, a daughter at San Marin High School and twins, one boy and one girl at Sinaloa Middle School.


Christina Thomatos, Lead Teacher (Lu Sutton Tiny Tots):   Christina  has been an educator for over 20 years. She earned her B.A. in history at the University of Washington in 1991 and her Master In Teaching degree from Seattle University in 1993. She has taught in both the public and private school settings and has taught preschool, elementary, and middle school-aged children. She also served as a director of education for a tutoring center and has tutored children in math and language arts in grades K through 12. She also is also the volunteer Sunday School director at her church. Christina loves helping her students unlock and discover their interests and abilities and she enjoys partnering with families for the academic & social success of their children. Christina is married and she and her husband Dennis have two sons. They reside in Novato and their children attend Novato public schools. In her spare time Christina enjoys traveling & spending time with family and friends, baking, reading, painting and folk dancing.

Cindy Van Alstine, Teacher's Assistant (Lu Sutton Pre-K and Tiny Tots)
Cindy has lived and worked in the Northbay area for many years. She grew up in San Rafael and graduated from Terra Linda High School. After high school she graduated from a small Bible College in Novato, New Life International Bible College. Later she attended Santa Rosa Junior College and finished an associates in Child Development. She has been employed as a preschool teacher and assistant teacher for many years. She has worked for Head Start in the Preschool department and also as a teacher in the Early Head Start program. She has worked for the City of San Rafael as a toddler teacher and in the after school programs. For the last several years she has been employed with the City of Novato as a Tiny Tot teacher and also with the K through 5 before and after school program. She thoroughly enjoy working in the Tiny Tot program. She finds it very rewarding and satisfying to have a part in seeing children grow and develop new skills and confidence in their abilities. It is a pleasure to get acquainted with each Childs unique personality and watch as they learn important social skills in a preschool environment. She is grateful to work with young children and hope to continue for many years to come.




Class Schedule 


Pre-K (Hamilton and Lu Sutton)
Ages: 4-5 years old, must be 4 years old by 12/2/17 for Spring and by 12/2/18 for Fall
Instructors: PRCS Preschool Teachers

Pre-K children continue to strengthen social, emotional, and problem-solving skills through play and structured exploration time. Kindergarten readiness is taught through movement, music, and total physical responses. Whole group instruction of thematic units incorporates movement, yoga, science, art, social-studies, and music. Small group learning centers focus on early literacy, handwriting, and math skills necessary for kindergarten readiness. Teachers consistently monitor social and academic growth and will communicate with parents through regular check-ins and parent teacher conferences.

For session information, dates, times, and fees, please contact our Preschool Coordinator, Jenny Jones at
Please bring a healthy snack, lunch and water bottle each day. Must be potty trained.

*School Year 2019-2020 Pre-K Calendar and Payment Schedule


Tiny Tots  (Hamilton and Lu Sutton)
Ages: 3-4 years old, must be 3 years old by 12/2/17 for Spring and 12/2/18 for Fall
Instructors: PRCS Preschool Teachers

Tiny Tots provides children with an opportunity to practice social and emotional skills in a supportive environment with teachers who nurture a sense of belonging and community through the use of Positive Discipline.  Children are encouraged as they learn through their play. They are provided with a multitude of opportunities for discovery through art, science, fine and gross motor movement, music, literature, inspiring monthly themes, as well as necessary pre-academic skills for Pre-K preparation.

For session information, including dates, times, and fees, please contact our Preschool Coordinator, Jenny Jones at 
Please bring a healthy snack, lunch and water each day.


*School Year 2019-2020 Tiny Tot Calendar and Payment Schedule

For more information please call Jennifer Jones at or 415-985-5448.


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