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Nea McKeehan

Nea McKeehan

I was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina where I spent many summers as a child on Edisto Island. Some of my favorite childhood memories include splashing in tide pools at low tide, catching shrimp and crabs off the dock, and collecting sand dollars and sea shells on the beach. Childhood is a magical time, and the memories that I carry with me of my own childhood greatly influenced my decision to pursue a career in early childhood education.

In 2007, I completed the Stanley British Teacher Preparation Program in Denver and earned my Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado. I taught kindergarten for two years in Denver Public Schools and spent twelve years at Paddington Station Preschool and Kindergarten, a play-based school, where I taught
toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners. I served as the Director at Paddington Station from 2019-2020.

It is my belief that children learn best when they are in a safe and nurturing environment where they feel comfortable to take risks and to express themselves as individuals. Every child has a unique experience in the world, and I feel it is important to honor and value each child for who they are and for the individual gifts and talents they each possess. 

I am looking forward to knowing the children and families participating in the Owls Kindergarten Program and to beginning this exciting adventure together!

Bryan O'Callahan

Bryan O'Callahan

My name is Bryan O’Callahan, and this is my fourth year working in early childhood programs for VCFC. In addition to teaching full time in preschool classrooms, I have been a part of K-Camp (the preschool summer camp capstone experience) each July and was a mentor for the ECE apprentice pilot in collaboration with the Next Steps program in 2021-22. Born in New Orleans and raised in central Florida, I attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond for both undergraduate and post-graduate study in political science and education. After graduating, I began working as a special education services provider at an elementary school in Brooklyn, New York. After several years of teaching elementary school, I began teaching Pre-K and loved the freedom to explore and create that the preschool environment provides. I believe in an inclusive classroom community where all members feel valued, are able to share their talents, collaborate creatively, and are encouraged to grow through an engaging and rigorous curriculum

Administrated by the Vanderbilt Child and Family Center, this developmental kindergarten program offers an emergent curriculum informed by social constructivist thinking theories:

  • Children learn best through play, constructing knowledge and making meaning by exploring their big ideas through hands-on and hands-in investigations.
  • Peer engagement adds richness to the learning process.
  • A learning framework that prioritizes Nature Education - children’s knowledge creation will be informed by their exploration of the Vanderbilt University campus.
  • A learning focus on 21st Century Skills: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.

Owls 2023-2024 Family Handbook

  1. Children must turn five years of age by August 15, 2023
  2. VCFC will prioritize for enrollment in the Owls Program:
    • Children currently enrolled in VCFC’s The Acorn School a PK class 2022-2023
    • Children of Vanderbilt University faculty and staff, post-doctoral scholars, and students
    • Children of VUMC-affiliated employees
    • Children in Nashville and surrounding communities
  • Children will be eligible for 1st Grade in August 2024
  • OR parents may opt to enroll their child in an additional year of Kindergarten
  • August 7, 2023 – May 31, 2024
  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM
  • On-site Before and After Care is available
  • The Owls Program will be closed for all holidays observed by Vanderbilt University unless otherwise indicated
  • Calendar
  • Owls’ administration operates at 1105 18th Avenue South convenient to Vanderbilt University’s main campus.
  • Owls Kindergarten and Before & After-School programs operate in a learning space at 1810 Edgehill.
  • Program activities will take full and frequent advantage of the Vanderbilt University campus and arboretum.
  • $1200/month August 2024 – May 2025
  • A non-refundable application fee of $100 is required.
  • A non-refundable instructional supplies fee of $1200 is required by April 1, 2024 or at time of application if after this date.
  • A child’s t-shirt and field trips will be included in the tuition
  • Before and after care will be offered on-site by The Acorn School for an additional fee:
    • 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM $191/month
    • 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM $392/month
    • For children not signed up for Before and After Care there is an early drop-off and late pick-up charge of $10 for every 5 minutes the child is on site before 8:25 AM and after 3:05 PM. 
  • There is a Drop-In Fee available to families usable up to four days each month (you must notify by email both the teachers and at least 1 hour prior to using drop in care, otherwise the early/late drop-off/pickup rates will apply).

    • 7:30 AM - 8:30 AM $15/per morning
    • 3:00 PM-5:30 PM $30/per afternoon

This page outlines the information provided to families to support an effective partnership with VCFC’s Owls School at Vanderbilt University. The Tennessee DOE Summary of School Age Child Care Approval Requirement is provided to all parents and can be viewed here.

Checklist and links to required documents:

Before the child is accepted into care, VCFC requires a Tennessee Department of Health Official Immunization Certificate AND documentation, signed or stamped by a physician or licensed medical provider, that states the child has completed a well-child examination. While VCFC will kindly provide a reminder several weeks in advance, it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to submit documentation of required childhood immunizations, as these are updated and in the time necessary, or the child will not be allowed to attend The Owls School.

Parents have until June 16, 2023 to submit the required Owls documents for children to be able to attend school after August 1, 2023.

  • One or more parents/guardians will attend the Owls Information Session; email Linda Wilson, VCFC Administrative Officer that you are interested (Rsvp and the zoom link will be provided.
  • Parents will complete the VCFC Owls Program Whoo Are You form and return it with their $100 application fee.