Spring Lake Education Center

Education Center Spring Lake.jpg

Empowered Learning Transformation Centers

The Empowered Learning Transformation Centers is an independent, progressive education community located in historic Spring Lake, NJ. Founded in 1995, we serve 200 children in preschool through eighth grade. We embrace the creativity, questions and risk taking of childhood in a supportive, hands-on environment. Empowered Learning Transformation Centers programs are built on an emergent curriculum, which is a way of planning curriculum based on the student’s interest. To plan an emergent curriculum requires observation, documentation, creative brainstorming, flexibility and patience amongst the teachers.

Our school is built on mindful teaching, respect for the social and emotional life of the child and the understanding that knowledge is seeded through curiosity, experience, and reflection. To that end, we practice an emergent curriculum steeped in a progressive education model.


What You Can Expect in each Classroom

Small Class Sizes

2 Teachers per Class

Experiential & Thematic Studies

Child-centered Curriculum

Our History


From its earliest design as a lab school at Empowered Learning Transformation Centers, the school has honored the developmental time of childhood. In 1995 the school was established as independent and relocated to historic Spring Lake, NJ. After 20 years of excellence in early childhood education, our expansion welcomed the inaugural primary-grade class in 2012.

Our Classrooms Have These Values

Mindful teaching creates an intentional stand-alone philosophy grounded in respect for the social and emotional aspects of the developing child.

Our philosophical foundation is guided by each developmental stage; taking pride in honoring and stretching childhood play.

Curriculum development is organically seeded through open-ended listening and community enrichment. As a result, our programs are well-connected and celebrate families.

In the Empowered Learning Transformation Centers School Preschool programs, emergent and play-based curriculum flows from the personal experiences of each individual child and is supported by the faculty and classroom community. We strive to strengthen the child’s sense of self so that she/he will learn to work cooperatively as well as independently in the world. Our focus is held on the rich and varied curriculum that will engage each child’s attention and ease initial separation between parent and child. As well, we focus on the overarching commitment to the social-emotional growth of each child. We ensure large, uninterrupted blocks of time for open-ended indoor and outdoor play. The environment is designed to invite discovery, independence, and social interaction.


Rooted in play, our transitional kindergarten will serve as a bridge between preschool and kin­dergarten. Transitional kindergarten is a 4/5 blend: 4-year old who turn 5 prior to December 1, and 5-year old who would benefit from another year of preparation before a full-time kinder­garten program. Thematic curriculum will introduce children to early literacy and numeracy, while they are honing collaboration, problem solving and self-regulation abilities. In honor of the unique developmental journey each child travels, we recognize and value differences in levels of stamina, attention, social and emotional development and school readiness. Children are given time to grow as learners and community members, so that they may move on to kinder­garten—at either The Empowered Learning Transformation Centers or elsewhere—with confidence.


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