Register for the 2023-2024 school year HERE!

What Makes Salem Preschool Unique

Salem Preschool, established in 1971, has been serving children, ages three to five, and their families in the New Brighton and surrounding communities for over 50 years. As a ministry of Salem Covenant Church, our goal is to Grow God’s Amazing Kids cognitively, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually so they can enter kindergarten with the skills, self-confidence, and love of learning that prepares them for a successful school career. In a Christian environment, our students experience God’s love and learn to love and respect others in God’s world. Bible stories and themes are incorporated into our curriculum and students pray before eating as well as other times during the school day. We strive to partner with parents in the academic and spiritual growth of their children.

Located in the lower level of Salem Covenant Church, our preschool has two brightly lit classrooms as well as the “Climber Room” with large motor equipment for the students to use on days when they can’t go outside. A gym is also available for the classes to use. Behind the church is a large outdoor space that allows for outside learning and activities as well as a garden where the preschoolers grow produce which is donated to the Ralph Reeder Food Shelf. To the west of the building is a playground for the children to use.

Salem Preschool teachers and assistant teachers all hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree and have over 150 years of experience working with students. Their love for God and their passion for teaching and working with young children are a hallmark of our program.

We hope you find lots of useful information on our website but the best way for you to learn about our program is to visit our classrooms. You can see our school “in action” by scheduling a visit mornings Monday through Friday or on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons. If you can not visit during the day, an evening or weekend visit can be arranged. To schedule your visit, email Preschool Director Shannyn Stoffel, at sstoffel@salem-covenant.church. 

We would love to have your child join us at Salem Preschool! All are welcome!

If you have any questions about Salem Preschool, email Preschool Director Shannyn Stoffel, at sstoffel@salem-covenant.church.

About Us

Salem Preschool’s Mission Statement:

Growing God’s Amazing Kids cognitively, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually in a Christian environment so they will gain the skills, self-confidence, and love of learning that prepares them for a successful school career.

Our Philosophy:
Children learn best in an inviting, stimulating, caring and safe environment. Teachers strive to promote a Christian atmosphere where students can develop positive feelings about themselves and school. New inviting activities are presented each day in a “center” approach to give students “hands-on” learning experiences. Children also participate in small and large group activities to gain experience in learning how to function in a group. Salem preschool uses developmentally appropriate practices to promote social, emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual growth for their preschoolers. Daily learning activities include art, music, science, dramatic play, large and small muscle experiences as well as kindergarten readiness skills. Parents are invited to review our program plan at any time.

Our Classes:
Salem Preschool offers four classes: two three-year-old classes (the Green and Orange classes) and two four-year-old classes (the Blue and Purple Classes). Our three-year-old classes meet two mornings per week for two and a half hours. One of our four-year-old classes, the Blue Class, meets three mornings per week for two and a half hours. The other four-year-old class, the Purple Class, meets on Monday mornings for two and a half hours and then provides students with a full day experience, 9:00-3:00, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
In our three-year-old classes, social skills such as listening, following directions, sharing, taking turns and learning how to function in a large group are our main emphasis. Academic skills such as counting, sorting, rhyming and phonemic awareness are “sprinkled” throughout the day.

Our four-year-old classes continue to work on developing their social skills, however, activities that promote kindergarten readiness skills are the main focus. Students are introduced to letters and sounds, writing activities, numerals, counting, and patterning which helps them prepare for kindergarten.

Salem Preschool’s curriculum is theme based and the week’s activities, projects and lessons center around the theme. Each month, a Bible story or lesson is incorporated into the curriculum and a Bible verse is learned.

Meet our Staff

Shannyn Stoffel

Mrs. Stoffel has been at Salem Preschool for three years, two as a teacher and two as the director. Prior to that, she taught kindergarten for 35 years in the Spring Lake Park and Centennial School Districts in Minnesota. Shannyn received her degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota, Morris and her master’s degree in educational leadership from Bethel University.

Mrs. Stoffel has been married to her husband, Mick, for 42 years and has two grown daughters and six grandchildren. When she is not at preschool, she enjoys spending time with her grandkids, traveling, reading and relaxing on her boat.

Both Mrs. Stoffel’s daughters attended Salem Preschool and as well as four of her grandchildren.

Sheri Harris

Mrs. Harris has been teaching at Salem Preschool for over 25 years. She earned her teaching degree from St. Could State University.

Mrs. Harris and her husband. Bob, have been married for 41 years and have three children and three grandchildren. Reading, biking, golfing and spending time with her family are her favorite things to do as well as teaching three and four-year olds at Salem Preschool.

Sheri’s mother-in-law was one of the first teachers at the preschool and all three of her children have attended Salem Preschool. “Be kind to one another” is her classroom mantra.

Mrs. Harris co-teaches the Purple class with Mrs. Shelly and is the head teacher for the Orange class.

Shelly Wehr

Mrs. Shelly has been teaching at Salem Preschool for over 30 years. She received her degrees from the University of Minnesota in Child Psychology and an Early Childhood Pre-K teaching license. She also works in the Minneapolis Public Schools as a Special Education Assistant in Early Childhood Special Education.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three grown children in the outdoors, fishing, camping, and boating.

Every year at Salem has been new and exciting for her. She loves teaching preschoolers because they are so open to the fun and wonder of learning. Shelly strives to make school exciting so the students will enjoy it and become lifelong learners.

Mrs. Shelly co-teaches the Purple class with Mrs. Harris.

Kelly Sykora

Teaching at Salem Preschool for the past four years has been a joy for Mrs. Sykora! She graduated from Bethel University in 2003 with a BA in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. She taught kindergarten for several years before becoming a mom.

Mrs. Sykora and her husband, Jason, have been married for 15 years and have 5 daughters, ages 13, 11, 9, 6, and 4. In her spare time, she loves to run, bake, make crafts, and garden. One of her favorite things of all, however, is teaching! She feels it is a gift to watch God’s handiwork shine through working with children.

Mrs. Sykora is the head teacher for both the Blue and Green Classes.

Carolyn Trapskin

Mrs. Carolyn has taught at Salem Preschool for the past four years and holds a degree in theater arts from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. 

Carolyn is married to her husband, Sam, and they have three children, all who have attended Salem Preschool. When she isn’t working at Salem, she enjoys skiing, going for walks, spending time outside, being with friends and family, and creating plays and pretending with kids.

Some of her favorite parts of working with preschoolers is witnessing their curiosity, their ability to be in the moment, their generosity with love and friendships, and their ability to play and pretend. Mrs. Carolyn also loves preschooler’s willingness to joyfully jump into any song, fingerplay, game, or activity with no inhibitions.

Mrs. Carolyn is the assistant teacher for both the Green and Orange classes.

Daily Schedule

A Typical Day at Salem Preschool

The morning begins with an hour-long free play time where students may choose from a wide choice of activities and centers. A dramatic play center may be set up as a home living center, a McDonald’s restaurant, a construction site, a grocery store or pet hospital. Students may choose to build with blocks, Duplos or Magna Tiles, explore in the science center, play in the sensory center or sandbox, do fine motor activities such as tracing and cutting, do counting, numeral identification, and sorting activities; match pictures that rhyme or begin with the same letter or read a book in the book center. During this free play time, all students will complete an art or craft project they can take home.

Large Group Time
After the students help with clean up, students gather to talk about the calendar and weather and to do sharing. The theme for the week is introduced and stories are read, and songs are sung relating to the theme. During the large group time, many literacy and math skills are introduced and worked on.

Bathroom Break and Snack

Students are taken to the bathroom and hands are washed to get ready for snack time. Parents provide a snack that includes foods from two food groups and a water bottle for their children. The “snack helper” chooses the prayer that will be said before they eat.

Learning Games and Activities/Music and Movement Time

The weekly theme is expanded upon at this time through games, music and movement activities.

Large Motor Time

If the weather permits, students go outside and play games in the back yard or play on the playground west of the church. When the weather is not suitable for outdoor play, students may play on the large motor equipment in the “Climber Room, play a game in the gym, or do activities with the parachute.


Dismissal Time (Green, Orange and Blue Classes, Purple Class on Mondays)

The preschoolers gather their belongings and get dressed to go home. The day ends with the “Good-bye Song” before parents pick up their children at the classroom door.

Lunch (Purple Class, Tuesdays and Thursdays)
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Purple Class takes a bathroom break and washes their hands for lunch. Students bring a lunch from home and pray before they eat.

Project and Play Time

After lunch, the children have the opportunity to complete another project related to the theme and work on the center activities.

Academic Skill Time

During this time, the teachers continue to introduce, practice and review literacy and math skills through activities, games and stories.

Large Motor Time

Before getting ready to go home, the Purple Class has another opportunity to work on their large motor skills by going to the park, playing a game outside or in the gym, or playing on the equipment in the “Climber Room.”

Dismissal Time

Students gather their belongings and get ready to be picked up by their parents. The day ends with singing the “Good-Bye” song.

Special Activities

Throughout the year, there are several special activities for the students. Programs such as Mr. Freeze, the 3M Visiting Wizard, and the Raptor Center come to preschool to enhance the students’ learning. Holidays are celebrated at preschool. On Halloween, there is a parade and a party. At Thanksgiving there is a Thanksgiving Feast. Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter are celebrated with a class party. Special days such as pajama day and beach day are held during the year. The three-year-old classes go on at least one field trip during the year and the four-year-old classes go on field trips to Silverwood and Tamarack Nature Centers.


Preschool Programs for Families

Two programs are given during the school year by the preschoolers for their families. In November, both four-year-old classes present a program of fall songs, poems and dances in our Fellowship Hall. In February, the two three-year-old classes present their program of songs, poems and dances for their families. Participating in these programs gives our preschoolers experience of performing in front of others and gives our families the opportunity to watch their children perform. It’s a win-win for both!


2023-2024 Schedule and Tuition Information

  • 3-year-old Green Class:
    Tuesday/Thursday, 9:00-11:30

  • 3-year-old Orange Class:
    Wednesday/Friday, 9:00-11:30

  • 4-year-old Blue Class:
    Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 9:00-11:30

  • 4-year-old Purple Class:
    Monday, 9:00-11:30;
    Tuesday/Thursday, 9:00-3:00

Tuition is paid monthly September though May, either online or by check, and the amount due remains the same regardless of the number of sessions each month. 

$60 non-refundable registration fee for all classes. 10% discount for Salem members and families with two or more children enrolled.

All classes above are in session from September through May. 


Admission Requirements

To enroll in Salem Preschool a child must be three, four, or five years of age. Threes must turn three before September 1 and be toilet trained before school begins.

Click HERE for the registration link. 

If you have not created a KidCheck account, you will need to complete that process and then re-click the link to register for Preschool.


Registration Form

Immunization Form

Medical Form

Emergency Care and Photo Release Form

Enrichment Classes

Marvelous Mondays

Salem Preschool offers Marvelous Monday enrichment classes on Mondays from 11:30 – 1:00 during the school year. These four-week or five-week classes include Movement Mondays (sports and games), Musical Mondays (making music together), Uno, Dos, Tres! Let’s Learn Spanish, Adventures in Children’s Literature, and Act It Out (an introduction to drama). Parents can register their children for any or all these classes. The cost is $40 for a four-week class and $50 for a five-week class. Students bring a lunch from home to eat before the class begins.

Classes are taught by physical education, music, Spanish and drama teachers from Salem Preschool and Salem Covenant Church.


Here’s what Salem Preschool families are saying

Salem Preschool is a warm, welcoming school that has exceeded our expectations for our children! In the Green classroom, Mrs. Shannyn, Mrs. Carolyn and Mrs. Sykora came along side our 3-year-old daughter, as we navigated our second born struggling with separation anxiety at the beginning of the school year. Thru their loving help, and support now our daughter cannot wait to get out the door to get to preschool! It means the world having teachers who really care, invest and build up each child. In the Purple Classroom, Mrs Shelly and Mrs Harris make every day an absolute adventure geared for FUN while incorporating love for God, friendships, developing self-esteems, and growing leaps and bounds with their knowledge. They’re helping cultivate wonderful little people, and kindergarten ready. My oldest writing skills, letter identification, independence has just blossomed, and we couldn’t be more grateful to her teachers who have helped foster those skills. We are so thankful for Salem Preschool!

Salem Preschool has been a highlight for my kids’ education journey! Each staff member is so welcoming and kind. There is thought and care that goes into each lesson. I appreciate how God is incorporated into their day, and my son loves all the hands-on learning. He loves coming to school which makes me a happy mama!

We have been so fortunate to have Salem Preschool as a part of each of our children’s early education. What I love most about Salem Preschool is how the teachers focus on learning through play, seeing children as who they uniquely are, and allowing children to grow and develop at their own pace. They incorporate Christ’s love in how they value each child and also teach the children to love one another and make their first friendships. Some of my own first memories were as a student at Salem Preschool many years ago; now our children also share in developing these precious early memories!

Grow God's Amazing Kids