Dr. Joseph A. Whelan Elementary School

1440 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI 02904
Phone: (401) 233-1180  |  Fax: (401) 353-1465

Principal: Mrs. Amanda Donovan 

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The journey at Whelan begins in the kindergarten classroom, where children are learning basic concepts such as sharing, patience, structure, communication, and foundational skills that set the standard for the rest of their elementary education – and beyond. Through engaging lesson plans and activities that blend student autonomy with supportive guidance, the cognitive and neurological development of our littlest learners skyrockets.

It is our goal to further our students’ social and emotional growth, and that’s made possible by the abundance of experiences students have while participating in activities that increase children’s self-regulation skills, independence, and cooperation. We combine one-on-one instruction with group and partner work, allowing children to grow in their learning independently and collaboratively.


Kindergarten Mathematics

Any way you add it up, math at Whelan for kindergarten students is a thrilling and engrossing experience where we start to teach foundational skills that yield high achievement in school across disciplines and an understanding of arithmetic concepts. The youngest mathematicians at our school use math throughout the day, counting, measuring, and talking about quantity and numbers. The basics of mathematical language are built in kindergarten.

Even during free play, it may appear that students are merely discussing toys, but if you listen more intently, you’ll hear them talking about size, shape, abundance, and patterns. We incorporate learning about number sequences into everyday activities, and make these numbers become “real” for our students.

Kindergarten English Language Arts

We make sure Whelan Elementary kindergarten students get hooked on phonics. We make the introduction into reading and writing fun for students through a rich supply of text, and show our students that stories are everywhere – during free play time, while communicating with peers about daily life, and in their own imaginations.

Our educators use active instruction, modeling and demonstrating literacy skills as they lead by example. We know that students learn by doing, so we encourage them to practice writing, boost their fine motor control, and help heighten their appreciation for language.

Kindergarten Science

“Watch me!” That’s something you’ll hear kindergarten students at Whelan say quite often, as they share their talents they’ve discovered, and new findings they’ve uncovered. Particularly in kindergarten, curiosity peaks, and our educators lock into that to show students how much wonder there is in the scientific world.

Indoor and outdoor learning happens in kindergarten, and yes – sometimes, students will make a mess when conducting their own experiments. That mess students make is all part of the lesson. We learn about principles like light and color, about nature, and the basics of how things work.

Kindergarten Social Studies

Kindergarten students in particular will continue asking, “Why?” That’s just what we at Whelan want to hear. Our youngest learners are particularly intrigued by their surroundings, and we hone in on that to teach them about community and what it means to be a part of a collective.

It takes a village to raise a child, and we start to teach children about the components that make up a village: Different generations, a mixture of cultures blending together, customs, traditions, and a variety of perspectives. For many of our students, kindergarten is the first time they learn to play and interact with a large group of other children, and learn the essence of teamwork, respect, and listening.

Kindergarten Teachers

Mrs. Michelle Refino

Mrs. Adriana Ricci