The Heights Learning Academy: Introducing Long Beach’s Newest Curriculum-Based Preschool

Updated: Aug 3

By John Grossi

Meet the amazing Melissa McLaughlin. High school math teacher turned preschool teacher, founder, and creator of the curriculum-based pre-k program at The Heights Learning Academy of Long Beach, now enrolling the 2022-2023 school year.


At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, she left her secure, stable job teaching high school mathematics… the career she had gone to college for… to pursue something much more niche, with much younger students. It was a COVID “Learning Pod” for kindergartners in Long Beach!


With astonishingly positive results and unprecedented testimonials from the preschool parents (you seriously have to check out the testimonials at https://www.theheightslearningacademy.com/testimonials), last year, for the 2021-2022 school year, she dove head first into starting her own preschool!


Like many people during the pandemic she was giving something new a try and doing her best to help her local community. What she has learned for herself (and what the kids and parents around her have learned), is that sometimes the biggest impacts come in the smallest portions.


“The world would be a better, kinder, and more loving place if every 4 year old got to start their education journey with The Heights Learning Academy, where they learn to build confidence in themselves and foster meaningful relationships with others,” said one parent about their child’s educational experience last year- seriously you have to check out the rest of these testimonials: https://www.theheightslearningacademy.com/testimonials.


The Heights Learning Academy targets preschoolers between ages 3.5 and 4.5 who are a year away from kindergarten and ready to soak up more knowledge than they ever imagined. This preschool is designed for motivated parents who want to stay involved in their child’s life for another year but also provide them with the opportunity to get ahead on concepts like math, reading, and science, all while allowing their child to socialize, build relationships, and experience lots of group fun with their peers.



The Difference


There are a three important tangible differences that make McLaughlin’s preschool different and in the words of her past parents… much better. The first is curriculum.


Coming from a traditional teaching background, McLaughlin has implemented curriculum into the last year of preschool specifically designed to prepare her students to excel when they start attending kindergarten. The curriculum is integrated across multiple subjects and shared with the parents before each week starts so that parent’s can join in on “themed fun” at home to compliment what the kids are learning in the classroom.


Number two is class size. Eight. Yep- that’s the class size and she’s sticking to it.


Ms. McLaughlin’s realization during her pandemic career-change was that the biggest results sometimes come in the smallest packages. By keeping the class size to just eight students, McLaughlin can individualize the curriculum to each student and make sure everyone gets enough attention from her, while still having the benefit of peers and friends in the classroom. In Ms. McLaughlin’s class, each student is given tangible yet challenging goals and each student is allowed to work at their own pace. The goal is total comprehension of each subject!


The last tangible difference that makes The Height’s Learning Academy different than other preschools is the way it caters to parents. McLaughlin’s incredible results (have you checked out those testimonials yet?) are living proof that when given the opportunity, preschoolers really do want to soak up information. Yet- Ms. McLaughlin insists that the best results will happen when the preschoolers are receiving similarly positive teaching reinforcement at home.


That’s why her teaching style includes major parental-communication. Parents receive emails and texts weekly with updates about curriculum, assignments, and opportunities for more fun at home! If the preschool curriculum is talking about something like “space” during the week, the parents know they can address that subject at home too!


Not to mention, parents are constantly updated with classroom photos which this generation of parent definitely appreciates!



How to Contact


With her Summer programs wrapping up, Ms. McLaughlin is now giving tours to parents to enroll in the Fall! The class is already half full but eager to reach more Long Beach families in it’s 2nd year.


If you’re interested and want to learn more visit the website at theheightslearningacademy.com or contact Melissa directly at theheightslearningacademylb@gmail.com or (916)-220-0912!