Our Mission: The Raleigh School is a cooperative community of children, parents and teachers that fosters a love of learning in an atmosphere of challenge, inquiry and respect.


NAEYC Accreditation


The Raleigh School Preschool is a community leader with over 45 years of accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

NAEYC accreditation represents the highest standard in early childhood educational practice.

After our last NAEYC visit in 2020, our accreditation was renewed with high commendations in every category including: Relationships, Curriculum, Teaching, Assessment, Health, Teachers, Families, and Leadership & Management.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children commends The Raleigh School:

  • For administering a program efficiently and effectively, ensuring that all involved persons, staff, children, and families are included. 
  • For the high level of recognition of the importance of a reciprocal relationship between families and programs that is essential to ensure that programs are meeting the needs of the children and families that the program serves.
  • For promoting positive relationships among all children and adults to encourage each child's sense of individual worth and belonging as part of a community and to foster each child's ability to contribute as a responsible community member.
  • For employing and supporting a teaching staff that has the educational qualifications, knowledge, and professional commitment necessary to promote children’s learning and development and to support families’ diverse needs and interests.
  • For implementing a curriculum that is consistent with its goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language and cognitive.
  • For using developmentally, culturally and linguistically appropriate and effective teaching approaches that enhance each child’s learning and development in the context of the program’s curriculum goals.
  • For using ongoing, systematic, formal and informal assessment approaches to provide information on children’s learning and development. These assessments occur within the context of reciprocal communications with families and with sensitivity to the cultural contexts in which children develop. Assessment results are used to benefit children by informing sound decisions about children, teaching, and program improvement.
  • For promoting the nutrition and health of children and protecting children and staff from illness and injury.
  • For effectively establishing and maintaining reciprocal relationships with agencies and institutions that can support it in achieving its goals for the curriculum, health promotion, children’s transitions, inclusion, and diversity.


Elizabeth Gilleland
B.A., Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Furman University
M.S., Applied Educational and Developmental Psychology, NCSU
Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, NCSU


Elizabeth joined The Raleigh School faculty in 1997 as the Preschool Director. In her 35+ years as an educator at The Raleigh School and beyond, Elizabeth has taught and learned together with preschoolers, elementary, middle and high schoolers, college and graduate level students and teachers and parents. Elizabeth has served the larger educational community in many non-teaching roles, including service on PTA, SIT, and BAC boards in the Wake County Public School System, founding and service on the board of the Wake-aeyc, and ten years as member the North Carolina Childcare Commission. Elizabeth is a passionate advocate for the use of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood education, and in the importance of ensuring that children have amply opportunity to play and learn outdoors in the natural world. Elizabeth loves knowing and supporting the children, parents, and teacher of The Raleigh School Community. 

The Raleigh Preschool is a magical place. We were awed by the incredible sense of community we felt from the moment we stepped on campus. Childhood is truly honored. ... Our choice to be at The Raleigh Preschool was one of the best decisions we've ever made for our children.

Lisa Patel, TRS parent