About KLA Schools of Plainfield

Our Vision

“Leaving Traces in the Community by Nurturing Young Minds to be Respectful, Caring Citizens and Leaders”

Our Values

Our values guide every decision we make. They shape the way we work with our families, our communities, and each other.

We have Integrity & Accountability
Doing the right thing even when no one is looking , take personal accountability for our actions and results.

We always Think Children First
Do what is right for the Children at all times and providing the best education & care for the children.

We are Optimistic and Positive
Having a positive attitude about everything we do because we realize that thoughts form actions, which eventually becomes a habit and creating our culture.

We Respect Relationships
Create synergy in the school and surrounding community which includes families, educators, children and other community members by respecting and valuing each other’s ideas.

We are Passionate & Determined
Being Passionate about children, education, Reggio Philosophy and determined to bring the best out of every child.

We believe in Teamwork & Trust
Work effectively with the team and earn each other’s trust.

Our Journey

Dear Families:

With immense pleasure, my family and I welcome you to our school, KLA Schools of Plainfield. Our school is a result of my childhood dream and our passion for instilling high-quality education with character, self-confidence and the importance of pursuing ambitions.

Our vision is “Leaving traces in the community by nurturing young minds to be responsible, respectful, caring citizens and future leaders.”

When I was young, my father shared with me several quotes of famous leaders that got rooted in me and inspired me to be who I am today. These quotes, some of which I share below, helped me understand how academic knowledge combined with values, social responsibility and hard work enables accomplishing one’s dream with endless possibilities.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein

My father, who is the first engineer from his village in a rural part of India, has shown my brother and me by being an example of how we can help others and make a difference in the community — and that is our social responsibility. He also taught us that education without character is not productive for anyone. Both my brother and I followed our father’s footsteps and became engineers and try our best to live with principles and values.

I came to the United States two decades ago with hope, happiness, confidence and my engineering degree. With the support of my husband, Kumar, I graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from IIT, Chicago and worked as a Management consultant in one of the Big 4 consulting companies and Fortune 500 companies. Deep inside me, I always remembered a letter that my middle school friends and I received from Mother Teresa. It was about her important work to help educate children. This made an impact on me and left a trace for the mission I have been carrying forward as I grew into an adult.

My quest to start a school surfaced after we were blessed with our son, Asuttosh. My husband and I started our research in 2005 and when we learned that 90 percent of brain development happens in a child’s first five years, we decided to pursue our dreams in early childhood education. We researched several schools and decided to partner with KLA Schools due to its Reggio Philosophy, which resonates our vision by offering a unique environment and learning possibilities through instilling confidence in young children.

How we achieve our vision is what makes our school unique and gives everyone a wonderful experience. Each classroom has an intention that aligns with our vision — learning about core values embedding life choices, pursuing a project study that includes studying about leaders in their topic of research, and students getting to know the child in need that we sponsor, all these by following the Reggio Emilia-inspired approach. As a school, we believe and invest in professional development, including partnering with professors associated with Harvard University.

I strongly believe that our school would be a positive experience for your family and invite you to join in our vision and make a difference in the community. I look forward to seeing your child(ren) grow with us and have the love for lifelong learning with strong values, confidence and hope to pursue their dreams as I did.

Kindest regards,
Selvei Rajkumar

The Development of Our Educational Approach

We researched many great philosophers and were most influenced by Jean Piaget’s Constructivist Theory and L. Vygotsky’s Socio-Constructivist Theory, as well as the works of John Dewey on the importance of bringing students’ past experiences into the classroom. The works of Jerome Bruner and Paulo Freire also amazed us. We share the belief that each person constructs his or her own intelligence through direct interaction with the environment and social groups.

We were then introduced to the theories of Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the infant-toddler centers in Reggio Emilia, Italy. He developed an approach to early childhood education that is today inspiring educators and children throughout the world. As a result, we traveled to Italy to visit these wonderful preschools. We returned truly inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach and passionate about spreading its wonders in our schools.
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Why Early Childhood

We conducted a study of the Education industry to determine which areas needed attention and investment in order to improve the quality of children’s life. During our research, we learned from Harvard Center for the developing child that through early childhood education we can have a positive impact on the future of our community as 90% of the brain development happens in the first five years. It is during this critical period that children learn the fundamental pillars that will allow them to be successful in their future educational and professional endeavors.

KLA Schools Founders & their Support

KLA Schools was founded in 2008 when its first location was opened in Brickell, near Downtown Miami by Candy Arocena and her husband Roberto Ortega, along with a group of investors and educators. In the years to follow, they opened four more schools in the South Florida area. With the vision to make a difference in early childhood industry and the goal to offer the best philosophy of education to children across the nation, KLA Schools Franchise Program was formed in 2010.

Roberto and his team carefully choose and partner with like-minded entrepreneurs with the passion and dedication for early childhood and have opened schools in several states across the nation since 2010.

KLA Schools franchise team, a highly qualified group of early childhood professionals, periodically visits the schools and offers support for operations, educational program implementation, ongoing training and quality assurance. They also help in setting up the environment, the look & feel and design which is considered the third teacher in Reggio Emilia philosophy. KLA Schools leadership believes in ongoing professional development and collaboration. For instance, they offer training to schools from experts working with Harvard University on Making Thinking Visible initiative to instill critical thinking in children. They also invite educators from schools to visit the corporate schools for training and collaboration to be the best place for early childhood education and care in the world.


Chicago Tribune – Grand Opening

The Herald News – First Reggio Emilia Inspired School in Plainfield

Chicago Tribune – The Nidos are growing in the Garden

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