Overview of Preschool Program
Our curriculum is built on the foundation of our image of the child as a competent and capable individual with the potential to construct his or her own knowledge about the world in which we live and inspired by the philosophy and educational practices of the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. We are guided by developmentally appropriate practice and believe that it is through the passionate pursuit of play that children focus on their interests and make meaning of the world.
Constructivism and emergent curriculum, together with Jewish values, provide the core principles of our approach to early childhood education. Constructivism asserts that children create knowledge and internalize values as a result of interacting with their physical and social world.
Emergent curriculum builds on the interests of the children through sustained project work coupled with the teachers’ role as a guide and researcher and based on a deep knowledge of child development. Literacy, science and mathematical concepts are woven into the natural work of the classroom. Jewish values include concepts of respect, honoring others and taking care of our community and the environment. We reflect Jewish culture by organically integrating values, traditions and customs into the curriculum through music, language, literature, expressive arts, cooking, dance, and play.
Our Two Sites & Team Of Educators
JCC Preschool San Rafael at the Osher Marin JCC - 200 N. San Pedro Rd.
Founded in 1956 and rebuilt in 1991, our modern, spacious facility offers: eight intentionally designed classrooms with natural lighting, dedicated art studio and kitchen; access to the Osher Marin JCC ’s gym, theater, fitness studios, indoor pool, and children’s wading pool during warm weather months; fenced, outdoor playscapes equipped with natural and age appropriate equipment adjacent to each room; and adjacent to Marin’s open space for nature walks and explorations into our natural environment.
JCC Preschool Tiburon at Congregation Kol Shofar -215 Blackfield Dr. in Tiburon A collaborative program created by the Osher Marin JCC and Congregation Kol Shofar, the preschool is an extension of the Osher Marin JCC ’s Early Childhood Education department. It is founded on the tradition of excellence in Jewish early childhood education and enriched by the natural and spiritual environment of Congregation Kol Shofar.
Team of Educators:
The success of our programs is due to the professional guidance and dedication of our teachers, directors and staff. Our exceptionally qualified and experienced teachers understand child development and have a deep respect for each child’s unique attributes. We take great pride in hiring early childhood education professionals who are warm and caring people, who nurture and inspire, and who appreciate that children have an insatiable desire to learn. Our award-winning teachers are recognized and celebrated in their field locally and nationally. In order to stay on the cutting edge of early childhood education, we encourage our faculty to continue their professional development through classes, workshops, conferences, and on-going learning.
An Ethical Start & JECEI
"Do not look at the jug but what's inside." ~ Pirkei Avot, Chapter 4: Mishna 27
An Ethical Start® is a values-based curriculum designed for JCC preschools to teach Jewish ethics to young children and supports families in bringing these values into their homes. As one of the original pilot sites for an Ethical Start®, our school weaves universal values and Jewish traditions into all aspects of our program through the language of Pirkei avot (ethics of ancestors), integrating wisdom of our sages into our common language. As an example...By creating vessels to hold their important attributes, children discover what is inside their hearts that makes them unique and caring individuals. Our values, lenses, and the wisdom of our past help guide us to continue on our journey of learning and self discovery to help create caring, compassionate individuals with an insatiable quest as life-long learners.
JECEI - Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative
Our school was honored to be selected in the first cohort of schools to participate in the national Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative (JECEI), founded to transform Jewish ECE to create the highest quality education programs steeped in Jewish values and to generate model schools of excellence across the country. We are currently continuing on our JECEI journey along with 21 other schools nationally. We are guided on our school's journey by the richness of Jewish values and traditions that create a foundational set of ideas that are expressed as lenses, a way of viewing and experienceing our lives and the world.
JECEI lenses that inspire the work of our program
You will do and you will understand
Relationship, reciprocity, belonging and commitment
Capability, dignity and potential
Reflection, return and renewal
Inquiry, dialog and transmission
Intentionality and presence; sacred space and sacred time
Amazement, wonder and gratitude
Included in the curriculum:
• Music weekly for every class and classes are regularly joined by our music specialist for Shabbat.
• Our dedicated art teacher supports teachers and children in each class in using art as an expressive medium to enhance the curriculum.
• Pre-K classes (Gimel and Etzim) include field trips and swim lessons (San Rafael campus only).
After-school enrichment classes may include (additional fee):
• Creative Movement • Ballet • Yoga • Gardening • Science • Cooking • Art • Swimming (San Rafael campus only) •Strumming & Drumming
Summer Programs (Osher Marin JCC Preschool San Rafael Campus)
• Summer Toddler Programs: 2-3 years (Must be 2 years by Sept 1st, 2014)
• Camp Yeladim: 3-5 years (Must be 3 years by Sept 1st, 2014)
18 month - 3½ years of age (half and full day options)
For a child's first experience in a group setting, our toddler programs offer a nurturing environment for children to grow and explore. Our goal is to expand children's horizons by providing developmentally appropriate, creative and social learning experiences that lay the foundation for each child's educational journey. There is a strong focus on developing independence skills. Children enrolled in the toddler program need not be out of diapers.
3 - 5 years (half, extended and full day options)
A comprehensive educational program for children who turn 3 before Sept 30, as well as classes for 4- and 5-year-olds. We provide opportunities for children to develop as special and valued individuals and to acquire group skills.
Our curriculum provides a wide variety of opportunities for children to explore, discover and learn about Jewish traditions and culture in a child-centered setting.
We offer excellent teacher-child ratios, half-day, full-day and extended care options, and an award-winning Judaic curriculum designed by experienced staff. Enrichment includes storytelling, music, movement and gymnastics.
A camp program for preschoolers is offered during winter and spring breaks as well as during the summer months.