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Nursery School

Ages 18 months to 5 years
Smiling teachers and bright, sunny classrooms welcome our children to days full of hands on secular and Judaic experiences. Our curriculum is rich in age-appropriate activities developed to best support social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth and development. We integrate: imagination, exploration, experimentation, questioning, creative play, art, music, movement, puppetry, cooking, storytelling, gardening, math and science, games, literature and lots of individual attention.
Our Judaic curriculum is evident throughout, with special attention paid to Jewish holiday customs and traditions, Shabbat and our emphasis on participation in acts of loving kindness. We consistently promote “menchlekite” as each child is encouraged to become self-sufficient, to have and show respect for themselves, other children, adults and everything in the world around us.
Our school welcomes families of all faiths, nationalities and cultures.  Our staff and students come from many different cultures and backgrounds, and we enjoy sharing Jewish traditions and activities with everybody in our GRJC Nursery School community.  We encourage our non-Jewish families to share their culture and heritage with us as well. We support LGBTQ+ inclusion and value the importance of honoring all different types of family units.  We hope that all will feel welcome and comfortable in our Nursery School extended family.
While synagogue membership is not required for your child to participate in our programs, all Nursery School families are invited to become members of GRJC free of charge.
Parents are invited into our classrooms to cook, read, get messy, share a special skill, talent or family tradition, and celebrate Shabbat and holidays throughout the year.
Our Parent Association makes everyone feel welcome by planning parent-only social activities such as Coffee Shmoozes and Parents' Night Out (e.g. bowling, dinner).  They also organize group park play dates with children and end of the year class parties
The committee is instrumental in sponsoring parent meetings and acting as an additional liaison between our parents and the School Director (whose door is always open!). These meetings provide valuable feedback and suggestions to ensure that our programs continue to meet the needs and expectations of our families.

Educational Vision

The Glen Rock Jewish Center Nursery School strives to meet the specific needs of each child by offering a curriculum strong in all of the domains of early childhood developmentally appropriate practice: social, emotional, cognitive, physical, language and literacy. In an atmosphere of respect for our similarities and differences, we seek to enhance children’s sense of wonder and empathy, develop communication and learning skills, promote positive self-image and engender trust in peers and caregivers.
Following the rhythms of the Jewish calendar, our program fosters each child’s connection to Judaism and Jewish culture through singing, dancing, crafts, cooking, storytelling and ritual practice education. Synagogue affiliation or any connection to Judaism is not required for your child to participate in our program.
Children blowing on their toy shofars
Our curriculum is based on the current knowledge of how children develop, grow and learn best through the medium of constructive play. This knowledge provides the framework for incorporating the best and most appropriate practices in early childhood education, laying the foundation for future growth and development.
Children learn best in an atmosphere of diversity and tolerance for those who appear different or have different ideas. No matter what the subject matter or the means through which it is presented, it is always through the lens that all people are deserving of respect and kindness.
The Glen Rock Jewish Center Nursery School’s philosophy reflects a developmental approach to learning based on the medium of play. Children learn so many things through play. When children work together to set up a dollhouse, they are learning language about family, relationships, negotiation and cooperation.
When children spend stretches of time fitting a ball through a hole and watching it drop, they are learning about gravity, geometry and even probability.  When children play with blocks they are learning physics, cause and effect, logical reasoning, area, fractions, measuring, classification, coordination, creative thinking, patterning, balance and so much more.
Bunny rabbits will always elicit smiles from the audience
The learning that happens here through play cannot be replaced by any other learning, as it is self-directed, creative and authentic. They are learning different perspectives about how to organize things, planting the seeds for critical thinking, and knowing how to think from multiple perspectives.
Our teacher's role during children's play is to observe and provide language to help children describe and enhance what they are experiencing. Teachers also provide rich settings with ample opportunities for different kinds of play. They observe and notice what kinds of play their students gravitate towards, and they work on ways to enrich, diversify and scaffold these inclinations.

Curriculum broadly speaking, is the overall school experience. Curriculum is everything that students learn.
At the GRJC, it can be implicit or explicit, planned or spontaneous. It is often a combination of teacher-led and child-initiated activities and experiences, both indoors and out. This includes all that is planned for and with the children in the classroom, such as learning centers, projects, themes, morning circle and teacher and child initiated individual, small and large group activities.
Learning about science by making model rockets, something that is fun at any age
Curriculum also includes the unplanned experiences a child has while building a bridge with paper towel tubes, string and popsicle sticks, looking out the window, socializing at the snack or lunch table, expected and unexpected child-to-child interactions, and even when frustration, anger or sadness lead to negative behaviors.
Curriculum is the entire range of experiences that children have at school. Content objectives and learning outcomes, knowledge of child development and careful observation of the needs and interests of our individual children guide our curriculum (which is modeled on the research based Creative Curriculum for Preschool; Dodge, Colker and Heroman).
Children coloring with markers

Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784