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Our Philosophy and Curricular Elements

The philosophy of the school is built upon the foundation of educational theories that have stood the test of time through study and practice. Modern perspective and continual study informs our current practice, and our faculty are deeply engaged in thinking together and continuing to refine the work of supporting the growth, development, and learning of the children in their care. 

Reggio Emilia

We draw primarily on the Reggio Emilia approach, which sees children as competent, curious, and collaborative and requires a deep respect for them as individuals and important citizens of the world. At the core of our philosophy, we see the child as a competent, capable protagonist in their own learning. We believe the child has the right to nurturing caregivers and an environment that supports their learning and is inclusive of their individual identity as well as that of their family.


We also employ constructivist theory, which is founded on the understanding that meaning is made by the learner, not given by the teacher. At the heart of the constructivist theory is the idea that children learn through real-life, authentic experiences within a social context. We work hard to help children develop critical thinking skills as they uncover and explore their own ideas through the process of theory development and repair.

Relationship-Based Learning

At the heart of all we do and believe is the idea that human beings learn, grow, and thrive in the context of relationships. Young children learn about their ever-expanding world around them through the people they encounter and depend on. Parents are primary in this context, and we feel honored by and deeply devoted to the idea that, as educators, the relationships we build with children and families are also of vital importance in their growth and development.

We work to partner with families through parent-teacher communication as well as opportunities to focus more deeply as a team in supporting a child’s journey. In addition to classroom teachers, parents collaborate with members of the administrative team. Our infant and early childhood mental health consultant works mainly with teachers, administrators, and parents through observations in classrooms, team meetings, screenings, and referrals. We offer parents a developmental screening at least once per year.

Anti-Bias Education

As a school, we have a concentrated focus on anti-bias education, which involves coming together to learn about, value, and support all dimensions of human differences including but not limited to race, culture, language, gender, ability, and sexual orientation. We use the Amaze Early Childhood Curriculum, which supports the exploration of these themes through high quality children’s literature.


In addition to experiences with classroom teachers, children in the school also interact with specialists and special environments. All children benefit from a weekly visit with our music specialist that involves singing, dancing, and playing with musical instruments. Each child has regular opportunities to work with our Community Art Specialist to deepen their understanding and familiarity with art materials and processes.

Jewish Learning

At its core, Judaism respects, celebrates, and advocates for the values of family, community connection, and tikkun olam (repairing the world), which are embraced by many faith traditions. We naturally integrate these shared human values into our classrooms and school and explore the reasons why they are important in the Jewish tradition. Clergy and staff from Temple Beth Am help us to deepen understanding and enrich the experience of Jewish life and learning. Creative expression and exploration, supporting natural curiosity, and enjoying community experiences together are key aspects of the Jewish nature of the school.

We approach Judaism with great focus on the customs, traditions, and holidays of the religion. The rhythm of the calendar guides us as we celebrate Shabbat weekly with singing, dancing, and delicious challah. Each holiday is celebrated through learning its history and participating in cultural traditions: food, song, dance, and often the creation of ritual objects. Children are welcome to talk about their cultural and religious experiences whether they are of a Jewish nature or not. The way we explore the holidays leaves room for everyone to identify with some aspect of the story or traditions.

Our families and faculty members are from varied religious and cultural backgrounds; all are welcome. The diversity of our community leads to a wealth of cultural knowledge and a diversity of languages. We believe this diversity is what brings our community together.

Sat, May 25 2019 20 Iyar 5779