Children in the Tree of Life Children's Center at Temple Beth Israel (formerly Temple Beth Israel Preschool) morning preschool program are divided into age groups, based on their age as of September 1 of the school year when they enter. Children need to be 2 years old prior to enrollment and 2 year olds in our Group 1 Program do not have to be using the toilet independently before enrollment. Children who are enrolled in the full day program are in a mixed-age group in the afternoons. We aim to keep a 2:15 staff-to-student ratio with our two groups of older children and 2:10 ratio with our youngest group of children.
At the Tree of Life Children's Center, we strive for a balance. The balance is between outdoor and indoor activities, a balance between teacher-guided and child-initiated play, a balance of Jewish and secular learning and a balance of opportunities for independent play and social interaction. Exploring, discovery and learning are promoted within all of our age groups. Children move from one class to the next at the beginning of the fall, and the focus of each group reflects the children’s developmental stages and increasing skill levels. Our teachers understand the importance of interacting with each child in a meaningful way to support and extend their learning. We enroll year-round based on space availability, and maintain a waitlist when full.
Our Class Groups
- Kitah Lev ( Kitah = Group/Class, Lev= Heart)
Our youngest twos first focus on becoming accustomed to a school routine, and managing separation as they begin to bond to loving teachers in addition to their primary caregivers at home. The area of communication and language are also major areas of growth for two year olds. The trust that children develop with our staff encourages their developing sense of self and refinement of motor skills.
- Kitah Tikvah (Kitah = Group/Class, Tikvah = Hope)
As older twos, Kitah Tikvah’s children demonstrate a growing interest in social interaction with peers. and master more independence in their care routines. Teachers support the development of attention maintenance, new vocabulary and support learning concepts through play and daily interactions.
- Kitah Sakranut (Kitah = Group/Class, Sakranut = Curiosity)
Our young threes are introduced to more purposeful activities at large and small group times. Imagination soars, which is visible during their free play and in their conversations with others. Three year olds’ growing sense of independence is related to their developing physical and social skills. As children of this age group explore, the common question they now have is “why?”
- Kitah Osher (Kitah = Group/Class, Osher = Happiness)
Kitah Osher is our classroom for older threes and young fours, and builds on the foundation of the previous groups. Children become involved in a variety of activities of their own interests and facilitated by the teachers. One daily group time focuses on community, and another on a curricular theme. Children engage in more complex social play, and practice negotiation and problem solving all the day long!
- Kitah Chaverim (Kitah = Group/Class, Chaverim = Friends)
This class is designed as a “PreK-style” class, for four-year-olds who have some preschool experience. Children in this group must attend five days a week (half day or full day) and begin activities at 9 am sharp. Weekly lessons include Mitzvah notes, Child of the Week, introducing phonics, journal drawing & dictating, and Spanish time. The goal is to expose children to a wide range of ideas and skills with slightly more structure, to prepare the children for kindergarten while still within the context of play-based learning.
Click here for a sample daily schedule