Preschool & Kindergarten

Akiba-Schechter Preschool and Kindergarten is an accredited program open to all children. We are a community school that creates a safe, stimulating, and nurturing environment for children to learn through active exploration and play. Children engage in activities that include dramatic play, movement, art, sensory experiences, music, library, and yoga. Through secure relationships with teachers and friends, children develop a sense of independence and autonomy, as well as an ability to understand the needs and concerns of others.

We believe that youth is precious and that growth cannot be rushed. The developmental stages children must go through in order to be happy and successful take time and energy on the part of the teacher and the student. No two children are alike; each has individual strengths and weaknesses. We believe that each child is unique and deserves to be cherished. Children’s similarities and differences must be celebrated. Our teachers work hard to identify each child’s needs and help him or her integrate into the group.

​Akiba-Schechter preschool and Kindergarten teachers have studied and deeply believe in an approach called Reggio Inspired Learning, which is a constructivist approach and child-initiated. Many of our teachers have travelled to Italy to participate in the Early Childhood Study Tour in Reggio Emilia. We believe that children are capable and competent, and that they have the right to the best education possible. The classroom is often called the “third teacher” and is intentionally set up to provoke wonder, exploration, and collaboration through play. The materials chosen are thoughtful and often open-ended so children can decide how and what to create with them. Children often revisit what they are learning and have several opportunities to explore an idea with different materials--this is called the "100 Languages of Children" in Reggio Inspired learning. Children learn persistence through reflecting on what they have done and trying something out in different ways.

While our teachers are always prepared with rich plans for each day of school, they are also ready to put those plans aside when the children’s ideas the class in a different direction. While the final product is always nice to have, it is the process of creating that we embrace most. Storytelling and celebration of Jewish holidays bring a warm awareness and joy of the Jewish tradition to our school. Regular visual documentation of their activities helps children reflect on the fun and growth they experience.

We view parents as our partners in their child’s education. We encourage parents to participate and get involved at Akiba. Your involvement will help enrich both your experience and your child’s at this special time in your child’s development. We encourage parents to share skills and talents with us both inside and outside of the classroom.

Why We Play

Our curriculum is play based. Our classrooms are safe, age appropriate, welcoming to parents, and rich in sensory stimulation. We provide an environment where children can explore their world through interactions with each other and adults, hands-on activities, literature, music, and movement. Teachers prepare the environment and children have the opportunity to select many of their own activities, including blocks, dramatic play, art, sand and water tables, card and board games, music and movement, group games, dictating and writing stories, songs, group meeting time, and outdoor play. This is balanced with structured group activities.

Our goals for our students include:

Social and emotional goals:

  • To become increasingly autonomous
  • To use initiative in pursuing curiosities
  • To have confidence in one's ability to solve problems
  • To celebrate cultural similarities and differences
  • To feel secure in relationships with adults
  • To enjoy playing with other children and alone
  • To begin to coordinate different points of view by cooperating and resolving conflicts

Cognitive goals:

  • To express ideas through language and symbolic representation in effective ways
  • To put ideas or objects into relationships
  • To come up with interesting and creative ideas, problems, and questions

Physical goals:

  • To build awareness of one's body and to coordinate fine and gross motor skills

We believe a child’s experience in Preschool and Kindergarten will remain with him/her forever. We accept the responsibility to create a positive foundation for children’s attitudes about learning and school. In our preschool, children have the opportunity to have a new and exciting experience full of discovery each day. When children graduate from our programs, they are confident individuals, launched and prepared to face the challenges and adventures that a life of learning has to offer.