Program & Calendar
Gan Israel Preschool offers a creative and nurturing environment where your child will feel at home. We take an eclectic approach to curriculum. By integrating the best concepts in early childhood education with the beauty of our Jewish tradition, we create meaningful and enriching classroom experiences for our students. Every day the children in our care play, learn, and explore in a joyful, outdoor based non-competitive space where they are valued as individuals, and recognized for their unique gifts. We support each child as they develop independence, confidence, creativity, and self esteem.
Gan Israel is a certified Outdoor Classroom Demonstration Site. After much hard work, many teacher training hours and ongoing improvements to our yard, we received our certification from the Outdoor Classroom Project in January 2018.
At Gan Israel we offer a morning preschool program that runs from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm for the younger classes and from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm for our pre-K group. Our morning program is divided into two age groups - Explorers and Mountaineers. We also offer optional early care from 8:00-9:00 am, and aftercare until 4:30 pm.
In our young Explorers group, we provide an environment where the children can learn through play and develop a positive self-image. Since children at this stage of development depend on their sense of touch to learn about the world around them, we always provide a tactile activity area such as play dough, sand, or water for the children to explore. These activities help children to feel both calm and alert, while also promoting fine motor skills and inspiring children's imaginations. Over the course of the year, the children are introduced to a variety of engaging age appropriate activities including cooking projects, science exploration, and many different art mediums. However, the emphasis is always on the process of the experience rather then the end result or the product. We also support the children's rapidly growing language skills and development with prayers, songs, stories, rhymes and conversation. We always encourage the children to use their words and help them verbalize their needs.As the children become increasingly comfortable in their new environment, we join the Bet group for shared activities throughout the day.
In our older Explorers group, we focus on helping children expand on the skills they’ve learned in the Aleph group. We also help to widen their window
into the outside world by sharing new ideas and experiences with them. Children at this age are ready to begin moving from parallel play towards cooperative play, and we support this development by teaching them the social skills they need to feel successful. We model using words to communicate needs, wants, and ideas. We also help guide children in reading each other's non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language. When conflicts do arise we emphasize creative problem solving while modeling empathy and respect for all children involved. We focus on developing skills for communication, and helping the children find new tools for self-expression. This is done through many mediums such as art, music dictation, and daily conversation. Letters, numbers, shapes and colors are an everyday part of our curriculum as well, though they are always introduced in a way that is organic and meaningful to the children.
While both groups work together sharing space and exploring together, the teachers are sensitive to the needs and development of each individual child, meeting them where they are at developmentally, and differentiating curriculum as needed.
For the Mountaineers group we strive to provide an environment that kindles the spark that will become a lifetime love of learning. In our program we aim to instill a passion for good literature and music. This in turn, helps prepare children for Kindergarten by building phonemic awareness and increasing vocabulary, which are both crucial skills for future reading success. We meet with the children several times a week in small groups to work on acquiring skills such as cutting with scissors, writing, and math concepts to further insure that the children are prepared with the tools they need as they move on to Kindergarten. We engage in lots of open-ended art activities, which allows the children to practice their self-expression and experiment with symbolic representation. We also provide many opportunities for free-play, which allows the children to practice problem solving, strengthen friendships, use their imaginations, and most importantly have fun!
We have extended our day until 1:00 in order to meet our goals, we will also be starting our learning time earlier in the morning to take full advantage of every moment in our day!
Please check out our Shutterfly page to see what we are currently exploring!
Holiday Calendar for School Year 2019-2020
AUGUST 2019 23 Friday ShabbaBBQ - Gan Israel Outdoor Classroom 5:00 - 6:45 pm 28 Wednesday “Getting to Know You” Morning 9:00 - 11:00 SEPTEMBER 2 Monday Labor Day No School 3 Tuesday Preschool Begins 8 Sunday “Back to School” family social 9:30 - 11:30 am 30 Monday Rosh Hashanah No School OCTOBER 1 Tuesday Rosh Hashana No School 8 Tuesday Erev Yom Kippur 1:00 Dismissal 9 Wednesday Yom Kippur No School 14-15 Mon- Tues Sukkot break No School 21-22 Mon- Tues Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah No School NOVEMBER 11 Monday Veterans Day observed No School 27-29 Wed-Friday Thanksgiving Break No School DECEMBER 23-3 Mon -Fri Winter break No School JANUARY 2020 6 Monday Preschool Resumes 20 Monday Martin Luther King Day No School FEBRUARY 14 Friday Staff JRS Education Day No School 17 Monday Presidents Day No School MARCH 10 Tuesday Purim Party! 10:00 - 12:30 (short day) Staff conference day No School APRIL 8-17 Wed-Friday Passover Break No School 20 Monday Preschool Resumes MAY Thursday Jewish Preschool Conference Day No School 25 Monday Memorial Day No School 29 Friday Shavuot No School JUNE 5 Friday End of School Celebration 10-12:00 (short day) 9 Tuesday Last full day 10 Wednesday Staff wrap up day