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Play-Based, Reggio-Inspired Preschool Offering Full- and Part-Day Programs



Educational Approach | Application & Enrollment | School Overview | Parent Portal
 


We embrace the joy, power, and growth present in early childhood.

A child can be gleefully giggling with a friend in one moment and, in the next, passionately advocating for fairness; both represent meaningful moments of expression and learning. We see children for their present qualities as well as their learning potential: for the joy in their whimsical play, for the power in their transformative activism, and the growth that runs through it all.

Our educational approach recognizes children for who they are, now, while supporting them as they stretch, explore, and develop:
 

Joy

Power

Growth

JoyChildren are never “just playing” - they are making friends, learning about themselves, and sowing the seeds of academic development. Play is the secret sauce of a child’s life and of our classrooms, the intrinsic motivation needed to pull us all forward in the name of curiosity, growth, and development. A progressive, play-based classroom provides our students the ingredients necessary for joyful growth. Interested in why we focus on play? Explore here for pediatric research on play and here for how play-based classrooms promote learning.

Power In children’s tense negotiations, feverish standoffs, and emotional proclamations, they are showing us their power in the world. They are telling us, “I matter.” Children’s agency - their mattering - is found as they say “no,” take a stand, or refashion the world to suit their agenda. We see this mattering as a crucial component of a healthy and passionate childhood. Inspired by the educational practices of Reggio Emilia, we hold a reverential view of the child-as-citizen and embrace the child’s voice as a lead protagonist in establishing our classroom communities each year. Children’s passions, interests, questions, and ideas come to shape our classrooms, curricula, and community-identity. Interested in what “Reggio-inspired” means? Explore here and here for historical and theoretical overviews.

GrowthChildren are born curious and are already learning before we are teaching. Young children are scientists, accumulating data and building theories about their world. Our educational approach acknowledges and builds on the cognitive capacities of young children by supporting their exploration of the tactile and conceptual challenges of daily classroom life: How to build a bridge out of blocks? How to use a paintbrush? How to read a story? How to make a friend? We intentionally support children’s learning by inserting developmentally appropriate learning opportunities along the way. This ensures that children are engaged in pre-academics (i.e., writing, reading, math) and conceptual knowledge (i.e., patterns, opposites) throughout their explorations. Interested in how young children learn? Explore how they construct theories and knowledge through tactile exploration and social dialogue.

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We have limited enrollment spots still available in both our part- and full-day programs for the 2021-2022 preschool year. Click here to apply!


We are opening in September and we are not going to close. We will only move our school off-site under a Mayor's Order or as directed by DC Health. We are committed to operating aftercare if and when possible. We will make all efforts to offer an aftercare program as current COVID-19 restrictions preventing intermingling are removed.

Admissions resources and information:

Tuition rates and hours of operation

School Open/Closed Calendar

COVID-19 policies and procedures

All children enrolled in Gan HaYeled must be at least 24 months old by their first day of school.

 


 

Jewish Values

At Gan HaYeled, Judaism is the fabric of our community. Our Jewish identity - our stories, cycle of the year, culinary traditions, rituals, and more - offer a rich landscape on which we explore, learn, play, and live. Our classrooms celebrate and learn about Jewish holidays and ritual practices, using these as meaningful launching points for deeper curricular extension. Sukkot celebrations may turn into explorations about different forms of housing; the Passover saga may lead us into other stories of justice and power. Throughout these celebrations and studies, we embrace and explore not only the ritual elements but also the values implicit with our stories. Our Jewish values help us understand how to treat ourselves and others and how to care for our world. Our Jewish values are found in our recycling and composting, in how we greet visitors into our classroom, and in how we care for class pets. Our goal is to provide a warm atmosphere in which positive Jewish experiences occur for our children and their families every day.

Inclusive School & Developmental Support

The Gan has a rich history of recognizing the value of inclusion and is committed to providing a quality early childhood education for all children. Recognizing the individual strengths of each child and applying those strengths to areas that need support sometimes requires clinical collaboration.  We are able to foster this developmental need by staffing a multidisciplinary team who can assess and coordinate services to accommodate our students in their typical day-to-day routines, resulting in a truly inclusive community.  

 

Multidisciplinary Team: Young children are developing quickly, with four developmental domains expanding independently and concurrently.  Physical, language, cognitive, and social/emotional development progress considerably during the early childhood years.  Our multidisciplinary (developmental support) team, made up of a social worker, special educator, speech/language pathologist and occupational therapist can effectively support their individual area of expertise while collaborating with the team to be sure treatment goals are aligned and consistent.

 

Classroom Support & Intervention: We recognize that every child learns at a different pace, and shines in his or her own way. The ultimate goal is for every student to fully engage in the classroom experience.  Our developmental support team can help facilitate differentiated learning and environmental modifications when necessary and work with faculty and families on cultivating skills expected. 

 

Clinical Oversight: For children receiving therapeutic services while in school, the developmental support team will oversee and provide ongoing recommendations for a streamlined practice and optimal outcomes.

 

Support Service Coordination: Relationships are critical in any work with young children.  The Gan understands that children may already have established connections to therapists before entering our program.  We welcome therapists into the school so relationships can be maintained and support can be provided in the child’s natural environment.  We all share the same goal, optimizing the child’s experience while supporting their development.

Enrichment

The Gan HaYeled Enrichment Program brings additional activities and experiences to Gan students outside of Gan classroom hours.  From yoga to soccer, painting, and hiking, Gan Enrichment activities inspire and excite our students.  Specific enrichment offerings are based on the seasons and the evolving interests of Gan students.

Typical School Day

Each Gan day begins by welcoming students through gathering, song, ritual, and communal connection.  Over the course of any given morning, Gan students play outside, hear stories, build and create, engage with a variety of artistic media, have a nourishing snack, and, most importantly, play!  Children collaborate with their peers and teachers, testing hypotheses and constructing knowledge.  Jewish rituals, songs, and values are also part of everyday life in the Gan.  Following lunch, children in the Gan part day program go home, while children in the full day program settle in for nap or quiet time.  Following nap or quiet time, children have a second snack and a chance to conclude their day through goodbye rituals with their teachers and classmates.

Gan Parents Association

The Gan Parents Association (GPA) is an enthusiastic and energetic group of Gan parents. They host events throughout the school to foster community among the Gan parents, show appreciation for the teachers and administrators, to host events for Gan children and families, and to encourage communication between parents, teachers, and administrators. The GPA enhances the effectiveness of teaching and learning at the Gan while giving parents a way to participate in their child's preschool education as well as a number of social opportunities to enjoy at the same time. If you have any questions about the GPA, please feel free to email gpa@ganparents.org

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Fri, July 23 2021 14 Av 5781