Early Childhood Education (ECE) in 2015-16
Highlights of our year:
This year was full of firsts! We welcomed Liz Schwandt as the new Director of Early Childhood Education. Liz has been instrumental in reshaping our preschool curriculum and all of our early childhood programming at SIJCC.
Our staff grew this year, with the addition of both new teachers and aides. All staff have adopted new practices related to curriculum tracking and the use of age-appropriate developmental frames to target with their classes. Our teachers have all also benefitted from professional development mentoring and coaching throughout the year under our new leadership. Our parents also experienced a difference this year in our parent teacher conferences. Our teachers, administrators and parents are all working together as a team to support our students.
We have begun a new pipeline of support for early family life here at SIJCC. In the spring we offered our pilot of a program called KNOW Your Baby, a brand new infant neurodevelopment group led by Liz, which brought together new parents and infants (ages 2-5 months and 6-12 months). Our goal is to increase community awareness of the SIJCC as a resource for parenting and family life in the community. We plan to manualize and replicate our model of support and information sharing so that it can be utilized with as many families as possible.
This year our preschool went digital! We initiated new password-protected parent and staff websites, creating a place to safely house information specific to our community members, we moved all of our enrollment online, and we launched a new system called Kinderlime which will streamline everything from tuition payments to sign-in, to interaction between teachers and parents.
Friday Shabbats continue to be a warm, special time in the preschool when all families come together on our campus for a weekly celebration. In September and January we took Shabbat to Griffith Park for a fun change of scenery. And our Shabbat band keeps growing. We have a number of parents who join us every Friday, making beautiful music with guitars, mandolins, and even an accordion! In June we welcomed many familiar faces back to our campus for the second annual Best of the Shabbat Band Celebration. Current and past preschool friends and parents came together to play music, sing and celebrate the passing of another school year.
"In addition to being a magical place for our daughter, the community of parents, teachers and staff have redefined our sense of belonging as a family living in Los Angeles." - Emma Jacobson-Sive, ECE Parent
Photo credit: Allison Wyper