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Early Learning Center

Welcome to the Ohev Shalom Early Learning Center (ELC).

We are a Keystone Stars Participant.

KeystoneSTARS A

Ohev Parent Handbook 2014-2015

Our program is open to children from 3 months old through kindergarten. We are DPW Certified and a Keystone Stars Participant. As part of a Conservative Synagogue, our program has a strong focus on Judaics and all of the school families are welcome to become part of the Synagogue family as well.

 

Our school is highly regarded in the local communities. We have worked closely with Council Rock in their attempt at winning a federal reading grant (we were the only local preschool chosen) and many of the children who graduate from our program and move on to the public schools, enter at the top of their classes in reading and math.  We also have a very strong/positive relationship with the Bucks County Intermediate Unit and Early Intervention. Our school meets or exceeds the state standards for all ages and we align our curriculum very closely to the Council Rock and Central Bucks School Districts.

The ELC is very fortunate to have a strong and committed Parent-Teacher-Organization. Our PTO meets monthly and is the fundraising and programming arm of the school. The PTO runs a Scholastic Book Fair twice a year; Kidstuff Books, Latkes and Hamantaschen sales; and special events like pajama parties and end of the year carnivals. The current goal for the PTO is to raise the money to surface the playground with pour-in-place rubber. With a generous donation from one of the families we are halfway there.

We welcome you to read more about our school. Please keep reading for more information on the different classes and programs we offer. For more information on the curriculum and the standards, you are welcome to view them in the school office.

Philosophy

Ohev Shalom Early Learning Center emphasizes the development of the whole child from birth to school age.  Children learn through exploration as we guide them in discovering and investigating the world around them.  We believe in developmentally appropriate, hands-on activities that cater to the five senses and nurture the child’s expressive, communicative and cognitive growth.

Our curriculum centers on incorporating Jewish programs (holidays, values and customs) with core secular concepts. We have unique Shabbat programming for all age levels. The Ohev community welcomes young families with age-appropriate interactive holiday and Shabbat activities.

Each age level focuses on topics of study that are relevant to the lives of our children.  Our dedicated and experienced teaching staff incorporates literacy, science, social studies, mathematics and the arts into the everyday culture of the school. All of our   levels teach to the Pennsylvania State Standards.

More Information About Our School

The Early Learning Center offers:

  • Year round and school year care
  • Full time (7:15-6:00) & Part time (9:15-12:00, 1:00, 3:15)
  • Choose your days*
  • Afterschool enrichment including art, drama, cooking and Zumbatomic
  • Hebrew, music, library weekly
  • School-wide, interactive Shabbat celebration
  • Mad Science and Special Programs monthly
  • Large outdoor playground
  • Big, bright, airy rooms

*   (open to certain classes only)

ELC Classes

The Ohev Shalom ELC has a wonderful, state-of-the-art infant center.

This is a year-round program open to babies ages 3 to 18 months, offering flexible scheduling. The center opens at 7:15AM and closes at 6:00PM (on Fridays we close at 5:00 to prepare for Shabbat).  There is a 3-to-1 baby-to-adult ratio, in two classrooms in the Rothman Family Education Building, with up-to-date equipment, toys, and security precautions.

In the infant program, babies sing songs and play finger games; “read” books and are read to; play with blocks, cars, animals and dolls; and dance at the mirror wall. We teach the children to communicate with Baby Signs, and the infant center coordinator is certified in Baby Yoga.

All the infants begin on their own schedules –eating, sleeping and playing when they are ready. As they get close to their first birthdays we begin to acclimate them to a “big kid” schedule with meal and nap times similar to the older classes.

Ohev Shalom Bucks CountyOnce they are old enough to walk, the children can play in an outdoor play area specially designed for infants, and on the baby swings. All the children are pushed in strollers and taken on walks on a daily basis (weather permitting).

Families do not need to be members of the synagogue to have their children attend the infant center or preschool, and the program is available to youngsters of all faiths and traditions.

For tuition, fees and more information, please call the school office at: 215-322-9583.

Toddler Classes

Our school begins with our toddler classes and continues through kindergarten.

The toddler classes are divided by age. Children must be 18 months old by September 1st to be in our young toddler classes and 2 years old by September 1st for the older toddler classes. There is a class ratio of 1 adult to 4 or 5 children (depending on ages).

The focus in the toddler classes is on teaching children self-help skills and gaining independence. All of the toddler classes are in warm and nurturing environments, a place where children can grow in their social skills as they learn to relate to their peers. We also put in place the building blocks of math and literacy.

The children in the toddler classes begin to learn about the Jewish holidays through the use of symbols, songs and basic stories. They have sing-alongs with their families for Hanukkah and Purim and participate in a basic song-fest/Seder at Passover.  They celebrate Shabbat like their peers in the older classes with birthday Shabbat stars.

Preschool

Our preschool is for children who are three years old by September 1st. With a staff to child ratio of 1 adult to 7 children, we are able to keep children safe and well cared for. These classes are home-like places where children can work on improving their social skills and emotional development. We work on expanding their attention spans and we teach them how to follow directions that they will need to advance their educations.

Ohev Shalom Bucks County

The curriculum focuses on “All About Me” – as children begin to discover that they are a unique part of the world. The themes of Family, Friends and Pets are ones that they can connect to on a real-world basis. In the Judaic curriculum, we increase their awareness of the holidays and Shabbat by connecting them to things the children will understand, such as how our family celebrates, or by telling the stories as they relate to families.

During this year, the children really develop their love of reading books and stories –including nursery rhymes and fables; they have introductions to letters and numbers; and they begin bi-monthly library visits, and have regularly scheduled Hebrew classes. They get invited to programs like Mad Science – and have special speakers like the ASPCA or Community helpers.

Pre-Kindergarten

Our pre-kindergarten (pre-k) is for children who are four years old by September 1st.  In these classes there is an increased focus on academic skills that will be necessary to get the children ready for kindergarten.

In the pre-K classes, the teachers work with students to develop skills that will promote and enhance reading readiness, (phonemic awareness, rhymes, letter sounds) and writing skills (Handwriting without Tears). There is also a strong focus on artists (and art styles) and authors.  The curriculum focuses on hands-on math, science and social studies activities that cover a wide range of themes about the world around us including Space, Dinosaurs, and the Environment.

The Judaic curriculum continues as the children learn more Hebrew vocabulary, songs and prayers. Each holiday is taught with a more in-depth background story for the holiday and more meanings to the symbols and prayers.

Kindergarten

The ELC is fortunate to have an incredible full-day, state-certified, Kindergarten program.

The Kindergarten class is for children who are five years old or older by September 1st. Some families use the class as a precursor to public school kindergarten programs if they feel their child may need an extra year, and many others send their children on to first grade. The class is intentionally small – with a ratio of 1:10 and is taught by a PA certified teacher with an assistant. The program meets or exceeds the state standards and aligns itself with the curriculum of Council Rock and Central Bucks.

Our Kindergarten is the recipient of a grant from the state of PA that enabled us to provide a SMART Board. These interactive, computer based white boards allow teachers to enhance the academics with state approved curriculum.

Ohev Shalom Bucks County

The kindergarten curriculum consists of writing (Handwriting without Tears), Shared Reading and Guided Reading, and leveled reading books available in the classroom. The children learn over 150 site words and have a strong emphasis on phonemic awareness. The teachers complete the DRA testing throughout the year.  For math, the students use the Foresman-Wessley Diamond Edition Math Series, and combine that with multiple hands-on accessories. In addition, there is an emphasis on both science and social studies.

In the afternoons, we offer a Kindergarten Enrichment program with children who attend a half-day public school. Combining with the full day students, this program focuses on art, music and Judaics. For the Judaic program, the children have an increased Hebrew and begin to delve into more of the meanings behind the holidays.