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Lawrence Family JCC Nierman Preschool

4126 Executive Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037

(858) 457-0398


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

The Curriculum emphasizes the development of the "whole child". Learning activities are designed to match the developmental stages of each child. Attention is directed at the process and pleasure of discovery in each project and not on the final product. Quality teachers and specialists offer an integrated approach to education, skillfully interweaving academic goals and objectives as they build on what children can do, and challenge them to try new things. Language arts, reading and math readiness skills, art, science, movement, dramatic and imaginative play, and creative activities are linked through individual units as they are explored. Jewish culture, traditions, holidays, and heritage are studied and celebrated with songs, stories, dance, cooking, and crafts. Shabbat is celebrated at school each week in an atmosphere of joyful togetherness and sharing. Children are offered specialties by professional staff in music, physical education, and computer.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Sounding Tubs, signage, memory games, rhyming, seqiencing, bingo, lotto and other games. Teaching nursery rhymes, and telling stories.
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Counting, sorting, one on one correspondence, number games, matching, graphing, geo boards and abacus, patterning and puzzles.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Manipulatives
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Science Enrichment, nature tables, playing with water, planting, teaching condensation, evaporation, anatamy, planets, experimentation using magnifiing glasses, magnets and nature.
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Along with music each day, there is a music specialist that teaches the childen various songs and stories..We also offer Music Enrichment classes.Teaching rhythems, dancing, singing songs and movement. Games using music as a tool.
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Display art, easel, using various art media, using various painting tools, studing the various masters and offering open ended art experiences. Clay and recycling materials.
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Each child has Gym class twice per week and we offer various movement courses such as playball, yoga, dance, tumbles, soccer, basketball, swimming, and gymnastics.
Other subjects taught Spanish Immersion, Chinese Immersion, Tot 'N Company ( a special time to share with your toddler), Baby Book Club (promotes pre-literacy), Wee Play (Babies share developmental experiences with their parents), Two-year-old Parent Participation (a special opportunity for parents to share a first preschool experience with their young two year olds and a great transitional class). We also have Science, Cooking, Music, Physical Fitness, Yoga and other daily enrichments.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We are fortunate to have a social worker and occupational therapist on staff to help identify children's needs and to assist parents and teachers with appropriate resources to maximize their children's potential.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center Early Childhood Education program is designed to develop the social, emotional, physical, and interllectual well-being of each child through our developmental milestone curriculum. Our focus is on creating a safe and nurturing environment which offers opportunities for exploration and discovery. We strive to develop curiosity, imagination, self-esteem, caring for others, and the ability to play both cooperatively and independently. We are committed to expanding community access to recreational and social programs for children with disabilities. The program is multi-sensory. Experiences are provided to encourage growth in the following areas: Fine and Gross Motor Coordination, Sensory Integration, Cognitive and Adaptive Skills, Socio-emotional Development, Language Development and Moral Development. The environmental components in the classroom are enhanced by the "ta'am" (flavor) of Judaism, the heritage and values, which allows the children to cultivate a positive sense of identity for themselves and with the greater community. Cultural diversity is promoted and respected as children and families share their traditions from around the globe.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

1. We begin our school year with meet the teacher day.
2. We provide a "New Parent" orientation night.
3. We invite all parents to our Back to School Night.
4. Our teachers and parents have confrences twice per year and more if needed.
5. We have meetings with our social worker, occupational therapist and parents when needed.
6. We offer parent workshops.
7. We have a health and safety committee that produces parent communication about what's new on the home front.
8. Our teachers communicate on a weekly basis through face to face meetings as well as a written newsletter.
9. We email our parents with information on parent workshops.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

We provide a parent breakfast the first 2 days of school. While they are there