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B'nai Tikvah Nursery School

8820 Sepulveda Eastway
Westchester, CA 90045

(310) 649-4051


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Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

In addition to our developmental goals, we focus on socialization and problem-solving. We incorporate activities that build language and listening skills. We teach children skills for problem-solving and responsibility.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

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

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Listening centers, scissors, etc
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • A myriad of applicable manipulatives
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Numerous applicable books and manipulatives
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
  • A marvelous garden, fish, magnet area, science exploration area
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Tape recorders, record players, cd players, a music specialist, guitar and piano playing teachers
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • More than we will use in our lifetime
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
  • A huge yard that includes a playhouse area, plasma bikes besides the regular trikes and two wheelers ( yes even some our two's can ride two wheelers!)
Other subjects taught We are constantly evolving and adding to our curriculum. We encourage parents to come visit and see what is new is our environment. We do not go on field trip , but rather "field trips" come to us. We have had reptiles, bubbles, petting zoos, the'mad'scientist, tide pools, fire dept, dentist, plus we have the John Tracy hearing center and Jules Stein eye clinic do hearing and ey testing on the children for free as a service to the parents.

From the Director:

We do all of the above during group time AND free play. All are available to the child. We have a specialist who comes in once a week for organized movement (gym) activities and another specialist who comes in for music, in addition to what our teachers do. Plus there is background music most of the day.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

This is nursery school.... We all are different and unique and need to be treated as such.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

At B’nai Tikvah Nursery School we nurture the uniqueness of every individual child. We recognize that play is a child’s primary modality of learning. Our developmental program is hands-on and uses a child-centered curriculum. We teach the whole child: emotionally, socially, physically, cognitively, and spiritually.

We create an environment that fosters independent exploration, curiosity and creativity. Our nurturing teachers encourage critical thinking skills, teach problem-solving and build self-esteem. Jewish and universal values are at the core of our program, building a caring community and instilling a love of learning.

A Typical Day

Our day begins at 9am with indoor time where children have free choice to move around to the different centers of the classroom: Dramatic play, Block area, Manipulative table, Sensory table, Library corner, and a table set with either an art, cooking, or science activity. No child is ever forced to do a project or activity.

After an hour of free-choice time, children have snack then a group cirle time which may include singing, stories, puppets, fingerplay, dancing, games, and group discussion of the current theme.

Following group time, children head outdoors for an hour of free-play on the playground. Art, sensory, and manipulative activities are also available outdoors. Children come in for goodbye-circle before noon dismissal.

Children staying beyond noon have lunch, rest time, and a brief indoor/outdoor activity time at school before 3pm dismissal.

Children enrolled in our extended day (7:30-9am and/or 3-5:30pm) have additional indoor and outdoor free-play.

Each week specialists come in to teach the children: a music teacher & a movement teacher.

Each Friday we celebrate Shabbat at school. The children bake challah in class. Each child has a turn to be the special Shabbat boy or girl of the week and their family is invited to join us for our Shabbat celebration. The rabbi or cantor come to our school with their guitar to lead a Shabbat song session.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We have an open door policy in regards to talking to the staff/administration. We have formal conferences twice a year which evaluate the child's abilities in all the developmental areas, yet most parents have 'over the fence' conversations daily with their child's teacher. We conduct Parent Education meetings, Potluck family get togethers, bulletin boards posters, newsletters, flyers, email, parent committee e-letter and meetings. We have meetings on kindergarten readiness and provide information on local school kindergarten open houses.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • 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
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on

Handling Separation: From the Director

Once the child is enrolled, the parent is encouraged to visit as often as they like before the actual start date. They come with their child and stay for about an hour each time. Within a short time the child is acclimated and when the actual start date happens, we have less separation anxiety. If visiting before hand is not a possibility (and even if it is) the parent is allowed to stay for a reasonable amount of time until the child no longer needs the parent. If it is the parent 'needing' the child we gently ask the parent to leave.