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Washington DCJCC Preschool

1529 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

(202) 777-3278


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We offer a full-time Reggio-inspired Preschool in a nurturing, diverse environment. Waitlist applications and enrollment are on a rolling basis; schedule your personal tour today!

*Spaces available for children born between January 2007-December 2008.*

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Reggio-Emilia

From the Director:

There are many attributes that combine to make our school stand out: One unique facet to our school is the "Today We" email we send to all Preschool parents letting them know about their child’s day. This is a great tool for fostering communication between parents and children, and between parents and teachers and the school. A Family Fitness Membership is included with your tuition. We are pleased to be able to upgrade your family to a full Fitness Membership for the same required 16th Street J community membership fee included in your monthly tuition. Your family will have access to all of the fitness facilities—pool, gymnasium squash and racquetball courts, locker rooms, fitness center—and a wide range of group exercise classes free to Fitness Members. That’s a savings of $1,300 each year! As always, your 16th Street J membership gives you substantial discounts on camp and other programs. We are open 7:30 am-6:00 pm, which fits the needs of working families. We consider ourselves a "preschool with daycare hours." We are housed in a community center with a thriving arts program. We have access to the gallery, theater, and music and literature festivals. The 16th Street J also boasts a swimming pool and six indoor play spaces. Our unique urban location gives our children more opportunities for exploration and learning. We are between Dupont Circle and Logan Circle, and we have easy access to parks, public transportation, museums, local shops (who support our class visits) and more to make frequent adventuring in the city easy. These, of course, are in addition to the Reggio-inspired curriculum, warm and professional teachers, commitment to parent involvement and more that you’ve come to expect from our school. I’m sure you’ll agree that the 16th Street J has a lot to offer your family.

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
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
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
  • 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
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

In Reggio, the children help guide their own learning. They learn all of the skills (including social skills) that a child needs to know but in the context of what is interesting to them. We offer many opportunities for children to express themselves in "100 different languages," a cornerstone of the Reggio philosophy.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

The teachers work with each child as individuals, often observing and assisting in different skill areas as needed. We have a social worker on-site four hours a week who assists the teachers and parents. We have two parent-teacher conferences each year. We also provide ongoing training and support for our teachers to help them better assist the children.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

It is our intention to foster a nurturing environment of open-ended exploration, curiosity and growth for children, teachers and parents that deepens our connections to Judaism, the community and the world around us.

A Typical Day

Instead of a strict universal schedule for the school, each class has a different flow to their day. How the day goes depends upon the age of the children and their needs. The structure of the day needs to be flexible to take into account children�??s level of engagement. If, for example, a class is in the middle of a big project, the children might spend the whole morning working on it. Alternately, if the class is between projects, and it is a beautiful day outside, the children might spend most of the morning outside on a walk around the neighborhood sketching what they see. Teachers curtailing activity simply because of the time on a clock face counters our vision of the children as capable, intuitive learners.

Morning meeting is a crucial point in the flow of our day. At Morning Meeting, teachers will introduce new materials or items to the class, share news with the children, discuss projects that are ongoing, review something that happened the day before, and ask the children to select their intention for the morning. We like to ask, �??Where are you going to start today?�?? after presenting several options for what is available. This moment of thoughtful planning on the part of the children is really important to help the classroom be a place of careful choices rather than haphazard play. Morning Meeting is the only part of the day that is dictated by a clock time and that is usually 9:30 am. When a child misses this, he or she is missing community building, project work, information, and starting the day with intention.

One possible flow of the day looks like this, starting at 9:00 am:

Arrival/Greeting/Free movement in Classroom
Morning Meeting
Free Choice
Gross Motor/Outside Play Time
Naptime/Quiet Time
Slow Waking Activities
Afternoon Meeting
Gross Motor Time (e.g. the gym, Motion Commotion or outside)

Children dropped of prior to 9:00 am go to the Early Bird Room (in one of the Preschool classrooms off the lobby) for Free Choice time. Please be sure to sign your child in to both the Early Bird room and their classroom sign-in sheet. Classroom teachers pick-up their students from the Early Bird room between 8:50�??9:00 am.

More information:

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Great communication is our hallmark. We have a Preschool Steering Committee and Room Parents for each of our seven rooms.

Written Communication
* Today We Newsletter (a daily e-mail will be sent out each day highlighting the activities of each class. It will also remind you of calendar events.)
* Parents Bulletin Board
* Notes, flyers and letters in your child's mailbox
* Notices and Letters

Other communication:
* Open Door Policy
* Semiannual Parent-Teacher Conferences
* Back 2 School Night
* Family Forum Meetings


Separation is Handled through:

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

Handling Separation: From the Director

Separation is natural and affects different children in different ways. On your child's first two days of school, plan to have your child leave earlier than their normal schedule. Several hours can be a very long time to a child in a new situation. Please make arrangements so that you can spend time in the classroom with them. When it is time to leave, please give your child a clear goodbye. The teachers will take over and engage your child and start developing a relationship and comfort.