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Diane K. Trust Center for Early Education

1187 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446

(617) 264-2801


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At the Trust Center for Early Education (TCEE), we are dedicated to providing children and families the very best in early childhood education in a program rich in Jewish values, traditions, teachings, and celebrations. Our exciting preschool classes take place in a beautiful new and safe environment that has been thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of children and their families. Our primary goal is to provide your child with an exciting and balanced program of learning experiences that promote friendship, curiosity, and self confidence, and that will help lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

At the Trust Center, we borrow from the best of many school of early educational thought, including Reggio-Emilia and Montessori to provide children with a well-rounded program that meets the needs of diverse learning styles.

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
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
  • 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
Other subjects taught Judaic values and traditions, Gross Motor movement and play

From the Director:

Our curriculum offers children a balance between three components: the exploration of ideas and interests that emerge from the children, the marking of Jewish holidays and time, and the skills and concepts that we have found are important for children to learn during the preschool years. We strive to teach children through intentionally planned play experiences as well as direct instruction (when appropriate). We value instruction in all areas of development, including social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our combination of low ratios and highly skilled teachers allows us to individualize the curriculum to a high degree and in numerous ways. Through on-going observations, formal assessments, and parent-teacher communication, teachers asses each child -- their strengths and weaknesses -- in all areas of development. Our teachers seek to meet children where they are in their development. They use nurturing relationships, engaging curriculum, and intentional instruction to support them the continued growth of new skills. We support children in learning to use their strengths to cope with the things that are harder for them.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The Diane K Trust Center for Early Education of Temple Ohabei Shalom provides the building blocks for each preschooler to develop a love of learning that will serve as the basis for a personal journey of discovery and wonder. Your child will participate in a program of individualized Activities, anchored in the developmental stages and needs of young children, in a nurturing Bayit (home)-like setting created by a team of caring and dedicated professionals, all within a Community that encourages Jewish identity and respect for social values.
We believe that each child seeks to know, and to be known. In this regard, we build an emergent curriculum reflective of each child’s interests, needs, and skill-level while incorporating mathematics, literacy, science and Jewish values and traditions. Through a careful balance of play and small and large group instruction, we support children’s development in all domains, including social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual. We believe that our nurturing community is an intangible benefit in helping young children and their families thrive during the very first years of schooling. Our small size allows us to build close relationships with each child and family, and we take great delight in watching the children and their parents form long-lasting friendships.
Through our individualized approach, each child will begin to build a strong and meaningful Jewish identity.

A Typical Day

Our flexible scheduling options offer working families a variety of childcare options within the context of a high-quality synagogue nursery school experience. We offer the options of a three- or five-day program for toddlers and younger pre-school students from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm each day. Our Prekindergarten class meets five days a week to allow children to deepen their friendships and skill set. In addition, we offer:
Early Drop-off: 8:00 am to 9:00 am
Enrichment Classes: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Extended Day: 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Children are grouped by age, and each classroom sets its own schedule to meet the particular needs of that age group. Typically, children enter the classroom and are supported through their separation from their caregivers by both teacher support and soothing curriculum materials, such as play-dough. Throughout the morning, children engage in a variety of learning experiences through play. For example, wipe-off boards in a dramatic play area might be used as “grocery lists” and encourage the children’s curiosity about writing. Art, literacy, math, science, nature, dramatic play, blocks, and sensory materials are available on a daily basis. Well-organized classrooms support children’s independence and nurture their ability to make their own choices. Outdoor play in our private playground is incorporated each day (weather permitting) and is seen as integral to the curriculum. For example, during a study of fall, the children might go outdoors and engage in observational drawing.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We highly value the home/school connection at the Trust Center, as we find that close collaboration between parents is crucial to children’s success in early childhood programming. We use a combination of both formal and informal communication to continually inform parents about school happenings and their children’s progress, as well as to receive feedback and information from parents.

Formal communication includes a blog, updated by each classroom at least weekly. Our blog includes the highlights of the week, skills that are being focused on, as well as photographs of children in action. Weekly letters from our director include procedural reminders as well as information on parenting topics and community resources. An Open House is held each fall to introduce the program. Teachers conduct check-in phone calls each fall to support the transition to the program. Parent-Teacher conferences are held twice a year and share both checklists and narratives with families about their children’s development.

Parents are always free to visit our program, and our invited several times a year for special events, including Shabbat and our annual Chanukah party! Our teachers and director are also regularly available to speak with parents informally in person, over the phone, and via e-mail. Our small size means that this happens frequently.

Finally, Temple Ohabei Shalom offers many opportunities for family involvement. Many families attend monthly Tot Shabbats and participate in parenting workshops offered through the synagogue.

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
  • 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
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Parents in classroom early on
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We work carefully with each family to develop a plan to support children who experience separation anxiety. Children might rely on a transitional object, might start with an abbreviated day, or might have a parent stay for a little extra time, as necessary. We also provide parenting resources to support caregivers through this sometimes challenging process. While there is diversity in the ways that children cope with the adjustment to a new program, we find that it is often a quick and positive experience.