Mission & Philosophy

Nursery School
Contacts:

(703) 532-2227

Fran Pfeffer
Director, Early Childhood Programs
fpfeffer@templerodefshalom.org

Jessica Salen
Assistant Director
jsalen@templerodefshalom.org

Lisa Heilbraun
Office Administrator
lheilbraun@templerodefshalom.org

Jeni Porter
Office Administrator
jporter@templerodefshalom.org

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Our Mission

TRSNS provides a joyful and nurturing learning environment that fosters in each child the confidence and competence to become a productive, caring member of his/her family and community. We emphasize extensive, interactive, and diverse play experiences to promote the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of each child.  These experiences are designed to inspire life-long learning.  We celebrate Reform Jewish life, honoring traditions and exploring our heritage while finding its relevance in today’s world. At Temple Rodef Shalom Nursery School, we are committed to meeting each child’s unique developmental needs.  Our staff is continuously studying and incorporating the best practices of early childhood and Jewish education.  As we have for over 35 years, we work with families to create a welcoming, caring and supportive community.

Our Philosophy

Child Crawling through cored log.Temple Rodef Shalom Nursery School  has been introducing preschool children of all faiths to school life since 1970.  TRSNS provides a stimulating program that promotes the child’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth. Important components in the Nursery School curriculum are the development of spiritual and moral values as well as the joyful celebration of the Jewish holidays. At Temple Rodef Shalom Nursery School, preschool children gain knowledge and experience by active participation.  The curriculum is planned carefully and thoughtfully so that developmentally appropriate content and materials encourage children to use their senses in the exploration of the world around them.  Respect for the individual student and his/her family is an important consideration in planning the daily program. Social and emotional development takes place when preschool children are provided with the opportunity to be part of a group. Learning to take turns and to share, to lead and to follow, are important aspects of the socialization process.  Children learn to understand and deal with emotions and to work out problems in a group setting. They are encouraged to share their experiences, thoughts, and feelings with their teachers and classmates. Preschool children need to have the opportunity for physical development to help them to grow and gain control of their bodies.  Physical skills are gained through fine motor movements such as the use of pencils and paintbrushes, manipulating puzzle pieces, using scissors, learning to thread, and building with different sized objects.  Children have the opportunity to learn gross motor skills indoors through music and movement. We have two well equipped playgrounds that provide children with a variety of physical activity stations as well as elements for dramatic play.   Our large indoor playroom provides children with the opportunity to use riding toys, dramatic play areas, and a sensory table. The intellectual development of the child is fostered in language arts through listening and acting out stories, following directions, and expanding vocabulary through conversation. Appreciation of literature and developing pre-literacy skills are emphasized. Math and science activities include counting, sorting, classifying and comparing, and using manipulatives. The Judaic component is the important thread that runs through the entire program. Shabbat is celebrated each week in the individual classrooms as well as a school-wide observance in the sanctuary on Friday mornings.  The children celebrate each holiday with stories, food, music, and art. They learn about and practice tzedakah (righteous giving) and  begin to understand the importance of mitzvot (commandments/good deeds). Temple Rodef Shalom Nursery School provides a safe and healthy environment for preschool children to explore, learn, and grow.  Our qualified and experienced staff understands child development and is talented, nurturing, and dedicated. The role of the teacher is to guide, to encourage, to model behavior, and to strive to help children grow in all areas of development by providing the richest possible educational environment. Throughout the school year our staff undergoes continual education and training through conferences and in-service workshops to stay on the cutting edge of early childhood education.