Temple Shalom Nursery School

Grow

Discover

Learn

Make Friends

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Enrolling toddlers now, schedule a visit:

(617) 969-5521    lbanerji@templeshalom.org

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About Us

The Temple Shalom Nursery School is affiliated with Temple Shalom of Newton. Established in 1973, the nursery school welcomes children of both Temple Shalom members and the general community.

Our school carries the honor of being the first school in Massachusetts certified as a Nature Explore Program. Educators at the Temple Shalom Nursery school are committed to providing children with stimulating hands-on experiences based on the natural environment.We are incredibly proud of the educational program we have created for you and your children.

Our educators take pride in creating an inclusive school culture. We interpret Inclusion at our Nursery School broadly: we strive to meet the diverse needs of young learners, welcome interfaith and non-jewish families, and support parents and children by honoring their ethnicity, race, gender orientation, and cultural or religious affiliation. Our practices demonstrate that the values of pluralism and inclusion are deeply rooted in Jewish history and culture.  As a result, even families not raising their children in the Jewish tradition find our School a welcoming place where they feel at home.

Our Program

The Temple Shalom Nursery School enrolls children from 18 months old up to 5 years old. We have two toddler classrooms (Dubonim Kacholim and Dubonim Lavanim) and two preschool classrooms (Parparim and Kochavim). Our student-teacher ratios are exceptionally low, 1:3 in toddler classrooms and 1:5 in preschool classrooms.These ratios support a warm and nurturing educational approach, with close individualized attention to every child.

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Dubonim (Bears)

(Toddlers, 18months-3years old) 

Families can choose to enroll for 2, 3 or 5 mornings per week. The program is scheduled from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. We offer extended day options: early drop off (7:45 or 8:30 am) and late pick up (1:00 pm; 2:30 pm or 4:30 pm).

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Parparim (Butterflies)

(Young Preschoolers, 3-4 years old) 

This is a 5 mornings-per-week program scheduled from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. We offer extended day options: early drop off (7:45 or 8:30 am) and late pick up (1:00 pm; 2:30 pm or 4:30 pm).

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Kochavim (Stars)

(Older preschoolers, 4-5 years old)

This is a 5 mornings-per-week program scheduled from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. We offer extended day options: early drop off (7:45 or 8:30 am) and late pick up (2:30 pm or 4:30 pm).

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Our approach

is informed by the ideas of Lev Vygotsky - philosopher, linguist and developmental psychologist. Vygotsky emphasized the fundamental role of social interactions in the process of learning. He demonstrated that children develop their capacity to think through dialogue and communication. When they explore, pose questions or solve problems in partnership with adults and peers, children recognize the “how” of their own thinking. 

Our Values and Beliefs 

  • Jewish tradition emphasizes that each child is born with infinite potential and is an active learner. This belief is central in our practice.
  • We view education as a process of building thinking relationships with people, ideas, materials and the self.
  • We respect children’s rights. We strive to build a school culture which centers on children’s needs, interests and ideas. 
  • We practice genuine reciprocity in our teaching: educators adapt their practices to match the child’s pace of exploring, learning and understanding.
  • Children learn from peers as much as they learn from adults.
  • Children benefit from trustful, collaborative relationships between families and teachers. Warm and respectful interactions at the school create a strong sense of community. 
  • We regard children's play as the fundamental expression of a developing brain. Through play, children deepen their relationships with people, materials and ideas. They deepen their understanding of the self.  Play is a child's right, need, and a biological drive; it is as integral to healthy development as sleep and nutrition.

What Do Teachers Do?

  • Teachers carefully observe, listen and interact with every child to understand the process of learning. 
  • The understanding teacher guides a child from novice to master through shared experience, collaboration, questioning, and joint reflective thinking. 
  • Teachers engage children in meaningful activities that encourage investigation, and expand children's interests, curiosity and inquiry. 
  • Teachers skillfully combine open-ended explorations with guiding instructions. 
  • Teachers encourage children to work together. Collaboration with others builds experience through collective learning. In a community of learners, children appreciate their own abilities, motivation, and grow to value the participation of others. They learn empathy.
  • Teachers document children’s learning through pictures, notes, stories or portfolios.     

Nature-Rich Curriculum

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Children at TSNS benefit from a nature-rich curriculum and a thoughtfully designed outdoor classroom.  Our children engage in meaningful activities and long-term projects: sprouting seeds, planting and tending to vegetable gardens, cooking with our own crop, celebrating the life cycle of trees and taking care of birds, mammals and insects. Regular explorations in a nature-rich environment create a sense of calm and focus, increase physical strength, and encourage curiosity. Our vegetable gardens, flower beds, rain barrel, green house, water pump, worm hollow, fire pit and our huge collection of natural building materials offer endless year-round opportunities for learning, and build connections to the natural world.

The teachers at TSNS love nature, but this is not the only reason we commit to a nature-rich curriculum.

 

Jewish Education

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At the Temple Shalom Nursery School, everyday life and activities create tangible connections with Jewish culture and history. We celebrate Jewish traditions of theology, philosophy, ethics, arts and music. Families are offered many opportunities to engage in Jewish culture, and to consider what it means for them to be Jewish. The children’s life at school is informed by fundamental Jewish values: community, kindness, respect, strive for knowledge and justice.

Jewish experiences are accompanied by unique aromas, textures, colors, rhythms and sounds. Weekly rituals of baking challah, celebrating Shabbat, and sharing Havdallah blessings are marked with deep sensory memories. These rituals create a sense of predictability and emotional security in children's lives. Celebrating Jewish holidays with many other families at the school and at the Temple develops a strong sense of community and belonging. 

We believe that children learn kindness by experiencing and participating in kind relationships. Our teachers foster a climate of careful listening and respect for every child. Children enjoy the calm pace of daily routines, and our flexible schedule easily accommodates the varying needs of our children. Engaging activities support the children’s curiosity and expand their interests.

Children have a strong urge to protect and take care of animals. At TSNS, toddlers and preschoolers take care of classroom pets: Cupcake (our beloved guinea pig), fire-bellied frogs, ants, butterflies, ladybugs, spiders and worms, as well as the wild birds, bunnies and chipmunks who frequent our outdoor classroom. According to Jewish custom, the animals in our care are treated with sensitivity, and children learn to take care of the animals’ physical and emotional needs. Classroom pets are fed even before the children set up a meal for themselves. 

Many authentic Jewish experiences are supported by our nature-rich curriculum. When children tend to vegetable gardens, flowers and trees, they develop a strong sense of involvement in Jewish traditions. Children plant, grow and harvest herbs, fruits, and vegetables that are laden with Jewish meaning: grapes, pomegranate, figs, wheat, parsley, horseradish and lettuce. From season to season, children appreciate the results of their effort when they share fruits harvested for snacks. Children use herbs in besamim boxes, decorate our classroom sukkuh with flowers and vegetables from the school garden, celebrate trees at Tu-beshvat, and place parsley and horseradish on the seder plate.  

Jewish ideas of community do not exist without the Jewish contribution to the defense of human dignity and human rights. Educators at Temple Shalom Nursery School take pride in creating an inclusive school culture. 

 

Call us (617) 969-5521  

or e-mail:

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Testimonials

This will be our family’s third year with two of our children at the Temple Shalom Nursery School. I can not say enough good things about what a wonderful experience we have had with the school, and what the school has meant to our family. Each teacher and class has treated our children with such genuine love and care, and nurtured a true enjoyment of learning, jewish values and culture, and exploration of the world and nature. Our kids come home beaming each day, and share what they have discovered in the fantastic outdoor nature area, teach us what they have learned about holiday rituals and experiences, and have become more and more confident as learners, all of which they absorb through play. As much as our children have, we have enjoyed becoming part of the nursery school as a family. Coming to the city from another area, we found an absolutely lovely, warm, welcoming community of families, who share similar values, and have been so grateful to be part of such a wonderful community of friends. And we are looking forward to sending our third child here to start all over again in the toddler classroom when she is old enough!” - 
— Bergman Family
We have been part of the Nursery School community for seven years, through three children, and it has been an incredible blessing to our family.  I cannot imagine a more nurturing environment for our children or a kinder environment for me as a parent.  On the craziest mornings when everything seemed to go awry – when I forgot the lunchboxes, when someone peed in their car seat, when I’d been up all night with a new baby and I couldn’t see straight, I always knew I would walk into our Nursery School and someone would help me put it all back together without judgment or annoyance.  My children blossomed with teachers who truly knew them. They were encouraged to take risks and challenged to become their best selves.  When my third child was born we decided to hold the baby-naming on Friday morning during the Nursery School Shabbat experience with toddlers and teachers as our congregation and it was perfect.  Temple Shalom Nursery School is one of the greatest gifts we have given to our children and our family.
— The Goldman Family
Temple Shalom has become a home away from home to us.Our kids are well supported by a warm, friendly and professional staff. It’s where they are learning about the changes in seasons, how vegetables grow, resolving issues through play and what makes Shabbat so special. The unique curriculum of nature explorers and outdoor classroom through a Jewish lens has enriched our family as a whole. We couldn’t have picked a better school for our family.
— The Blitz-Levin Family
Temple Shalom Nursery School (TSNS) is a wonderful preschool. Both of my children attend TSNS and my daughter has been a student in all three classrooms (toddler through pre-K). I’ve had the opportunity to see how the different classrooms and curriculum build upon each other and allow the children to grow in so many ways. I have witnessed my daughter’s cognitive and social skills flourish, and her knowledge of both the secular and Jewish world deepen and expand, to the point where she is teaching me new Jewish cultures and traditions! The outdoor classroom sparks the children’s imaginations and allows them to explore nature all year long. There is a warm feeling in the school that is created by the teachers and director, who are very talented and caring. The voices and ideas of parents are respected and appreciated, and there are volunteer leadership roles for parents. TSNS is not only a very welcoming community, but also an inclusive community without boundaries. The staff take care of the families, respect unique differences, and make accommodations to meet the needs of each child. In terms of flexibility and scheduling, the extended childcare from 7:45 -9AM and 12-4:30 PM is vital for us as working parents.
— The Sienkiewicz Family 
We couldn’t be happier with Temple Shalom Nursery School! This is my son’s second year there and he loves it.  The teachers are warm and inviting, as is the parent and temple community. The amount of time they spend outdoors, regardless of the weather, is priceless. And I love how they are already learning science themes/concepts at 3 and 4 years old. Part of me feels guilty I didn’t find this school in time for my older son, but at least my little man will benefit from their great curriculum and community.
— The Zinner Family 
Temple Shalom Nursery School is a truly magical and welcoming community where our son and daughter thrived. The teachers are incredible and work collaboratively with the children which is a great model for the kids in how to interact with their peers in a respectful, caring, and cooperative manner. We loved the extensive time spent exploring and playing outdoors and also enjoyed the extended day program. Highly recommend it! Oh and did I mention the kids get to make challah each week?!
— The Evan Family 
“What we have loved about TSNS is the creative and unique ways that the teachers have engaged our children and gotten to know them so well, so early on. At times, it has felt like they know them better than I do. And that’s fine with me. It takes a village! And TSNS is a wonderful village!”
— The Stuart Family