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.
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.
(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).
(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).
(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).
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.
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.
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.