Welcome to our outdoor preschool program for children ages 3-5!
The SJCC’s Reggio/constructivist philosophy lends itself perfectly to being outdoors, an environment rich with experiential learning opportunities. Children will begin to understand fundamentals of weather, life cycles, biology, and will appreciate the amazing ways in which people and the environment are dependent on one another. Literacy skills will also be reinforced as children learn names of elements in our natural world. Vocabulary building and letter formation will emerge and expand as children engage in story creation, dramatic play, special art projects and more—just as they do in a typical ECS classroom.
Emily Jane Schankerman will be the lead teacher for the Outdoor Preschool program. Emily Jane has worked in ECS since 2011 in the 2s, 3s, and 4s Programs. Her previous experience includes nine summers at Camp Thunderbird and teaching outdoor education on Cape Cod. She has spent many summers at the SJCC helping lead and direct camps, ranging from Camp Katan to Cooking Camp. Emily Jane holds a degree in elementary education from Bradley University. She also earned her Masters of Science Education from UW and has a certification in Environment Education and Community from IslandWood on Bainbridge Island. She has also attended multiple national conferences on Early Childhood Education. When she is not teaching, Emily Jane loves arts and crafts, photography, playing pinball, thrift shopping, gardening, hiking, and biking. Emily Jane is looking forward to another year of helping to build strong relationships between children and their natural environment.
We offer two outdoor preschool classroom options: 9 am-noon or 1-4 pm, Monday through Friday. The program will run for 10 months from September 8, 2020, through June 17, 2021.
The cost is $975 per month/$9,750 for the year. There will be two teachers and a maximum of 12 children per class. Children must be fully toilet trained to attend this program.
OUTDOOR PRESCHOOL FAQ’s
WHERE WILL THE PROGRAM TAKE PLACE?
The class will utilize all of the outdoor space at the J, including the Kesher Garden, and will have tents as a “home base.” The program will take place rain or shine. In the event of extreme weather conditions, the class may be temporarily reassigned to an indoor space, and will follow SJCC’s usual inclement weather (for snow days) protocol as described in the ECS Parent Handbook.
WILL MY CHILD HAVE PLAYGROUND TIME IN ADDITION TO EXPLORING THE OUTDOORS?
Yes, children in the outdoor preschool program will have assigned playground time.
WILL MY CHILD LEARN JEWISH VALUES?
As in all ECS classes, children will learn in an environment infused with Jewish culture, values, and traditions. We naturally integrate Jewish values into the children’s day, as we believe Judaism’s core values foster compassion, kindness, and a commitment to bettering the communities in which we all live.
HOW LONG IS THE PROGRAM?
Our Outdoor Preschool program runs for 10 months, from September 8 through June 17th.
WHAT IS THE EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE SJCC OUTDOOR PRESCHOOL?
The key principles of the Early Childhood School’s Reggio Emilia/Constructivist teaching philosophy provide the foundation for our Outdoor Preschool program. Our work will be child-centered, emergent, flexible, nature-oriented, and community-based. The program will also foster empathy, resilience, and curiosity about the world.
WHAT COVID-19 PROTOCOLS ARE IN PLACE?
SJCC is following WA Department of Health (DOH), Public Health Seattle and King County, Licensing and CDC guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19. To that end we are keeping our class sizes small. Each class group will remain together, limiting interactions with other classes and programs in and outside the building. We have daily health screens and temperature checks for all children and adults, handwashing is a regular and frequent part of our day, and we follow the DOH mandate on masks for everyone over the age of 2. For more information on our policies and protocols, click here.
HOW DO I ENROLL MY CHILD?
Our outdoor preschool class is currently full. Please contact Nicci Burrell for information on joining the waitlist.