SJCC Kindergarten

Kindergarten at the J returns fall 2020

We are pleased to announce that kindergarten is back at the J!

The SJCC has offered kindergarten at various times in the past 20 years. As families seek ongoing learning options during this unprecedented time, we believe our SJCC kindergarten program brings the necessary combination of academic and social-emotional growth to keep your child(ren) on course in the coming year. Below are key elements of the program, and an overview of the COVID-19 protocols we will continue to follow as we transition into the school year. (As local authorities adapt the guidance, the protocols could change to remain compliant with those guidelines.)

We have two talented, experienced teachers for our program. Our own Alicia Barta Huffines will be one of the two kindergarten teachers. Alicia is a WA State-certified kindergarten teacher and holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. Prior to joining ECS, Alicia taught kindergarten for Seattle Public Schools. Alicia is currently completing a certificate program in gifted education, bringing additional expertise into this role. Alicia feels that the best learning takes place in a multi-dimensional, non-judgmental environment, where children are encouraged to take risks and explore their creativity and natural curiosity. Alicia has many strengths including empathy, creativity, and relationship-building with students, families and other faculty. Her empathy and expertise in child development allow her to personalize learning for each child.

Kayla Schuman will teach the second kindergarten classroom. Kayla previously taught kindergarten at Island Park Elementary on Mercer Island. Kayla is a WA state-certified kindergarten teacher, received her BA in Elementary Education from University of St.Thomas and her Master’s Degree from Western Governor’s University. Kayla was an ELL teacher in Seoul, South Korea in 2011 and has been teaching kindergarten since 2013. Kayla feels very passionate about relationships, both with the children and their families and feels that they are the key to success. Her strengths include differentiating instruction to personalize learning and the promotion of equity. She is a big believer in the importance of mindfulness, something she implements daily.

SJCC kindergarten will run daily from 9 am until 3 pm. Our school year started on September 8, 2020, and will end on June 17, 2021.

Tuition is $1,800 per month from September 2020 through June 2021 (ten months).

Academically Focused
Consistent with the Common Core State Standards Initiative that most states – including ours – have adopted, our kindergarten curriculum will focus on developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills students will need to be successful throughout their lives. Families unfamiliar with the Common Core State Standards may wish to learn more at

Each child’s developmental progress in reading, writing, math, reflective thinking, and social-emotional growth will be individually tracked and shared with parents on a regular basis. The program will also emphasize intrinsic motivation and student ownership of their learning.

Curriculum and the Reggio Emilia/Constructivist Philosophy
Educational standards like Common Core are the learning goals for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Curriculum— how students learn the standards—is designed and implemented by the skilled educators who know their students and community best.

Similar to our premiere Early Childhood School program, key principles of the Reggio Emilia/Constructivist teaching philosophy will provide the foundation for our kindergarten curriculum. Our work will be child-centered, emergent, flexible, constructivist, arts-oriented, and community-based. The program will also foster empathy, resilience, and curiosity about the world.

A Proven Combination
Children in SJCC’s kindergarten program will thrive in an environment rich with experiential learning opportunities. For example, building and exploring structures naturally includes mathematical concepts of sorting, counting, adding/subtracting, measurement, comparison, logical reasoning, and more. Spending time in our very own Kesher Garden, children will begin to understand the 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 such as sound recognition, vocabulary building, and letter formation will emerge and grow as children engage in story creation, dramatic play, special projects, and more.

These are but a few examples that illustrate the power of a Reggio Emilia/Constructivist-inspired curriculum in service of academic standards.

Jewish Values
In addition to the academic curriculum, students will learn in an environment infused with Jewish culture, values, and traditions. We will naturally integrate Jewish values into the classroom as we believe Judaism’s core values foster compassion, kindness, and a commitment to bettering the communities in which we all live.

Financial Assistance
We will have limited scholarships available. Please contact Dana Weiner for more information and how to apply.

How do I Enroll My Child?
Limited space is available. Please contact Carrie Stull to learn more.

Kindergarten FAQ

Is SJCC kindergarten part of the SJCC Early Childhood School?
Yes, the SJCC kindergarten program will operate under the SJCC’s Child Care License and as such will follow WA Department of Health, Public Health Seattle and King County, Licensing and CDC guidelines. SJCC kindergarten will operate as any other kindergarten: it will be academically focused, consistent with the Common Core State Standards for developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills students will need to be successful throughout their lives, ensuring our children will be ready for First Grade and beyond. Families unfamiliar with the Common Core State Standards may wish to learn more. We will also carry over Reggio Emilia inspiration and the Jewish values that have made our ECS program unique and rich with community connection.

Is SJCC kindergarten a full year? 
Yes, our kindergarten runs for 10 months, September 8 through June 17.

Can I request a friend to be in my child’s classroom?
Yes, you can request one friend, but the request must be mutual. Please email any requests you may have at  While we do our best, we cannot guarantee we can accommodate your request.

Drop-off and Pick-Up Procedures
Curbside drop-off begins at 8:45 a.m. At drop-off, your child will undergo a health screening including a temperature check, and will be walked to class.  Curbside pick-up will be at 3:00 p.m.

How is the SJCC managing with COVID-19?
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 classroom sizes small. While DOH allows us to have 22 children in a group, we will have no more than 12 kindergarten students in each classroom, with one teacher and an aid if needed. Children will have their own personal supplies — like pencils, scissors, markers, crayons, etc. — to limit the sharing of these frequently touched items.

Each classroom group will remain together, limiting interactions with other class groups and/or SJCC programs, both in and outside the building. Groups will be kept separate on the playground, and playground equipment will be cleaned and sanitized between groups. Handwashing will happen frequently, we follow the state mask mandate. Everyone who enters the SJCC — children and adults — undergoes a health screen and temperature check every day upon arrival.

At this time, parents are not permitted in the building, thereby minimizing additional exposure.

For more information, please click on our SJCC Stay Healthy link to see a video that further explains our protocols.

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