The Weinstein School at the MJCCA

By The Weinstein School at the MJCCA February 28, 2017

Choosing a preschool can be a stressful time for many parents who may be sending their children into the care of a teacher for the first time. The highly trained, experienced and nurturing teachers at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s (MJCCA) The Weinstein School understand that this is one of the most important decisions a parent will make. The Weinstein School at the MJCCA is recognized as one of the best, and it is accredited by the prestigious National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a distinction awarded to only the top seven percent of all preschools in the nation. The Weinstein School is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). 

The 2017-2018 school year marks The Weinstein School’s exciting addition of Transitional Kindergarten classes. Transitional Kindergarten can significantly advance children’s social and emotional development, as well as provide an academic head start as they enter Kindergarten.

The Weinstein School’s Transitional Kindergarten curriculum will feature literacy, math, science and social studies exploration, as well as problem-solving and communications skills. Classes will be taught by certified teachers trained in differentiating instruction. A low teacher-to-student ratio will be maintained, with a maximum of 10 children per class. Hours are 7:30 am – 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. As an added convenience for parents, students can (for an additional cost) go directly from Transitional Kindergarten class to Club J, the MJCCA’s highly regarded, safe and meaningful after-school program, for Pre-K – 5th graders.

Transitional Kindergarten is ideal for children who are “young” five-year-olds, or children who, after completing Pre-K, may benefit from another year, to develop stronger social skills, benefit from increased physical growth, and advance their motor skill development.

According to a recent study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), students who attend Transitional Kindergarten, prior to kindergarten enrollment, are more advanced than their peers in language, reading, and math. In fact, the difference amounts to as much as a five-month head start in kindergarten, based on AIR research findings.

Our Campus is our Classroom
Located at MJCCA’s Zaban Park, The Weinstein School is situated on a beautiful 52-acre campus in Dunwoody. The preschool location benefits from the MJCCA’s extensive educational and recreational facilities, including expansive playgrounds, outfitted with age-appropriate equipment designed for infants through Transitional Kindergarten.

Newly renovated ball fields, lighted tennis courts, gymnasiums for sports, and a Discovery Center where the focus is on creative play and the development of sensory and motor skills, offer a wealth of opportunities for children to explore, grow, play, learn new skills, and have lots of good kid fun in a safe and secure environment. In addition, preschoolers at The Weinstein School can enjoy year-round, supervised swim lessons in the MJCCA’s indoor and outdoor pools, as well as wooded trails, and a beautiful, serene lake.

Our Teachers are the Heart and Soul The teachers and staff at The Weinstein School complete more than twice the state mandated requirement for continuing education through the MJCCA Benator Early Childhood Training Institute (BECTI), with a combination of Judaic and best practices in Early Childhood Education coursework, as well as first aid, CPR, and health and safety.

Students from all backgrounds are embraced at The Weinstein School, where a connection to Jewish values and traditions is cultivated. The staff encourage self-expression and creative thinking, and honor the collaboration between children, families, and education, for a creative learning environment.

An Enriched Curriculum Inspires a Sense of Individuality The preschool’s progressive preschool curriculum is based on four areas of child development:
- Cognition – The way children use their minds to discover the world around them. Using all of the senses, children explore how objects relate to one another, and how they, as youngsters, relate to the rest of the world. By learning early problem solving, conflict resolution, and through the manipulation of toys and materials, preschoolers gain a valuable and early understanding of social studies, mathematical and scientific learning.
- Literacy – Using sounds, words, and gestures, children learn to communicate. Whether they are listening to a story or singing a song, doodling, or using sign language, preschoolers are learning language and literacy skills at their developmentally appropriate level.
- Physical Development – By learning to crawl and finger paint, children learn to use their muscles and move their bodies to perform tasks. In addition, fine motor skill development serves as the foundation to develop writing skills.
-Social & Emotional Growth – Children are not born with a sense of individuality. As they grow, they develop a self-awareness as well as an awareness of their relationships with adults and other children. Relationships help children gain confidence and emotional and social maturity, which also helps them gain self-control.

The Weinstein School’s curriculum encourages children to be actively involved in the learning process. Every lesson and activity is carefully selected to align with each stage of your child’s development. While there are differences in individual development, the sequence of developmental states remains the same. When children progress at their own pace, they experience success, and grow one step at a time.

“The introduction of new skills and behaviors is always based on a child’s state of readiness, not on chronological age,” says Kim Sucan, Director of The Weinstein School.

Classrooms in the preschool program at the MJCCA offer a variety of centers for dramatic play, building/construction, manipulatives, science, writing, reading, and art. Children participate in each of these centers for a minimum of 45 minutes a day. The Weinstein School’s highly experienced and dedicated teachers facilitate learning at this time in several ways. By setting up new materials to explore, children are encouraged to enjoy the excitement of self-discovery. As teachers interact with preschoolers, they further their development of language. Attention is paid to each individual child’s developmental progress, and this is a critical time for teachers to customize their instruction. Center time is an active time in the classroom, and it is purposeful, planned, and the heightened activity is the result of active learning.

Providing An Ethical Start™ The Weinstein School is the only preschool program in the state of Georgia to offer An Ethical Start™, a nationally acclaimed Values-Based Curriculum exclusive to JCC Preschools throughout the United States.

“Not only do we educate your child about the meaning and customs of the traditional Jewish holidays, but our program stands apart from others because of our innovative, values-based curriculum,” explains Ms. Sucan.
“This groundbreaking program imparts Jewish values and ethics to our three- and four-year-old students,” she adds.

Children are taught how to turn ethical values into ethical behavior through lessons about respect, dignity, kindness, responsibility, and tradition. These lessons are learned through stories, songs, art and others that arise through daily classroom activities.

Special Resources for Children with Special Needs
Not all children learn and develop skills at the same pace. Some children face learning challenges, while others do not. As a result of The Weinstein School staff’s comprehensive training and experience, the preschool’s staff is often able to work with parents to identify a child’s particular challenges early enough to successfully achieve timely intervention. The Weinstein School has its own Learning Style Specialist, who is able to assess and choose the most appropriate learning path for a child’s special needs, whether that includes autism, ADD, ADHD, behavioral challenges, developmental delays, or a physical or developmental disability.

A Family – School Partnership Reaps Rewards
Research indicates that children achieve the most success in school when parents and their school form valuable partnerships. Helping children see consistency between home and school, from a very young age, improves their behavior and builds positive self-esteem.

“The preschool’s Parent Liaison Committee offers parents an opportunity to provide significant input in our preschool programs,” says Ms. Sucan.
Families are encouraged to sign up to volunteer as a mystery reader, cook for a holiday party, assist with a class project or display, or anything that encourages classroom interaction between children and their families.

Throughout the school year, programs are organized for families to enjoy The Weinstein School’s facilities, including a state-of-the-art theatre and stage, while socializing with the rest of the preschool community. Some of these programs include Shabbat dinners, Bagels on Blankets, Purim Parade and additional holiday celebrations.

From a dedicated infant and toddler wing, to state-of-the-art classrooms, separate art and music studios, a Sensory Room, and now Transitional Kindergarten classes, The Weinstein School offers a truly unique and unparalleled learning environment in metro Atlanta.

The Weinstein School offers half- and full-day options for children ages six weeks through Transitional Kindergarten. For more information about all of the programs offered at The Weinstein School, contact Kim Sucan, Director, at 678-812-3834.

To register for Transitional Kindergarten, or other preschool classes, please visit HERE. The Weinstein School is located at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta at Zaban Park (5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody). Classes begin August 7, 2017.

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