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OZ Full Circle Preschool

“What matters are not buildings. What matters are education and teaching and teachers. That is what allows a civilization to endure. Without education all else fails.”

“Schools are where we make children our partners in the long and open- ended task of making a more gracious world.”

Rabbi Dr. Sir Jonathan Sacks

OVERVIEW 

OZ Full Circle Preschool is the way Ohavi Zedek cares for and nurtures the youngest in our community. We offer high-quality, holistic care and nurturing for infants through five-year-children in three classes. Our program centers on child-led learning and exploration, along with Jewish values of kindness, generosity, and community from the youngest ages. OZ’s Full Circle Preschool is Jewish in content, character, and calendar, while also whole-heartedly welcoming interfaith, non-affiliated, and non-Jewish students and families. Inclusion, warmth, and kindness are the foundation of all we do.

*We are seeking state approval to launch end of August 2017. We are well on the way to completing the state licensing process, currently midway through the process with nothing to indicate any issue with completion.* 

PEDAGOGY + PHILOSOPHY

At OZ Full Circle Preschool, we embrace a Reggio-Emilia emergent curriculum. We respect the child’s need to generate their own questions and aim to help children make sense of their experiences. Using the project-based approach, we encourage teachers, children, family, and other members of the community to collaborate in ongoing projects based on the children’s interests. Children’s work is deeply respected, and is used by educators and families to better understand children’s development and thinking processes. Children are fully supported in their expressive and creative endeavors. Children are encouraged to reflect on their work and the works of others, and to lend words and meaning to their creative processes. We believe strongly in providing children with inviting spaces that encourage creativity and exploration. We believe that in order to provide children with opportunities for independent and collaborative learning, we must ask open-ended questions and provide children with the proper language and materials to further explore their innate curiosities. While the Reggio Emilia approach is specific to the region in Italy, we understand that our approach is uniquely based upon the values, needs, and resources of our Burlington community, and the Jewish teachings interwoven throughout our daily learning experiences.

JUDAISM

Judaism holds education as an extremely high value. Through the preschool, Ohavi Zedek provides a place for our youngest to form their identities at a synagogue, feeling safe, supported, loved, and nourished in the context of Judaism during their formative years. Our Jewish values of chesed (loving kindness), tikkun olam (healing the world), and knesset (community) will all be woven into the curriculum, helping young children develop strong values and ethics from the very beginning.

We employ a “Jewish council” created by Rabbi, Hebrew School Director, Executive Director, and lay leaders to support with the ongoing Jewish content of the preschool. Each of these people shares time weekly to support the Judaism element of the program, leading songs, telling stories, and sharing holiday celebrations with the children.

NATURE CONNECTION 

At OZ Full Circle Preschool, we believe children are born scientists and explorers with innate curiosities about the natural world around them. As children make sense of their surroundings, it is essential to help them understand the natural world and how they fit into it. We believe that offering inviting outdoor learning environments is an important way to support children on their quests to explore beauty, natural elements, life cycles, and open space. We strive every day to connect children to the outdoors by creating environments rich with natural materials, plant and tree life, and sensory opportunities to enhance learning, engagement, and active play while offering opportunities for scientific exploration and discovery.

Children’s direct interactions with nature in modes like gardening, observing insects, smelling flowers, exploring flowing water, working with mud, watching the clouds, and building forts among trees and shrubbery all contribute to a connection with nature and place while encouraging nourishment, mindfulness, and respect for all living things. By providing children with these early experiences outside each day, OZ Full Circle Preschool helps instill an enthusiasm for nature that will positively impact the way children regard, respect, discover and explore the natural world while strengthening their abilities to take risks, develop more self-awareness, and foster a lifelong appreciation for the Earth.

 

TEACHER BIOS

Erika Geremia was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut. She moved to Vermont to attend Saint Michael’s College where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing in 2012. In her senior year of college, she began volunteering at at a local preschool where her passion for early education became more prominent. She worked her way up from volunteer to assistant teacher with one year old children, and in January of 2014, she became a lead toddler teacher. Erika believes strongly in allowing children to be the architects of their days as they construct their own knowledge of the world around them. Through observation and interactions, she strives to provide each child with the materials and language they need to expand upon their interests and needs on a daily basis. While parents and early educators are a child’s first teachers, the environment should act as a third teacher, which she places great emphasis on through classroom design that encourages children to independently explore and learn directly through cause and effect relationships with materials and their peers. She focuses on the classroom environment and mindfulness through the arts and yoga. Erika is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Early Education with a focus on Administration. She will continue to be a teacher of toddlers while also serving as Director at OZ Full Circle Preschool.

Racheal Ouellette was raised on the shoreline of Connecticut and came to Vermont in 2010 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Vermont. In 2016, Racheal enrolled at the Community College of Vermont as a continuing education student to obtain her teaching credentials in Early Childhood Education. Over the last four years, she has worked as a preschool teacher, and pre-Kindergarten teacher at a local preschool in Burlington. Currently Racheal works as an Atelierista (an early childhood arts educator) helping educators implement ongoing child-directed projects in their classrooms and in the art studio. Her background in cultural studies has helped Racheal better define her role in early education as one who supports and encourages children’s continuous re-descriptions of the world. She is passionate about children’s artistic endeavors and promoting self-expression throughout the early years of learning. Racheal is delighted to serve as OZ Full Circle’s preschool and pre-kindergarten teacher.

Caley Gervais grew up in Enosburg Falls, Vermont. She worked at a local preschool for over six years, alternating between teaching the infant and one year old classes. Caley initially studied Gender Studies at Saint Michael’s College, where she also did work study at the SMC Early Learning Center. From there, she discovered her passion for working with young children. She is currently completing her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education at the Community College of Vermont. Caley serves as the infant and one year old teacher at OZ Full Circle Preschool. She believes strongly in incorporating music into children’s daily learning experiences while encouraging independence and self-expression.

 

OZ FULL CIRCLE PRESCHOOL MONTHLY TUITION RATES FOR 2017-2018*

INFANTS (3-24 MONTHS)

DAYS/ WEEK HALF DAY *if possible to schedule SCHOOL DAY (9 am- 4 pm) EXTENDED DAY (7:45 am- 5:30 pm)
5 $550 $1100 $1250
3 $343 $685 $775
2 $238 $475 $535

 

TODDLERS (2-3 YEARS)

DAYS/ WEEK HALF DAY *if possible to schedule SCHOOL DAY (9 am- 4 pm) EXTENDED DAY (7:45 am- 5:30 pm)
5 $513 $1025 $1175
3 $320 $640 $730
2 $223 $445 $505

 

PRESCHOOL (3-5 YEARS)

DAYS/ WEEK HALF DAY *if possible to schedule SCHOOL DAY (9 am- 4 pm) EXTENDED DAY (7:45 am- 5:30 pm)
5 $400 $800 $950
3 $245 $490 $580
2 $115 $330 $380

*We are a religious organization, and as such do not qualify for Act 166 funding. However, we are working with the state on receiving income-based reimbursement for preschool. Please let us know if this would be applicable and useful for your family.

 

TO APPLY: 

Here is the OZ Full Circle Preschool Admission Form. Please fill out and remit to [email protected] along with the registration fee of $75.

 

OZ FULL CIRCLE PRESCHOOL CALENDAR FOR 2017-2018

Please note: the preschool is closed whenever the synagogue is closed, which includes significant Jewish holidays. We close for the first two and final two days of Passover. For 2018, it happens that only one of those days falls on a weekday. 

August 2017

August 28th– First Day of School

September 2017

September 4th Labor Day, school closed

21st and 22nd Rosh Hashanah, school closed

October 2017

5th and 6th Sukkot, school closed

12th and 13th Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, school closed

November 2017

23rd and 24th Thanksgiving Break, school closed

December 2017              

 Please note: All through the month Full Circle will close at 4 pm on Friday.

25th+ 26th School closed

January 2018                    

Please note: All through the month Full Circle will close at 4 pm on Friday.

1st New Year’s Day, school closed

15th Martin Luther King Jr Day, school closed

February 2018

March 2018

16th Spring long weekend, school closed

April 2018

6th Passover, school closed

May 2018

21st Shavuot, school closed

28th Memorial Day, school closed

June 2018

18th– Summer session begins

July 2018

4th Independence Day, school closed

August 2018

22nd– Last Day summer session

27th– First Day School Year begins