Our Lower School (grades Pre-K through 5) curriculum integrates Jewish learning, including acquisition of Hebrew and values-based education. Kabbalat Shabbat, daily tefillah, and holiday preparations are joyful, shared experiences where the children become familiar and comfortable with basic Hebrew vocabulary and Jewish behaviors, rituals and concepts, including mitzvot, God and tzedakah.
In the GOA Pre-K program, children learn through a wide variety of exploratory play activities, led by energetic teachers specializing in early education. Our preschool staff uses art, music, and creative movement to stimulate learning at a level appropriate for this age. Using hands-on tools, such as blocks and puzzles, GOA preschoolers develop an early proficiency with logical thinking that will provide the foundation of future math and reading skills. Our teachers also employ play as a route to socialization and getting along in a group.
Each year builds sequentially on the next, and each day is a reflection of the mission of Golda Och Academy. Lower School children build an identity as students and members of the community, becoming increasingly masterful at abstract thinking. Caring, nurturing relationships between teachers and children enable our students to question the world around them and formulate carefully considered opinions. As they interact with each other, they grow to understand the value of belonging to a group, a family, a community and the Jewish people. We provide a text-rich learning environment, where students are exposed a variety of genres and begin a more formal study of reading and writing in both English and Hebrew. Highlights of Lower School include a Siddur play and Humash Celebration, as students deepen their understanding of Judaism and begin formal Torah study.
To promote optimum learning, each classroom in the Lower School has a fully equipped computer lab and computers in every classroom. Forty iPads are shared among teachers and classes, when appropriate for classroom use.