Lower School

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 Chumash Celebration, as students deepen their understanding of Judaism and begin formal Torah study.

To promote optimum learning, each classroom in the Lower School is equipped with Smart Boards and computers. Additionally, iPads are rotated among the classes to use in both General and Judaic Studies. 
"My favorite memory from the Golda Och Academy lower school is getting my buddy. I liked being his recess buddy and doing other activities with him. I also loved having all of the plays, whether it was the Siddur play in first grade, the Chumash play in second grade, the Havdalah play in thrid grade, the Torah Text Fair in fourth grade, and getting ready for moving up in fifth grade."

Eli Berman, Middle School Student

Learn More About First Grade at GOA

    • First Grade at GOA

List of 2 members.

  • Carrie Siegel ’92 

    Lower School Principal
    Brown University - BA
    Jewish Theological Seminary of America - MA
    Day School Leadership Training Institute (JTS) - Certificate
  • Karen Spector 

    Lower School Assistant Principal
    Brandeis University - BA
    NJ Board of Education - Teaching Certification

Faculty Spotlight

List of 2 members.

  • Rebecca Kurson 

    Lower School Faculty, Science
    University of Chicago - BA
    New York University - MA
    Caldwell University - Teaching Certification
  • Jessica Wise 

    Lower School Faculty, General Studies
    Indiana University - BA
    Bank Street College - M.Ed.

Lower School Faculty

List of 54 members.