Shining the OJCS Spotlight: JK – The OJCS Way!

[This post was co-authored with OJCS JK Teacher, Susan Wollock.]

During this “Festival of Lights” it seems very appropriate to kick off a new series of blog posts (to be written intermittently) that shines a spotlight on new, exciting or important things happening at OJCS.  It also feels appropriate to launch this series because even if we are (please God) in “late-COVID” times, our protocols have been in place for so long that we have parents who may have never stepped foot inside our building!  And if that is true, how much more so for the rest of our community.  That’s the big idea – to share out big things that are happening at OJCS that you may not be in the know about.

And yes, of course, it is not a coincidence that we are beginning with “Junior Kindergarten” as we ramp up for the admissions season for the 2022-2023 school year.  We are so proud of our new JK program and all the deliciousness that is happening there – what better time to share than now?

So, what are the most important things to know about JK @ OJCS?

Well, JK at OJCS is a trilingual program with lots of opportunities for cross-curricular activities.  Here’s a topically specific example: Chanukah.  In JK, we use Chanukah as an opportunity to learn numeracy (How many nights do we celebrate Chanukah?), vocabulary (How do you say sufganiyot in French?), and holiday songs in all three languages.

In JK we learn through play – with emphasis on social, emotional, cognitive, language, literacy, math, science, physical motor skills.  In addition our JKers have daily Physical Education indoors and twice-daily outdoor play (those that nap get out once a day in the beginning of the year but then as they drop their nap they will participate in the second).  Our beautiful JK classroom is anchored in Centres throughout the room that focus on art, science, sensory play, literacy, fine motor, cooperative play and dramatic play.

At OJCS, JK has weekly STEAM experiments and exploration where we follow the scientific method in an age-appropriate way in addition to other amazing weekly activities such as Art with Tashi (our Art Teacher), Music and Movement (guided and freestyle).

But most importantly, they’re just the most adorable kids in the school!  [Note from Jon: I know which classroom to visit whenever I need a smile!]

Do you want to see how JK at OJCS will set your child up for success in school?  Do you have a friend or relative with a child entering JK?  Please contact our Admissions Director, Jennifer Greenberg (j.greenberg@theojcs.ca), to find out more or to book a COVID-friendly tour.  You may also reserve your spot at our upcoming “JK Parlour Meeting” scheduled for Tuesday, December 17th at 7:00 PM (link made available when you RSVP).

Do you want to see (with your eyes!) what JK at OJCS looks like in action?  Stay tuned to social media and other outlets when we debut our new JK Promo Video next week!

Author: Jon Mitzmacher

Dr. Jon Mitzmacher is the Head of the Ottawa Jewish Community School. Jon has recently begun his rabbinical school journey at the Academy for Jewish Religion and is thrilled to have joined the faculty of the Day School Leadership Training Institute (DSLTI) as a mentor for Cohort 12. He was most recently the VP of Innovation for Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day Schools.  He is the former Executive Director of the Schechter Day School Network.  He is also the former head of the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, a K-8 Solomon Schechter, located in Jacksonville, FL, and part of the Jacksonville Jewish Center.  He was the founding head of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas.  Jon has worked in all aspects of Jewish Education from camping to congregations and everything in between.

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