Frequently Asked Questions

Preschooler working on reading drawers
Preschooler working on science project

Har Shalom Preschool and Kindergarten was founded in 1997 in the corner of the sanctuary. Our first class began with seven children using homemade materials. Little by little, we purchased equipment and, in 2009, a modular building was constructed to expand the Preschool. Today, our well-established school has two large fully-equipped classrooms serving over 30 families.

Absolutely not. We are proud to offer a welcoming and diverse space. Our Jewish, Interfaith, and non-Jewish families create a valuable and nourishing environment for a joyful sharing of culture and an appreciation for each other.

In addition to the Jewish holidays and secular curriculum we provide, families from around the world  have shared the heart of their culture with our students. Their participation has enabled a cherished integration of geographic studies with unique learning experiences. The result is a lovely community of families and teachers contributing to a better world. 

We celebrate the Jewish holidays with age-appropriate activities and celebrations. We learn the meaning of the holiday, sing songs in Hebrew, and provide fun filled experiences across the curriculum. For Rosh HaShanah, we count apples in the math area, enjoy a bee study in science, and eat apples and honey for snack. 

Rabbi Finestone visits every Friday and has the children tickled with laughter as she sings fun and silly songs in celebration of Shabbat. During the Jewish holidays, she always brings special stories, songs, and cultural items to share with the children.

One of our first teachers had Montessori training and from there our philosophy was born. As our school developed through the years, our commitment to stay up-to-date with early childhood best practices evolved our curriculum to meet the needs of our ever changing world. The Montessori method is now complemented with integrated research-proven philosophies that equip our diversified learners with a solid foundation for entry into their elementary years.

The multi-age classroom is a hallmark of the Montessori method and there are many benefits. Opportunities for peer learning, respectful diversity of learning, and leadership/mentorship provide a wide variety of experiences within a non-competitive yet inspiring environment.

Our older children are proud to be “Kind Leaders and Mentors” where they help younger friends learn new activities. Our younger children learn a variety of new skills and develop periods of interest by observing older friends. In the multi-age classroom, children are not restricted by birth-age. All children are free to follow their sensitive periods. This creates a respectful, diverse learning environment where children are learning at a pace that is just right for them.

Our daughter enjoyed two years at Har Shalom preschool. It was amazing to see how much growth she accomplished during that time due to the teachers' care and attention as well as the Montessori model. The amount of learning about Jewish holidays and values felt just right for us as an interfaith family with one parent of a secular Jewish background. As a parent, I liked how diverse and inclusive the preschool felt. Some of the practices our daughter learned were then used in our house as she taught us pizza breathing as meditation, peace rose conflict resolution skills, and how to give each other our full attention. Har Shalom is a fantastic school that we recommend highly to others!

Ayelet and Greg