Early childhood experiences provide a foundation for a lifetime. Early Jewish childhood education supports and enhances Jewish living in our homes and in our community. CBI Forest School supports children through a developmental, constructivist approach which recognizes and addresses individual growth and needs of students and creates opportunities for children to grow at his or her own pace.
For the past several years, our school has been inspired by the educational philosophy of the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Based on the belief that children are active learners and born with unique abilities and modalities of expression, we have come to realize the similarities between the values of Reggio Emilia and Judaism. The Jewish image of the child tells us that children begin to experience the world from birth. We have a commitment to our children as a Jewish community.
Our program uses the Project Based Approach building on the interests of the children. This emergent curriculum evolves from observation of the children’s conversations, interests, and play. Teachers and students collaborate to research these ideas. Children are encouraged to ask questions, seek answers, find experts, and draw conclusions. Through the Project Based Approach children develop curiosity, creativity, both written and verbal communication, listening, negotiation, observation, and critical thinking skills.
Teachers document children’s progress, validating the children’s work and enabling on-going assessment. The children’s thoughts and ideas are documented through photography, video, displays and writing, as the teachers strive to support each child’s development to the fullest extent. We both nurture and challenge the whole child as they develop academically, emotionally, socially, cognitively, physically and spiritually.
Our Elementary Program brings students together to learn both core academics and environmental education. They develop life skills and have ample opportunities for collaboration, exploration, and independent play. The natural world is their springboard for building a strong foundation of academic, social, and problem-solving skills. Students learn how to set goals, research, and collaborate. All of these endeavors help to foster a love of learning.