Chabad Kaplan Preschool
ABOUT CHABAD'S KAPLAN PRESCHOOL
After successfully running mommy and me programs for six years, the parents unsurprisingly requested that Chabad of Sarasota start a preschool. Since 1997 we are proud to serve the community, and provide a haven where every child entrusted in our care is given countless opportunities to grow and develop to be well-rounded and successful individuals.
Serving the educational needs of children two and one half to five years old, we look forward to opening up new worlds for your child in fun and stimulating ways. I am pleased that you have chosen our school as a home away from home for your child. Here at Chabad’s Kaplan Preschool, we are committed to creating a warm, friendly and happy environment for your child, while simultaneously assisting your child in developing a strong positive awareness of his/her Jewish identity. Along with Judaic themes and holidays, the curriculum at the Kaplan Preschool will expose the children to a wide range of experiences including art, movement, early literacy, math skills, blocks and dramatic play, which are all integrated into our hands-on learning centers. The Kaplan Preschool is committed to excellence, and will prepare your child for a wonderful future ahead. It is well known that the years prior to kindergarten are the most critical in inculcating children with optimal cognitive, social and ethical learning, and we are passionate about helping each child reach his or her fullest potential.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
• To educate your child in a creative, supportive, and warm Jewish environment so that your child will not only learn about life as a Jew but will learn to love it too!
• To nourish and stimulate your child’s learning priorities as we develop cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills, encouraging your child in becoming a well-rounded and self-confident individual.
Chabad’s Kaplan Preschool is a state licensed preschool serving the educational needs of children 2.5 to five years old. Our mission is to provide a warm and happy Jewish environment where your child’s unique style of learning and developing is valued and nurtured. Through song and dance, stories and discussions, the precious legacy of their uniqueness as Jews is transmitted. Our approach allows us to offer a stimulating environment where your child will be encouraged to develop intellectually, emotionally and physically. A day in the life of a Chabad Preschooler is truly an adventure! Backed by all the latest research and educational trends, the children enjoy a play-based curriculum and are encouraged to explore, to manipulate, to experiment, to create, to problem solve and to interact socially throughout each day.
Our classroom environment follows the Creative Curriculum, which fosters a hands-on approach to learning and discovery. Our low student-teacher ratio ensures that each child receives individual and caring attention. Each of our children is seen as an individual, and thus given the respect and attention needed to develop and grow. Learning styles and individual interests are respected and addressed as teachers plan for the educational experience that will take place.
As the magical years of early childhood are respected and honored, children build a strong sense of self, which the children take with them far beyond their early childhood years. Yet, most importantly, at the heart of the program, is our desire to nurture in our children a concern, kindness and sensitivity for their fellow human beings.
Our preschool has been licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families since 1997, and is inspected by the agency twice annually as well as by the local fire department annually. We follow all the guidelines set up for providing safe childcare.
LOOK FOR THE STARS
Look for the Stars is a voluntary quality improvement system. By choosing to participate the Kaplan preschool has demonstrated a commitment to offering the highest quality early care and education to the children enrolled in its program. The Look for the Stars assessments are conducted by independent assessors who are trained to use the assessment tool in a reliable and consistent way to measure the quality of child care programs. The Kaplan Preschool is proud to have achieved 4/5 stars.
Our staff is made up of teachers, all of whom are chosen for their professionalism, as well as, their caring and compassionate personalities. Our teachers delight in unlocking your child’s natural curiosity through providing the stimulation necessary for an experiential learning process. Our staff participates in annual in-service training in order to remain abreast with the latest trends in early childhood education. In addition, we have monthly staff meetings, which are usually held on Tuesday mornings from 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. The schedule of these staff meeting dates is indicated on the preschool calendar. All our lead staff members have a degree, or are working towards a degree, in the field of early childhood education. At the beginning of each school year, our staff is trained in CPR, first aid, and in the use of a fire extinguisher.
Morah Sara Steinmetz
Sara Steinmetz started the Chabad Kaplan Preschool in 1997. The preschool stemmed from “Mommy and Me” groups, which she facilitated from 1991- 2001 with great success. Sara has a teaching certificate from the Beth Rivkah Teacher’s College in Israel; as well as a FCCPC - Florida Child Care Professional Certificate. Sara is passionate about educating her young students and serving as a mentor to parents. In addition to serving as Preschool Director, Sara is also the school’s Judaica Specialist, which means that she gets to enjoy a special time each day with the students cultivating a love for Judaism and Jewish holidays. Sara is a mother to 10 children, and enjoys cooking.
Morah Jennifer Damasco
Jennifer has been teaching in a preschool for 14 years. She has a FCCPC (Florida Child Care Professional and a Florida director credential and is working toward her A.S. in Early Childhood Education. Jennifer strives to provide children with special skills to recognize and communicate their feelings with confidence and creativity and self-expression, while fostering kindness through a stimulating and nurturing environment. Jennifer has recently become a mother, and her hobbies include jewelry making, singing, photography and scrap booking.
Morah Rebecca Hughes
I started at Chabad Kaplan Preschool for the 2018-19 school year. I truly love working with children and helping them grow and learn. I truly believe that being a teacher is one of the most rewarding jobs one can have. I am currently finishing up my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education with my continued goal of achieving a Bachelor's Degree in Exceptional Student Education. When I'm not in the classroom I enjoy journaling, kayaking and spending time at the beach
Morah Jane Hoffman
Jane hoffman has been teaching our music class since 2008. She loves the children and loves being part of the Jewish community in this way. She is also Principal flutist with the Sarasota POPS, adjunct faculty member at State College of Florida, adjunct woodwind coach at Booker Middle School, flute coach at Riverview High School.