Preschool FAQ

Logistics

We accept children aged 18 months till age 5.

We offer a Half Day program from 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM as well as a Full Day program from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  We offer early drop-off starting at 8:00 AM and Late Stay until 5:00 PM.

Teacher to child ratios are strictly maintained at 1:4 for children under the age of 2; 1:6 for children ages two to three and 1:8 for children ages 4 and older.

Our school year is 10 months, September through June, with summer camp offerings in July and August.

The Preschool will be closed for the following Jewish holidays:

  • Rosh Hashanah (2 days)
  • Yom Kippur (1 day, with a 1 PM closing the day before)
  • Sukkot (two days)
  • Shemini Atzeret (1 day)
  • Simchat Torah (1 day)
  • Passover (2-4 days)
  • Shavuot (2 days)

We also close for several Federal Holidays, Professional Development Days, and winter and spring break. Please refer to the school calendar for specific dates.

Preschool parking is available in the synagogue parking lot located at the corner of South Garfield Street and Arlington Boulevard. All other parking on neighborhood streets, including all of South Fenwick Street and the Arlington Blvd access road between S. Fenwick and S. Fillmore Streets for preschool purposes is in violation of the preschool’s zoning ordinance and strictly prohibited. Parking for early drop off may be available out front along Arlington Blvd. Please use extreme caution when parking on Arlington Blvd, and load/unload children from the curb side only.

Parents are the only people automatically allowed to pick their child up from school. Parents may fill out an authorized pick up form to allow additional individuals permission to pick up.

Health and Safety

In the event Arlington Public Schools close for a weather emergency, Etz Hayim Preschool will close. In the event Arlington Public Schools open two hours late, Etz Hayim Preschool will open at 10:00 (one half hour later than the normal start time). This adjustment allows for appropriate time for the staff to make arrangements for their own families. There will be no early morning drop off available whenever there is a late opening. In the event of an early closing, parents are responsible for picking up their child by the early closing time.

We adhere to the Virginia Department of Health Guidelines. This list should help you determine when your child should remain at home as well as give you the Etz Hayim Guidelines of when your child will be sent home from the school.

  • An oral temperature of 99° F or higher within the last 24 hours. Your child may not return to school until his/her temperature has been normal for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medication. 
  • A cold with a runny nose, yellow/green nasal drainage or discharge.
  • Vomiting—your child may not return until 24 hours have passed since the last episode of vomiting.
  • Diarrhea—your child should not return until 24 hours have passed since the last diarrhea-like bowel movement.
  • Persistent cough—A child with uncontrollable coughing fits should be kept home and should not return to school until the cough is under control without the aid of a cough suppressant.
  • While on an antibiotic—24 hours’ worth of dosage.
  • Rashes you cannot identify or have not been diagnosed by a doctor.
  • Headache, earache, or stomachache.
  • Signs of fatigue or generally feeling ill.
  • Crust on the eyes, pink eyes or mucus discharge from the eyes.

The following safety measures have been added to our preschool operations for the 2021-2022 School Year. These protocols will continue under CDC and State guidance. We will continue to re-examine guidelines as needed. All teachers, children and staff:

  • Wear masks inside when developmentally appropriate.
  • Wash hands upon arrival, before and after eating, after using the restroom and throughout the day as needed.
  • Stay home when sick.
  • Toys, materials, and classrooms are cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  • Staff are vaccinated for Covid-19.

School Day

We follow kosher style guidelines in preschool. Food brought in must be vegetarian or fish that is not shellfish. We are also a nut free preschool. Food that is shared in school must be kosher with a hechsher.

Birthdays are special, and the staff at Etz Hayim enjoys celebrating with your child. You may send in a special treat to share with the class. All food must have a hechsher. When planning a party at home, you may distribute invitations at school if every child in the class is receiving an invitation. Keep in mind that many families in our school observe the traditions of Conservative Judaism, and some children will not attend parties held on Saturdays or Jewish holidays.

A child must be developmentally ready to begin the process of learning to use the toilet independently. There is no right or wrong time. Etz Hayim Preschool does not have toilet-training requirements for any class.

At Etz Hayim Preschool, teachers take special care to gently guide children through the activities of the day. Naturally, there is an adjustment period for all children in the early weeks of school. Teachers ease this adjustment by establishing limits as necessary. With guidance from teachers, children are encouraged to verbalize their feelings and work out disputes. Children are encouraged to “use their words.”

Children are never allowed to engage in behaviors that pose a safety hazard to either themselves or others. If aggressive behaviors such as hitting or biting occur, the teacher will communicate to the parents immediately regarding the incident and work with parents to determine why the behavior is occurring.

Curriculum

Etz Hayim Preschool offers a play-based curriculum through a Jewish lens. Play offers the greatest opportunity for learning at this age. Lessons are child-centered and allow children to choose activities of interest to them while providing opportunities for cognitive, social, emotional and physical growth. As they become ready, children develop at their own individual pace and are encouraged to try a variety of activities. The preschool day is designed to give your child free-play time as well as structured, learning experiences.

The curriculum has been designed to provide a Jewish atmosphere throughout the program. The children are given a sense of Jewish identity through the weekly observance of Shabbat, the celebration of Jewish holidays and the introduction of Hebrew through songs, stories, and conversation. Through regular exposure, children gain a familiarity with the synagogue environment.

Yes. We teach students through what is interesting and important to them. They learn foundation skills for literacy, math, science, history, art, motor and social skills they will need to do well in kindergarten and beyond.

Staff

All staff members are experienced, highly motivated and devoted early childhood educators. They work closely with the students and parents to provide a warm, loving and secure environment. Our first priority is the children‘s physical, emotional and mental well-being. We work to establish a strong sense of independence and high self-esteem for each child. All staff members have education training or several years of experience working with young children.

All staff complete several background checks, including FBI fingerprinting, and are required to have an annual physical and TB screening.

When we have open positions, all potential staff are interviewed by the preschool director and co-teachers. The preschool director checks references, and staff must pass a background check before starting.

Yes, all staff participate in at least 16 hours of training each year and are First Aid/CPR certified.

Admissions

Current tuition can be found on the Forms page.

All families set up an account on ShulCloud. You can pay tuition up front or monthly. We accept checks, credit cards, or ACH.

For the 2022-2023 school year, admission begins on March 1, 2022. Applications are accepted throughout the school year. New students must submit an application form, proof of identification (birth certificate or passport) and a non-refundable application fee.

The application can be found here.

Yes, before school starts you and your child have an opportunity to visit your child’s classroom and get to know the teachers. We also have a parent orientation the week before school begins.

Synagogue membership is not a requirement for attending preschool but it does offer you a discount. We also believe membership in the synagogue will be a great start to your child’s Jewish journey.

At this time, we have limited scholarships available. If you are interested in a scholarship, please contact the preschool director.

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2920 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22204

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