The Early Years at VTT - Q&A - Vancouver Talmud Torah

Beginning in September 2016, VTT is proud to offer flexibility and longer hours in its early years programming. Families can choose from the following options: Preschool Half Day (until noon); Early Years Full Day (until 3:30; with option to pick up until 4:30); Junior Kindergarten Half Day (until noon); Junior Kindergarten Full Day (until 3:30; with the option to pick up until 4:30).

options

What are your hours?

For Preschool and Junior Kindergarten Half Day, the day runs from 8:15 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For our Full Day Preschool and Full Day Junior Kindergarten, the program runs from 8:15 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Parents have until 4:30 to pick up their children, aside from Shabbat, when the entire school dismisses at 3:20 p.m. (and at 2:20 p.m. November through March for early dismissal Shabbat). 

What is the teacher-student ratio in your classrooms?

For the full day programs, the ratio is 1:8. For the half-day programs, it is 1:10.

If my child is enrolled in the full day program, can I pick him/her up early?

Your child can be picked up early, as long as it does not interfere with naptime (3 year old program). You should also consult with the classroom teacher that day to make sure the class is not away on a field trip.

Can the tuition be adjusted if I’m enrolled in full day, but choose to pick up my child early a couple of days a week?

Regrettably, one is obligated to pay the full tuition regardless of what time you choose to pick up your child. Talmud Torah budgets staff time, materials and programming based on numbers of students enrolled.

Can my child attend 3 or 4 days a week instead of the entire 5 days?

No. Our early years program is a full week program.

Why do you follow a play-based philosophy?

Over the many decades we’re run our early years department and supported by vast amounts of peer-reviewed research, we are convinced that in the early years children develop, learn, grow and mature best while engaged in play. Through play they learn how to share, negotiate, problem-solve, creatively and critically think, explore, develop fine and gross motor skills and, most importantly, have fun! These are skills that will help them through life. Children have their entire lives to focus on academics; we are committed to helping them learn through play. Every one of our faculty members wholeheartedly believes in this philosophy.

If I enroll my child in the half day three year old program, can I enroll him/her in the full day junior kindergarten the following year?

Priority goes to currently enrolled students. Thus, students attending the full day 3 year old program will get first priority. Next on the list would be those in the half day program wishing to switch to the full day program for Junior Kindergarten. Siblings come next and then community at large has the opportunity to enroll.

Will my child be “missing out” by only attending half day?

Not at all. All the students, be they in half day or full day, will follow the exact same curriculum. For those in the full day program, the length of playtime may be extended and some additional enrichment may be offered. Keep in mind that there will be nap time (or quiet time) in the 3-year old program and the opportunity to do the same in the junior kindergarten in the afternoons. We also hope to add a few specialists to the afternoon roster. Once all the children begin senior kindergarten, we are confident they will more or less be aligned socially and academically.

If my child has serious allergies, do I need to worry about lunch time in the full day programs?

If food allergies are an issue, we suggest you send lunch from home and not subscribe to our catered hot lunch program. Teachers are very sensitive to food allergies and are vigilant any time outside food is served. They are trained to monitor situations involving food very carefully.

playgroundWill your full day programs operate on early dismissal days, Pro-D days, Jewish holidays and secular holidays?

No. Our early years program will follow the same school schedule and calendar as the rest of the school. It is important we honour our Jewish values and treat all our staff equally with respect to professional development opportunities.

Tell me about your playground.

With the opening of our new campus in 2016, we will have a brand new dedicated outdoor space for our early years students. It is being created based on the principles of best practice for this age group.