Shabbat candle lighting: 7:34pm

Meyerhoff Early Learning Center Fall 2020 Update

Over the past few months, the JCC has been forced to make unprecedented decisions.  We have made these decisions with a great deal of careful consideration, always with the health, safety and best interest of our children, families, and teachers in mind.  

This summer, we made the decision to combine our camps into one program at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC campus.  This allowed us to hire the best teachers and staff for your children, and to comply with CDC and Maryland Health Department guidelines in a larger, more conducive space. 

We have been preparing for the new school year and have been met with some very real challenges.  Mostly, we are having a difficult time hiring quality teachers for both schools, as there is an unprecedented shortage of educators.  We are not alone, as all of our community schools are facing this issue. We are committed to providing your child with the unique education and experiences they have come to expect from our ELC and have had to make another difficult decision as we begin our fall school year.
 
After many discussions with parents, our JCC board, executive team, and management of our Early Childhood Centers, we have decided to merge our two Early Learning Centers into one program this fall at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC campus. 

While this was not an easy decision, we believe it is the most prudent one for our entire early childhood community. The lessons we learned this summer operating as a single summer camp will further ensure our success during the school year.  With an uncompromising focus on safety, we have established an efficient system of protocols and procedures beginning with a well-organized medical check-in at carpool, social distancing between classes, mask wearing by children and staff, and vigorous daily cleaning and sanitizing standards.  Furthermore, for maximum safety, we will have one shift of teachers for the entire day (8am to 5pm). Many of our PH ELC teachers will be joining us at Owings Mills, and our staff is excited to learn from each other and meet your children.

The combined school will be guided by a robust management team led by Carly Schwartz, Senior Director, J Early Childhood and Meyerhoff ELC Director and Dani Ashendorf, Stoler ELC Site Director.    

We hope you choose to stay with our program. The Stoler Owings Mills ELC provides the same integrated, developmentally appropriate curriculum that blends a child-centered focus with teacher-guided activities for a comprehensive learning experience where children develop confidence, creativity, and problem-solving skills.  Our Infant/Toddler and Preschool classes are also based on a full-time enrollment of 5 days/week. Current classes include: 

  • Infant/Toddler classes – 6 children per room
  • Two Year Old classes – 12 children per room
  • Three Year Old classes – 13 children per room
  • Four Year Old class – 13 children per room
  • New Kindergarten class for up to 15 children

All classrooms will have 2 staff members, either a head and an assistant or two co-teachers. We will also have additional teachers as floaters who are trained to follow our policies and procedures and will serve as regular substitutes when needed.  

We are working on plans to turn our PH ELC into a Family Engagement Center, under leadership of Sharon Seigel, Senior Director of Outreach & Inclusion, where we can meet the needs of families with young children with workshops, classes and outdoor playtimes, following the safety guidelines you have come to expect.  These classes will require pre-registration and are being designed for the working family to utilize. Our J Around Town staff is dreaming big and creating a programs that will be exciting, creative and engaging for young families.

Please continue to consider us as your trusted choice for your family’s early childhood education.  For more information, or to schedule a virtual tour of our Stoler ELC in Owings Mills contact Carly Schwartz at cschwartz@jcc.org.

Ideally, we want both our ELCs open to serve our community, and we are committed to moving back to a two school model as soon as it is possible. The staffing challenges are significant and our commitment to providing excellent supervision, safety, and education is always our top priority. 

Thank you for your understanding as we make decisions to best serve our community!

Barak Hermann, JCC CEO                
Randi Buergenthal, JCC Board Chair