Elementary-aged children are welcomed to Bernard Zell Lower School with a Responsive Classroom model, an approach based on the premise that children learn best when they experience social, emotional and academic growth in a strong and safe school environment. With guidance from teachers, our Lower School students participate in morning meetings, help create classroom rules, and take part in lively classroom discussions.
At Bernard Zell, the Responsive Classroom model is tied to Jewish values and American principles of good citizenship. As children begin to explore critical thinking, independent learning and creative thinking in both Jewish and general studies, we inspire them to learn more about their families’ chosen Jewish practices, beliefs, and values. Being part of Bernard Zell means being part of a vibrant Jewish community, one where Hebrew is spoken daily in the building and woven into hallway displays; and where prayers and blessings are shared with spirit and understanding.
The Lower School encourages students to learn about themselves and others; to form enduring relationships and develop confidence and a commitment to learning that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Throughout these years, parents join with teachers as a strong, guiding force in children’s lives, nurturing them as they learn the principle of קהילה Kehillah
—building community—and helping them begin to apply these lessons throughout every aspect of their daily lives.