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The Temple Beth Tikvah Nursery School in Madison will start its new school year on Thursday, Sept. 5 with a new director, Jennifer Casillo, and new expanded hours of service.
The nursery school, which formerly offered extended days on just Mondays and Wednesdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., has decided to make all five days of the week extended day hours at its 196 Durham Road facility.
“We understand that there is a need for working families and so we wanted to be able to accommodate everyone,” said Casillo. “We will still have the school portion of the day from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the rest of the day will be an extension of that nature-based, play-based learning. We are not a daycare, we are a school, so the day will be filled with learning of all different kinds.”
Casillo was a kindergarten teacher for 15 years before becoming a program coordinator and an education consultant. She had sone some consulting work for the nursery school in the past and said she absolutely fell in love with the school the moment she walked through the doors.
“It is such a welcoming place and it just has this overwhelming sense of home and community. It’s a wonderful place and I knew I wanted to be a part of it on a regular basis—that’s what enticed me to apply for the position,” said Casillo. “The curriculum is amazing and the teachers are gems. It’s a very special place that I am so proud to be a part of.”
Open to enrollment of students from the shoreline and beyond, the Temple Beth Tikvah Nursery School is not a faith-based nursery school; families of all denominations are welcome. Enrollment is on a rolling basis. There are currently three teachers, along with Casillo, and the school is run by a Board of Directors. It is housed in the Temple Beth Tikvah, which is in the midst of some renovation work, but plans for all renovations in the nursery school section of the building are not on the docket for anytime in the near future and will be completed only during summer hours.
“We have a lot to offer our students,” said Casillo, who did her undergraduate studies at the University of Connecticut and earned her master’s degree in education at Southern Connecticut University. “You never know what they are going to do or say next, so every day is a learning experience for me and them. That’s what I love most about this age group of children. Everyday is truly an adventure.”
The nursery school’s website is currently under construction. For more information, contact Casillo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-245-7028 or 203-245-8039.
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