WOW! The review, ""Absentee Director, Lazy Teachers"" by ""Lila"", sounds like it came from a disgruntled employee. In fact, given the date it was posted, it sounds like it came from a teacher who is no longer at the school since April. Being a very involved parent with children at the school I can honestly say that this posting could not be further from the truth. Considering that the words in that post are very similar to the same words used in personal e-mails sent to some of us parents after this teacher was let go, and from my perspective for just cause, I can only come to the conclusion that it is the same person. It is very sad in my opinion, especially since this person had previously abandoned her job and was graciously taken back by the people she now accuses of being poor eudcators and administrators.\r
As for the preschool, it has been an amazing experience for my children and for me. If you like a preschool that is engaged, takes to heart the development of your child, and goes out of their way to create a nurturing and family feeling, then you need to go check them out. It is very clean and the classrooms and otdoor playgrounds are filled with great materials and activities that keep the children excited and exploring all day long. As for the sandbox, I have personally seen them take the cover off in the mornings and groom it to make sure there is nothing harmful in it. Where ""Lila"" got that Raymond and Marsha ignore health and safety issues is beyond me, considering they are all about safety and I have witnessed that myself firsthand! Raymond Sanchez has also gone above and beyond, creating the most wonderful outdoor program!\r
Marsha Newstat is a wonderful Director who is very hands on and is always there to help with any situations. She has always had an open door policy and so has Cynthia Barzilai. She has created wonderful programs at the school and they are very lucky to have her there. On times she has been out, like being invited to go to the Reggio Emelia Conference in Italy which is a huge honor that only a few Directors were personally asked to attend, the school was in perfectly well educated and experienced hands with Cynthia Barzilai and Raymond Sanchez. There has never been a glitch in the program as far as I am concerned and I know of more parents than not who would whole-heartedly agree. The teachers are amazing and the Reggio approach does not allow for laziness in any way, shape or form. In fact, volunteering in the class, I can see it requires even more hands on attention and the teachers are 100% engaged. As for an educated staff, the center is NAEYC accredited. You can not become accredited unless your staff is HIGHLY educated in order to meet their standards. This not only applies to the staff, but the adminstrators as well. The comment about Cynthia Barzilai and Raymond Sanchez being uneducated is FALSE. It sounds more to me like the person who wrote that post is uneducated or very bitter at the least. \r
As far as the comment about the staff and Rabbi Neil Comess-Daniels discouraging basic Jewish education, all I can say is come to a Tot Shabbat service on a Friday at 10:45 in the morning and feel for yourselves the community and the warmth. All the teachers, Jewish and non-Jewish, join in and it is a wonderful experience. Other than that, religious education is well covered in their wonderful religious school program and everything that needs to be covered from the stand point of a preschool is definitely done.\r
As for the other comments in that post, they are ludicris and come from someone who is clearly out to say any hurtful thing they can imagine. Diversity is a part of our world that we wonderfully embrace without prejudice. It is sad that this person would use that as a fault.\r
I could not recommend a better program for your child and I hope the person who wrote that post finds peace in her life and stops blaming others for her own issues.
Pros: Wonderful Staff and a Great Facility
Cons: Parking is so-so