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Giving Tree Early Learning

Giving Tree Early learning is a Reggio-inspired early education program open to the public. We support each child’s unique learning style through play-based, child- directed learning opportunities. Our staff are well versed in early childhood development and work collaboratively with caregivers and the children to provide exceptional care. We provide hands-on learning for students ages 12 months through Pre-K focusing on community building, social emotional development and critical thinking skills. As a Paths to QUALITY Level 3 site, our classroom environments provide 10 learning centers (manipulatives, blocks, art, music, sensory, science, mathematics, reading, writing, dramatic play) and our creative play spaces include the Outdoor Classroom and gardens, Light Studio, Art Atelier, Big Muscle Room (gross motor space), Bike track and Green space. Our program is located on the Hasten Hebrew Academy campus.

General Info:

Address: 6602 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, IN

Phone: 317-251-1261

Website: www.givingtreehhai.org


Q&A with Giving Tree Early Learning:

What makes Giving Tree Early Learning unique?

Our Reggio inspired education provides a progressive approach to the education of young minds. Our children experience farm to table concepts through the Outdoor Classroom and are allowed to formulate their own answers to their daily discoveries. Our staff facilitate learning through the use of provocations and invitations to play supporting each child at his or her level of development to create differentiated instruction. This approach, coupled with our small class sizes, creates a family-like environment for you and your child as we join together as administrators, educators and caregivers to provide your child with the building blocks for life-long success. As a faith based school, we also provide experiential learning opportunities for children to learn more about Judaism.

What is Giving Tree Early Learning’s educational philosophy?

We are a faith based, Reggio inspired program that is responsive to the interests and needs of each child. Children and staff learn alongside one another as we facilitate child-directed, play-based learning partnered with developmentally appropriate practice and the Indiana Early Learning Foundation standards.

What is Giving Tree Early Learning’s age/grade range?

We serve children 12 months through Pre-K.

What is your enrollment policy? Are there any key dates parents should be aware of?

Enrollment opens to the public beginning in February 2021. To apply, visit: https://mytads.com/a/hastenindianapolis

What are the standard school day hours? Does Giving Tree Early Learning offer flexible day/hour options? Is before/after school care available?

Our program runs from 8 AM to 3:35 PM with Aftercare services until 6 PM available for children ages 3 and up.

For children in our 12 month-3 year old program, you may select the number of days you wish to attend. Our Pre-K program is a 5 day option.

How many children are in each class? How are children divided up?

We maintain strict student to teacher ratios to support a nurturing and safe environment for all. Limiting our class sizes allows for us to differentiate our instruction and build meaningful connections with each child and their family.

Max group size for each classroom is as follows.

  • 12 months (Katon)- 8 children to 2 teachers
  • 2 years (Maon)- 10 children to 2 teachers
  • 3 years (Peuton)- 15 children to 2 teachers
  • Pre-K (Ganon)- 16 children to 2 teachers

What are the teacher’s credentials?

Our Early Childhood Staff includes both degreed and experienced professionals. Each teacher is required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of professional development each year and are knowledgeable in early childhood development and Reggio-inspired instruction. Many Staff members maintain professional memberships to NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and NAREA (North American Reggio Emilia Alliance). Additionally, various staff members participate in local professional opportunities including Pop Up Play Indy, Indy Reggio Inspired Educators, Indianapolis Reggio Collaboration and by presenting at various conferences throughout the city.

Is parental participation required?

Parental participation is not required but requested. Volunteer opportunities through the Parent/Teacher Organization are available throughout the year. Additionally, parents may reach out to their child’s teacher directly to become more involved in their child’s learning.

How do teachers communicate with parents? How often do parents receive updates?

Each classroom operates a Google Blog which is updated throughout the week. Staff share communications through phone, text, email and face to face communications. Parent-Teacher conferences are held twice a year with the opportunity to request additional meetings as needed.

Does Giving Tree Early Learning offer support for students with special needs?

We seek to support each child and their family to the best of our abilities. An interview prior to enrollment may be requested to better understand your child’s specific needs. We recognize the importance of finding the right fit for each family. If we cannot support you directly, we will provide other resources to help find the correct placement to support your child’s ongoing success.

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How much time do the children spend outside?

We believe that children need to spend time moving and grooving outdoors! Our students are outside at multiple points throughout the day. We have several outdoor spaces available including the Outdoor Classroom and gardens, Green Space, Bike Track and playground. We take the children outside if the temperature is above 25 degrees. We ask that all families send in extra clothing and rainboots as we explore the depths of the puddles on the playground quite often.

Are meals and/or snacks provided?

We do not provide meals or snacks to our students. We ask that families send in nut-free, dairy or non-meat meals and snacks. Information on healthy eating habits and meal ideas are shared with each family at the start of the school year. We do provide milk or a milk substitute at lunch for all of our students.

Does my child need to be potty-trained?

While we ask that families start the potty-training process before entering our 3 year old classroom, we understand that some children may not be ready. We work with our families to help support your child’s toileting needs. All children must be potty-trained before entering Pre-K.

What enrichment programs/activities are offered?

We offer a variety of enrichment programs throughout the school day which vary by age group. Enrichment activities include gym, music, formal art instruction and free exploration in the Art Atelier, Light Studio and Outdoor Classroom.

It is our hope that we will be able to resume after school programming including Handwriting Club with Sensory Advantage, Figure of Speech (developmental speech), JumpBunch, Tae Kwon do with Master Mike, Silly Hearts Yoga and Music.

What are Giving Tree Early Learning’s safety policies? What extra safety measures is Giving Tree Early Learning taking during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Staggered arrival times
  • Suspension of classroom visits including parents and visitors
  • HVAC upgrades to include UV light sterilization units
  • Elimination of food program to support parent choice and safety
  • Hand sanitizer stations throughout building
  • Classroom cohorts or “families” to limit exposure throughout building
  • Children 3 and up are masked throughout the school day.
  • All staff are masked
  • Frequent handwashing and cleaning of classroom materials
  • Individual materials for art, academics and technology
  • Classroom instruction and lunch outside whenever weather permits
  • Frequent mask breaks to support students and staff
  • Additional cleaning of high touch surfaces throughout the school day and nightly
  • Strict health and wellness policy including the exclusion of children with COVID 19 symptoms for the required 10 day period.
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Exclusive “sick” room for ill children with COVID 19 symptoms
  • Children are asked to bring in water bottles to refill from designated refill stations
  • Social distancing markers placed in hallways and offices
  • Suspension of afterschool activities until it is safe to resume
  • Sanitation of playground structures after each use
  • Infusion of additional materials and manipulatives to support frequent cleaning of used items

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What types of financial assistance is available to families?

Giving Tree Early Learning accepts On My Way Pre-K and CCDF vouchers.

Who should parents contact for more information about Giving Tree Early Learning?

For more information, please contact Ashley Flaumenhaft, Early Childhood Director. [email protected] or 317-251-1261 x163

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