Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional Kindergarten is a very exciting time in your child’s school experience. “TK” at The Aronoff Preschool at the J is designed for children who either “just miss” or “just make” the cut-off for Kindergarten entrance, but would benefit more from a small class size and enhanced curriculum in this year. Our TK program is taught by experienced Kindergarten teachers and offers the gift of an added or enhanced year for children who fall on the “cusp” of entry into elementary school. Children are prepared to continue on to Kindergarten or first grade upon completion of the TK program.

Our program focuses energy on building a strong classroom community based on mutual respect and fostering social-emotional growth in each child. Over the course of the TK year, your child will dive deep into literacy and math and science explorations, learning key concepts through a variety of lenses. The children will strengthen their relationships with the alphabet, build a solid foundation of reading skills, and expand their understand of the purpose of writing and varying forms of communication. Math will focus on developing strong numeracy skills and problem-solving from multiple perspectives. The TK community of learners will use experiences in the real world to examine and interpret their academic and social-emotional understanding.

In our small class sizes of 18 students to 2 teachers, children actively research, inquire and think critically about the world around them. While our academic standards are fixed goals we are working towards during the Transitional Kindergarten year, our school’s philosophy is to have a flexible inquiry-based curriculum that is guided by a series of research questions. At the heart of everything we do is the ultimate goal of fostering curious, creative, and critical thinkers.

We weave the richness of Judaic traditions and core values into the fabric of our days, singing the songs, dancing the dances, eating the foods and telling the stories of the holidays of Judaism. We also grow to understand the value of diversity, as we learn about the varied cultures, ethnicities and religions of our classmates and school community members.

We believe children must be active participants in their learning and engage in constructing knowledge through employing creative and critical thinking in a variety of contexts. We believe optimal learning occurs when respect is paid to a variety of learning styles and intelligences, and value is placed on problem solving from multiple perspectives. In the TK program, we strive to understand our students unique developmental and individual needs, thus creating opportunities for learning that cultivate curiosity and encourage wonder. We can accomplish this easily due to our small class sizes and highly qualified and passionate teachers.

Transitional Kindergarten is offered Monday through Friday. The Plus Day program is offered from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the Full Day program is 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Complementing our Daily Core Program, TK students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of enrichment programs. All students take part in weekly music and movement as well as physical education classes. Classes are 30 minutes per session and are instructed by specialized teachers in these core areas. In addition, TK students self-select four afternoon enrichment classes quarterly. These classes are 45 minutes in length; past examples include cooking, dance, yoga, art in our professional studio, ceramics, varied sports, swimming, and more.

For information about Transitional Kindergarten program at The Aronoff Preschool at the Merage JCC and to schedule a personal tour, please contact Sheila Dalva-Hornback, Assistant Director of Admissions at or call the preschool office at (949) 435-3400 ext 290.