Community Day School Love the learning, Live the Values 

CDS Early Childhood Program

Where Reggio meets Jewish learning

The Early Childhood Education program at CDS provides a warm and nurturing environment where children can learn and grow academically, socially, and emotionally while enjoying a vibrant Jewish experience.

Children (ages 3-5) are grouped developmentally rather than strictly by age, and our classrooms represent this structure:

  • EC Zahav (Hebrew for gold, previously our 3-year-old class)
  • EC Kachol (Hebrew for blue, previously Pre-K);
  • EC Gesher (Hebrew for bridge, our new transitional kindergarten)

These names signify our valued membership in the larger CDS community, as well as a reminder of the emphasis on our Hebrew and Jewish Studies curriculum in our Early Childhood program.

Our Early Childhood program is inspired by the practices of Reggio Emilia, a proven, well-researched model that has been shown to help children prepare for kindergarten―and for life. It envisions a world where all children are honored and respected for their potential, capabilities, and humanity.

What does Reggio Emilia mean to us here at Community Day School? We all know that language, math, science, and other key academic subjects appear in many aspects of our everyday lives, particularly for our youngest learners as they try to make sense of their new and exciting world.

That’s why we empower our students to explore their curiosities in ways that make sense to them. Students are not just involved in what we learn, but how we learn it.

This beautifully organic process cannot occur without the supporting structure necessary to providing guidance for children to learn and grow as students, problem-solvers, and members of the Jewish community.

All of these experiences occur in an environment that seamlessly weaves together Jewish teachings and beliefs and Hebrew language instruction. The children explore the Jewish holidays, but they don’t stop there. Teachers draw connections to Jewish life and learning throughout our days, and students are encouraged to ask questions and seek answers about their heritage and practices.

We’d love to welcome your child to our vibrant, nurturing community where children laugh, learn, discover, and play each day.

Headshot of Andrea Erven-Victoria

Andrea Erven-Victoria was appointed Head of Early Childhood and Lower School at Community Day School in 2019. "Morah Andrea" holds a Master of Science degree in Early Intervention with Special Education Certification from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education, Elementary Education, from Bowling Green State University. Prior to joining the CDS family, she worked extensively with infants, early childhood programs, and K-6 schools, as well as teaching education courses and supervising dozens of pre-service and in-service teachers as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh at the undergraduate and graduate levels since 2001. She has a proven track record of success in a wide variety of disciplines that are relevant to the goals we have for our youngest learners, all focusing on the core belief that pedagogy must always be considered in the context of relationships.