Shorashim Class



The Shorashim (which means “roots” in Hebrew) class serves our youngest students, ages 2-3.

BACNS follows the Santa Rosa City School guidelines for children’s age cutoff dates. Most children will need to turn two before December 1st to be admitted to the Shorashim class. A child will be able to begin school only AFTER his/her second birthday, so children with autumn birthdays may have to wait a bit before joining their classmates. The school will consider each child on an individual basis when making placement decisions.

BACNS does not require enrolled children to be potty trained.


The Shorashim school day runs from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. Children can attend any where from 2-5 days per week.

A typical schedule for the Shorashim is:

9:00-10:15 am   indoor/outdoor free play (depends on weather)
10:15-10:20 am   cleanup
10:20-10:30 am   group time
10:30-10:40 am   snack
10:40-11:30 am   outdoor play (depends on weather)
11:30-11:50 am   lunch
11:50-noon   Transition (indoor/outdoor)

Extended day care is available for all students, from 7:30 a.m. and until 5:30 p.m. Shorashim students who stay after school for extended care will settle down to take a nap starting between 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. It is recommended that Shorashim who are not picked up at 12:00 p.m. stay in aftercare until 3:00 p.m. to allow for a sufficient nap, though for some of these children, a 1 p.m. pick up may work. Please feel free to communicate with the teachers or director if your child’s needs differ!

Snacks and Lunch

The school provides a mid-morning snack, which usually consists of a variety of different foods. Sample foods are pretzels, crackers, fruit, a vegetable and dip, and water to drink. The school does not serve nuts, grapes, or carrots to this class.

Lunches are brought from home. Since BACNS is a kosher facility, we request that no meat (beef, pork, or chicken) or shellfish be brought into school. Dairy, eggs, and regular fish (tuna, etc.) are fine.

We also ask that families refrain from sending peanuts or peanut butter to school (though tree nuts, seeds, and other butters are fine). Here are some Lunch Ideas for Beth Ami for you!


Rose and Rosa are the teachers for the Shorashim. They are thrilled to be your children’s first teachers at BACNS, and will do anything and everything to ease the transition to school for your children and for you as well.

Class Size

The teacher/child ratio in the Twos class is 1:4. There are two teachers and a maximum of eight children per class per day.

Classroom Activities

The Shorashim class has a large classroom with an adjacent small outdoor play area. The class uses the larger playground for part of the day, and the smaller area (located just outside the classroom door) at other times. The Shorashim class also spends time on the large play yard every day.

The Shorashim class places a great deal of emphasis on socialization, oral language development, and separation/transition. The teachers help the children learn to develop language to express their needs and wants. The children are taught to value each other and to develop an awareness of others in the group. Children learn to make connections with both children and adults.

Verbal skills grow exponentially during this year. The teachers help support this process in the children.

For some children, this class is their first experience away from their home and their primary caregiver. Separation and transition are viewed as an ongoing process. During the first few months of the school year, and throughout the year, the Shorashim teachers devote time to helping children (and their parents) successfully separate and support the transition from home to school to home. The teachers are very experienced in different techniques for handling separation anxiety, and have been very successful in managing a variety of issues that might arise.

The Shorashim classroom is divided into several interest areas. There is a quiet area with a couch and books, and areas for dramatic play, symbolic play, and manipulative play. The classroom has a sensory table, a place for blocks and vehicles, art/sensory areas, and an easel.

The dramatic play area has a child-sized kitchen and dress up clothes and props. The props are changed frequently; for example, Jewish cultural items are brought out during the Jewish holidays.

The symbolic play area contains small figures of people and animals, and materials to create farms, zoos, or houses.

The manipulative play area is where children build and construct with Legos and smaller materials to develop fine motor skills and to learn pre-math skills, such as sorting, classifying, categorizing, and seriating.

The block and vehicle area develops children’s large motor skills, where they can build and play with larger blocks and trucks.

The sensory table can hold water, sand, or grains. The children love to use this table to practice pouring, measuring, and washing.

Creative art activities are available on a daily basis, such as playdough, painting, glueing, markers, and crayons. Many of the art projects, especially early in the year, are group efforts that the children can contribute to periodically during the day.

During Group time, the teachers tell stories, sing songs, and create finger plays. Group time is usually short due to the limited attention span of the children. The teachers read books to individual or small groups of children frequently during the free play period.

The children bake and eat challah (traditional egg bread) on Fridays in honor of the upcoming Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath). Baking challah is a major event for the children. The class makes one large loaf for eating at school, and each child gets to form his/her own small loaf to take home.

Our curriculum is child-centered, with themes and activities emerging from the interests and questions of the children and occurrences in their lives. This emergent curriculum is inspired by the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. We emphasize the importance of children as active participants in their learning, where exploration, discovery and invention are of primary importance. We believe young children learn through play and need to construct and express their own understandings of the world. We provide an atmosphere where children are free to risk failure, to ask questions and to experiment with activities. The environment is designed to empower children to develop problem solving, thinking, and cooperation skills. Two of the more popular topics for two- and three-year-olds are babies (how to care for them) and trucks. Discussions and activities around these topics can extend over days and weeks.

Beth Ami Community Nursery School is supported by the Jewish Community Federation (JCF) of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, as well as Jewish Learning Works and First Five Sonoma County.