Welcome to CJDS!

It is through our Jewish cultural heritage that we define the focus of our educational approach. The love for all children and families, the emphasis on a child centered inquiry based education, and the need to be involved with issues of social justice make our school a nurturing learning environment.

About Us


 CJDS Points of Pride

• CJDS has served the Columbia community for the past 25 years.

• CJDS is accredited by NAEYC, the National Association of Education for Young Children (www.naeyc.org).

• CJDS has received an AA rating from the State of SC. This is the highest possible rating of an early childhood center (the state offers A through C ratings and only NAEYC accredited centers can earn AA).

• CJDS is accredited by SCISA, SC Independent Schools Association (www.scisa.org).

• CJDS is the only demonstration site for the Program for Infants and Toddlers.

• CJDS is the only private school to have USC student teachers assigned by the College of Education. The school also enjoys a semester of USC “math buddies,” an interactive one-on-one opportunity for CJDS students to work with USC pre-service teachers.

• The head of school holds a Doctorate in Education.

• The principal and a number of elementary school teachers hold Master’s degrees.

• Almost all preschool and kindergarten teachers hold four-year degrees.

• 70% of the assistant teachers have degrees.

• The teacher-to-student ratios are among the lowest in the city resulting in many one to one interactions and individual attention for each student.

• The ratios are 1:4 in the infants, 1:5.5 in the toddlers, 1:7 in the 2s, 1:8 in the 3s and 4s and 1:9 in the kindergarten class.

• 95% of the students who graduate fifth grade are accepted in gifted, talented, and advanced magnet middle school programs.

• Inquiry-based learning featuring expert projects is a focus of our academic approach. The school follows a philosophy of constructivist learning. We believe that the goal of education is for children to construct knowledge as opposed to memorize information.

• The school bridges the student’s experiences with the wider world through guest speakers and community experiences.

• Immersion Hebrew has children as young as first grade speaking and understanding Hebrew.

• CJDS has an open-door policy for families.

• Excellent communication includes weekly e-newsletters from our head of school, daily sheets in our infant through two-year-old classes, and email updates in all classes.

• The students are involved in multiple service learning projects each year.

• Warm Jewish teaching forms a positive Jewish identity, creates the beginnings of Jewish literacy, and focuses on character development. Your child will appreciate Judaism. Jewish heritage, culture, and customs are taught in a loving and respectful manner. Your child and family will have opportunities to build friendships and celebrate together with other families. You will be offered opportunities to participate in child development and Jewish life skills learning programs, together with a community of other families.

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