Infants – 5th Grade

our mission

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Incorporating critical thinking skills & problem solving

Our Programs

Now in its 31st year, the Cutler Jewish Day School offers general and Jewish education for newborns through fifth-grade students along with the highest quality full-time care. Children can be dropped off as early as 7:30 a.m. and can stay as late as 5:45 p.m.

CJDS has received the top state and national accreditations attesting to the successful care and education provided to the children. The school is recognized as a partnership school by the University of South Carolina and is the only private school to receive USC student interns. In the past two years, the school renewed its national accreditation (NAYEC) for the 15th year and its state accreditation (SCISA). The school was also named the first in the state to receive recognition by the Program for Infant and Toddler Care and as a Breast Feeding Friendly Child Care Center.

Our school promotes a desire and love for learning by providing an excellent school experience that is both enjoyable and challenging. We incorporate critical thinking skills and problem-solving that are so essential for success. We believe in educating the “whole child,” meeting his or her cognitive, social, emotional, creative, and physical needs.

Strong Self Identity are central to our education mission


At Cutler Jewish Day School, play is at the heart of learning. Our classes for children from birth through five years provide a nurturing environment and focus on developmental milestones infused with Jewish values and rituals.

Using a progressive education model, creating play-based experiences, and building a strong self-identity are central to our educational mission. Our philosophy is based on the world-renowned schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, which values children as capable, secure, and rich with wonder and knowledge. We allow children to explore topics of interest through hands-on minds-on projects. Our children are empowered to explore their surroundings, form relationships with teachers and peers, and work with a wide variety of materials to create, experiment, and discover. Using this model allows our children to meet and exceed the South Carolina Early Learning Standards (which Rabbi Meir, CDJS Co-Founder, served as lead writer).

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Children are challenged to use higher thinking skills

Elementary School

The elementary school is very different than many other schools. This can be seen in the classrooms, in the outdoor areas, and even after school. In the classrooms there are no desks, so children have the freedom to work in groups, at tables or on the carpet, or sometimes in an indoor tent! Children outside are often in our forest, enjoying the benefits of nature-based learning by exploring the creek, climbing trees, and noting different parts of the outdoor environment. After school, children have a small amount of homework, providing them with the freedom to spend their free time as their families see fit.

Students are challenged to use higher-order thinking skills to exceed state standards while pursuing issues of societal justice. Through reading, writing, social studies, mathematics, science, Hebrew language, and Jewish studies, children gain the education and ethics that create student leaders with a great sense of self-worth and integrity.

Experience, dedication, enthusiasm, and affection for our children are the hallmarks of the faculty at the Cutler Jewish Day School. We work hard to sustain an environment that is cheerful, welcoming, and challenging. Teachers respond to children’s interests, support and enhance exploration, and provide opportunities for active participation. The faculty at Cutler Jewish Day School genuinely cares about each child and wants that child to be successful in all aspects of development.

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Cutler Jewish Day School is truly a joyous place. Max loves going to school. As a parent, it is a wonderful thing not to worry about how your child is doing everyday at school. We will miss it next year.

Lori B.


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5827 N Trenholm R Columbia, South Carolina 29206