Contact Us

Karen Siegel
Director of Admissions
Ph: 617-972-1733 x226


שאלות נפוצות

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to Karen Siegel, Director of Admissions, at or 617-972-1733 ext. 226. We'd love to hear from you!

What are the school hours? ➲

JCDS runs from:

8:00am - 3:30pm Monday - Thursday
8:00am - 2:00pm on Fridays

Classrooms open to students at 7:45am.

Is there an after school program? ➲

Yes. JCDS runs an after school program from 3:30-5:30pm on Monday - Thursday. Contact Karen Siegel, Director of Admissions, about Friday options. The After School Program provides a unique opportunity for JCDS students to relax, get creative, engage in productive interests, and have fun! Parents choose from an extended day program that offers a wide variety of activities including art, games, and gym. More structured hands-on enrichment classes in crafts, robotics, strategy games, speech and debate, private music lessons and more are also available.

Does JCDS offer a lunch program? ➲

Gann Academy is thrilled to offer the JCDS community a five day per week cold Kosher lunch program cooked from scratch in the Gann Servery by trained chefs. The lunch program utilizes the Gann Farm for fresh produce for farm-to-table cooking. Meals are served individually to each participant in compostable packaging, allowing the JCDS lunch program to offer sustainable and delicious food.

Can my child bring peanut butter to school? How are allergies handled at lunchtime? ➲

JCDS is happy to be a nut-friendly institution. Teachers are careful to have students refrain from sharing lunch and snack items. In our youngest grades, students will eat off of a school-provided tray to make it clear which food belongs to which student. For students with more severe allergies, the school will work closely with families and the rest of the class to ensure a safe environment.

Does JCDS offer financial aid? ➲

JCDS is proud to offer over $1.6 million annually in financial aid to over 50% of families in our learning community. Our Tuition Assistance programs address the needs of a wide range of families. As a school, our goal is to build a community that represents the socioeconomic diversity present in the Jewish community. We look forward to working with your family in a confidential and respectful manner to share our different financial aid programs and help you determine which approach will make the most sense given your family's needs. For more information about affording JCDS, please visit the Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Where do JCDS students go for their high school years? ➲

Students who graduate JCDS go on to many different high schools across Greater Boston. Whether they attend a Jewish or secular independent school or the public high school in their local town, our graduates find that their experience at JCDS prepares them well for wherever their journey may lead. For a more comprehensive list of the high schools and colleges our graduates attend, please visit the Life After JCDS page.

How old does my child need to be to enter Gan Nitzan (kindergarten)? ➲

We strongly prefer that children be five years old by September 1 in order to enter Gan Nitzan at JCDS. That said, throughout our holistic and comprehensive admissions process, our admissions team gets to know each prospective student individually and helps families to determine a child's readiness for Kindergarten. Please contact Karen Siegel, Director of Admissions, for more information.

What is the teacher-student ratio at JCDS? ➲

The teacher-student ratio at JCDS is 1:6. We strive to create an intimate environment for learning, With only one class per grade and two teachers per classroom, children are immersed in the small classroom environment at JCDS.

Does JCDS offer transportation? ➲

Yes! With the generous support of private donors, in addition to parent contributions, we have three bus routes: one serving Newton, one serving Cambridge and Somerville, and one serving Brookline. In addition to these buses, we have an extensive carpool network. JCDS can help parents get in contact with neighbors for carpooling.

In what ways does JCDS approach diversity? ➲

At JCDS, we believe there is a difference between existing in a diverse setting and actually engaging with difference. JCDS intentionally builds an environment in which students learn and practice the skills necessary to navigate difference and collaborate effectively. We also believe it is important to recognize the wealth of diversity that exists within the Jewish community. Our learning community reflects the widest possible range of religious, socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and diverse family structures. We cherish the opportunity to provide a welcoming and loving home in which our families support and challenge one another.

Does my child need to be Jewish to attend JCDS? ➲

JCDS welcomes any student who is being raised Jewishly. We have a broad understanding of what that looks like in practice, and we encourage you to contact our admissions office to explore your family's unique circumstances.

Where do most students live? ➲

JCDS is located in Watertown, convenient to most nearby towns. Students come to JCDS from as close as Newton and Watertown, and from as far as the South Shore. Most families currently live in Newton, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Lexington, Waltham, Brighton and Needham.

Can students with little/no Hebrew background transfer to JCDS? ➲

Yes! Our Zerem Program for welcoming transfer students focuses on Hebrew language integration. Students are provided strong support in Hebrew language during their first year at JCDS with the goal of transitioning into the normal flow of Hebrew language education during their second. We also make accommodations as students work to improve their Hebrew language proficiency. It is our goal to ensure that language is never a barrier to content, and that students can always access discussions and other activities that involve Hebrew sources.

How much homework should my child expect? ➲

JCDS is purposeful about only assigning homework that will thoughtfully advance a student's connection to the concepts being addressed in class. Our approach is guided by a growing accumulation of research that strongly suggests homework does not meaningfully impact a student's capacity to advance their comprehension in a given subject, nor is it the most productive use of a student's time at home. Instead, our objective is to offer limited homework so that students have time to enjoy other worthwhile and important pursuits, such as time with family and friends, and extracurricular activities.

In addition to encouraging students to read books of their choosing each evening at home, students will receive increasing amounts of homework over their time at JCDS. Our 8th graders report they will typically spend about an hour per night on their homework.

Let me share a glimpse into our JCDS community: I am sitting in the hadar ochel (Cafeteria) smelling the bubbling soup and freshly baked cookies our 8th graders made to sell during Parent-Teacher conferences to raise money for their class trip to New York. They shopped for all the ingredients themselves -- and they know how to do that because once a week, they walk to Russo's together as a class to buy lunch. They cooked and cleaned up while blasting music from Wicked. Now, they are going over homework together and dividing up Torah readings for an upcoming special service they are facilitating in honor of the past two years of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Soon, they will be joined by other kids and parents as an alumni parent leads Israeli dance in our gym. I can hear kids of all ages in the special After School program playing together, helping each other with homework, and calling cheerful greetings to teachers. One of my graduates is chatting with a former teacher. Some friends are meeting me here for a potluck dinner; other friends took my youngest for a sleepover. Really -- it is pretty special here.

Andrea, mother of five JCDS alumni