Checklist, By Chaim Heller, Head of School
Every year our faculty reviews the school program and then develops plans for improvement. As our school year draws to a close in two weeks, I’d like to share with you the progress made on the initiatives for this year and share some ideas for next year.
√ We committed to improving social interaction among our students and families and had a successful SDJA Shabbat in the beginning of the year and an SDJA Chanukah evening in people’s homes in December.
√ After months of planning, we celebrated our double-chai anniversary and honored our founders and ourselves with a wonderful, memorable night of celebration.
√ We introduced uniforms in the Golda Meir Lower School and were gratified by the improved decorum and respect among our students.
√ With student input, we redesigned our library to enable our Maimonides Upper School students to have a center for quiet work, comfortable chairs and group planning throughout the day.
√ After months of planning by our faculty, we held our first annual Israel Week at SDJA in January with all-things-Israel being at the center of the classes and guest concerts that week.
√ We introduced the innovative Hartman Institute curriculum to our high school students, with classes held on Sunday morning throughout the year.
√ After a year of planning, we introduced Engineering and Bio-Medical Engineering classes into our high school, and they were highly successful by all measures.
√ We brought a full commitment to the Singapore Math curriculum into grades K-8 and we expect improved results both in test scores (available this summer) and in student achievement.
√ We raised the funds needed for the largest capital improvement project in the past 8 years – the Science Laboratories Modernization Project – with construction to begin the week of June 13th so we can complete the work by opening day, August 22.
√ We appointed a new Head of School for the MUS, Mike Quigley, and have seen both morale and academic achievement improve.
Next year we will introduce our new “Institutes” concept, which are akin to students being able to “major” in three different areas of studies: Judaics, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Creative Writing and the Arts. We look forward to sharing more details in August.
Have a meaningful Memorial Day. Our next issue of Kolot will be our last for the year, on June 5th.