WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR …. (and, Looking forward to the Next)

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost half-way over.  How did the time fly by so fast?

In retrospect, we feel this way every year. But, for some reason, this year feels a bit different. Maybe it’s due to the tremendous volume of successful educational programs and high impact initiatives which we undertook …. in addition to a year jam-packed with significant strategic planning, priority-setting and a re-accreditation processes. These are all in addition to the tremendous positive feedback we have received (and are receiving) from our parent body, and the community at-large.

As we know, the confluence of running a school and planning for its future, occupies a tremendous amount of energy, focus, due diligence and synergy. It also requires an inordinate amount of quality time and leadership.

When reflecting upon the accomplishments of this past year, I am somewhat reticent to list all the inspiring General Studies programs and academic accomplishments (stay tuned for Rabbi Yossie Denburg’s 2018-19 Year-End Report). Instead, I will share some of our thinking and vision moving forward.

First and foremost, not unlike other effective Jewish day schools, our faculty are key to providing quality education at HACS. To this end, we are so proud of the fact that many of our teachers this summer volunteered to augment their professional development! This engagement will continue to intensify this coming school year as we begin to create new “professional development portfolios,” opportunities and initiatives for each of our faculty individually and collectively.

As we move into next year, we will offer an expanded and integrated STEM program beginning in 4th grade; create an advanced math track beginning in 3rd grade; and intensify our services to students with exceptionalities. In line with this commitment, we will begin to create a new “Honors Track” in Math with the goal of challenging and pushing our students to reach their fullest potential. G-d willing, the following year there will be an Honors Track in Language Arts as well.

Also expect an expanded Digital Citizenship Program to ensure the highest standards for appropriate/safe use of technology and social media. We will also continue to review and assess our school’s internal technology capacity which will enhance the quality of classroom teaching.

In addition, all individual MAP (Measuring Academic Progress) scores will be included in our student progress reports and report cards to parents. This will afford parents the opportunity to be more fully informed and aware of their children’s growth in Math and in Language Arts and where their child ranks compared to the national level.

Finally, beyond these important robust proposed initiatives, we will continue to invite parents to become full partners in their children’s education through Webinars, parent-teacher conferences; email “check-ins” as well as one-on-one consultations, when warranted. We will also be inviting parents to volunteer to participate in specific school programs and to serve as ambassadors for our school.

Note: At the end of school, we sent every HACS parent a summer home review packet. For some students, it was part of our regular summer review process; for others, it contained mandatory school work which must be completed to ensure a successful transition into the next grade. 

We respectfully ask all parents to please engage their children in their continued summer learning. It’s a wonderful time to enrich your child’s depth and breadth of knowledge as well as to enhance your child’s academic skills.

In closing, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our faculty for their outstanding instructional leadership and for inspiring our students to be the best they can be. I would also thank the entire HACS Administration for their unswerving support – and, a special thank you to our Head of School, Morah Rivkie Denburg; to our Dean, Rabbi Yossi Denburg; and to the HACS Judaic Studies Principal, Rabbi Sheinberger – true partners and educational leaders.

With warm wishes for a healthy, safe, enjoyable and productive summer break. 

See you all in September, IY”H!

Dr. B.