The Yeshiva Har Torah Education Committee is a group of lay leaders, representing various communities and grade levels within the school. They meet regularly during the school year with the administration, in an advisory capacity, about matters impacting students’ educational experience. The current list of members is here:
The Education Committee met last week. The topics addressed were as follows:
Wellness Initiative Update
Given the amount of time students spend in school and the impact the school can have in the health habits of our students, YHT started a wellness initiative with the help of some parents. This was kicked off through faculty workshops, including a presentation by a nutritionist. A wellness committee was formed with parents and faculty. Cohen Children’s Medical Center residents come in to teach students the importance of nutrition through engaging, interactive lessons and activities. The PTA held an event on how to make healthy eating happen at home. School policy changes were made and food at celebrations in school were also examined.
Cognitive Screening FAQ Sheet
Dr. Feinberg presented the development of a FAQ sheet to explain the cognitive screening process to parents. Every child entering 1st grade or transferring into YHT from another school, undergoes a cognitive screening to obtain a snapshot of how the child is doing verbally, non-verbally, in terms of social interaction, etc… Pieces of the report are shared with teachers, as needed. It is not considered part of a child’s academic record, although parents receive the report in its entirety.
IDEAS Initiative and Conference
This is a competitive program in which 150 multi denominational Jewish day schools from across the country were considered. 10 strong schools were accepted to form the core group to develop standards of sustainability (admissions, recruitment, and fundraising) to serve as examples for other Jewish day schools. This is an 18 month program in which each team (comprised of 5 professional and lay leaders) from each school must attend three conferences, and about 70 hours of ‘coaching’ in different areas. This includes two grants that are to be used on areas related to the coaching. The first conference was in Dallas in January. It had many sessions on each of the topics and time for schools to share best practices. The next conference is in July, then again at the beginning of 2020.
Addition of 3:45 dismissals this year
Additional 3:45 dismissals were added to allow for professional development, in order to help maintain a shared learning model among the 90-100 faculty. The professional development sessions are not new, but now allow for more cohesive sessions with the entire staff. Over the past few years, YHT has embraced themes that can be worked on at each of the grade levels, such as collaborative problem, effective questioning strategies and Responsive Classroom
Update on Curriculum Night - Literacy
A lay and professional committee was formed to plan for Literacy Curriculum night. The committee met with Mrs. Lermer (the literacy coordinator), Rabbi Menchel, Ms. Kletenik and Mrs. Duani fine-tuned what will be presented at the curriculum night. The three areas of focus will be reading, writing, and word study. The structure will be hands-on experiential learning where parents will rotate through three centers,and experience what it is like to learn literacy at YHT.
Whole School Innovation Project Update (ICLE)
This is a grant that four schools received through the JEP last year,in which a consultant comes into the school to complete a full evaluation, and provided recommendations for how to improve school performance. We are currently in the second year of the grant which includes a year of our administration working with consultants and faculty participating in professional development workshops from ICLE. There are eight consultant visits over the course of the year. Based on the report, YHT decided to focus on rigor this year.