First day Admin

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year. We are looking forward to a great year ahead!

A Message from Yoni

Dear Parents:

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year, and thank you for reading The Roar !

This year, you and your children are going to see some exciting initiatives, many of which have a special focus on school culture and continuing to build and strengthen k ehilla, which means community. Over the coming weeks, you will receive information about each of these initiatives in a little more depth, but I wanted to share a few new things as a teaser of what's ahead...
  • All-School T'fillah (prayer, connection, personal and communal spirituality) . Wendy Goldberg, Assistant Director of Jewish Life, and our other educational leaders are working to transform the t'fillah experience at Heilicher. On Monday mornings, starting September 9, the whole school will experience t'fillah together. Please see Wendy's blog for more information about this exciting initiative.
  • All-School Lunch . Our already popular cross-grade all-school lunch experience on Fridays will now be slightly lengthened and include a Kabbalat Shabbat component. Each week in rotation, the students at one table will serve as "hosts" for Kabbalat Shabbat. You'll hear more about what that means and how you can be involved.
  • Kind, Safe, Responsible. אָדִיב (ah-DEEV),  בְּטִיחוּתִי (b'tee-hu-TEE),  אַחֲרַאִי(ah-rye-EE). These three terms  will be the foundation of our strong and caring school environment. This year, we will explore what these pillars mean in our hallways, in our classrooms, and at lunch and recess. Ask your children if they've heard these words and what they mean for them.
  • Security. Security of our students and staff is paramount. You may have noticed the new Welcome Desk outside the Dining Room. New sign-in procedures will help us track who is visiting the educational wing. Mike Woods, our plain-clothed security guard, will be back with us this year to help with enhanced security. These are two small pieces of our evolving security plan, developed in consultation with local and national experts, much of which we can not make public for obvious reasons. 
  • Heilicher '20, The Strategic Plan . This year, we will continue to develop STEAM (inquiry-based learning), and we will also build on the successes of our academic program with attention to Phonics in grades K-5, Social Studies curriculum, and a deeper integration of Jewish Studies standards across grades.
  • Strategic Financial Plan . The Board of Trustees has engaged in a new strategic financial planning process. Over the coming months, we will provide opportunities for you to engage and learn about how the broader community and Heilicher are working together to build the school's sustainable future. One related thing you might notice is that we are transitioning from a period of heavy investment in starting-up brand new programs (e.g. new Makerspace, STEAM) to a period of sustaining and deepening these programs. Furthermore, when staff leave, we may choose to utilize resources which already exist at the school to fill roles either temporarily or long-term as in-house resources become available and are no longer needed for starting up new programs. For example, when our part-time librarian Lysa Shimkus took a full-time position elsewhere at the end of last school year, we decided to use in-house staffing to keep the library program up and running as we figure out the best, more permanent staffing solution. This is also true of our Heilicher health office. For the past several years, we have staffed the health office with a combination of St. Louis Park nursing resources and parent professional Gail Freedman. This year, we will still have a St. Louis Park nurse on-site for limited hours, and have decided to use in-house staff to support the health office at other times. You will see a number of other strategies as we embark on the Board's multi-year, multi-pronged strategic financial plan, including exploring shared community resources and continuing to build our endowment.
  • Much, much more! Join us for Opening Ceremonies tomorrow to welcome our 44 new students. Come to Back-To-School Night on Thursday, September 5, to learn all about what is happening in our school.
There are so many exciting things happening at Heilicher, and I genuinely hope you see the impact of these new initiatives at home and at school. We look forward to seeing you at upcoming school events.

An early Shabbat Shalom ,

Yoni Binus
Head of School
Mark your Calendars
Upcom ing School Events
  • Friday, August 30, 2:30 p.m., Heilicher Opening Ceremonies
  • Monday, September 2, Labor Day, NO SCHOOL 
  • Thursday, September 5, Back-to-School Night, 6:30-9 p.m. 
  • Monday, September 9 - Friday, September 20, MAP TESTING, Grades 3-8
  • Thursday, September 12, Parents-Only Happy Hour, 6:30 p.m., The Yardhouse at the West End
  • Tuesday, September 17, Save-the-Date: Parent "CyberCivics" Education Program with Diana Graber
Heilicher Attendance & Tardiness Reminder

Heilicher recognizes that daily attendance is very important to academic achievement. We are committed to supporting and working with students and families to be able to achieve school success, which includes closely monitoring attendance and planning accordingly in case of absence. Please review our attendance and tardiness policy in the Heilicher Handbook. 
Heilicher Opening Ceremonies  

We invite you to attend our Opening Ceremonies on Friday, August 30 at 2:30 p.m. in the Manny Fingerhut Auditorium as we celebrate the start of the new school year. During this special assembly, new Heilicher students will be escorted into the auditorium by our current eighth graders. New students will be officially welcomed to the Heilicher community. For those wanting the photo opportunities for this milestone, there will be a special paparazzi section for you!
ABC Books
Heilicher Back-to-School Night

Back-to-School Night on Thursday, September 5, is your chance to meet your children's teachers, get excited for the year to come, and learn about the wonderful things happening at Heilicher. 

K-5 Parents: Please be in your youngest child's homeroom at 6:30 p.m., ready to reconnect and have fun. Your evening will conclude in the auditorium at 7:45 p.m.

6-8 Parents: Please join us in the auditorium by 7:15 p.m. as we welcome you to Middle School at Heilicher. Following some important messages from our administration, you'll join your child's faculty for a grade-level experience. The evening will conclude by 8:30 p.m.

Please note this is a parent-only event.
Lower School Electives Registration (Grades 1-5) 

Each Wednesday afternoon all first through fifth grade Heilicher students will participate in elective classes. The first trimester of Lower School Electives will run September 11 through November 20. Please look at the options in the form and rank your student's first, second, third and fourth choice, by writing a 1, 2, 3 or 4 in the box next to your selections.  Be sure the class is available for your child's grade level. First come, first served! For the class to run, a large number of students must participate. Please make sure the form is completed NO LATER than Thursday, September 5
Sign Up Now for Fall Conferences - September 26 and 27

Heilicher Fall Conferences will be held on Thursday, September 26, from 12-4 p.m. and 5-8 p.m., and Friday, September 27, from 8-11 a.m.  Note: No conferences from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday to allow teachers to have a dinner break.

Sign up for fall conference times. If you have students in grades K-6, please make sure to sign up with your child(ren)'s General Studies, Hebrew, and Judaic Studies teachers. Those with students in grades 7-8 should sign up for a one-hour block of time during which you will meet with each of your child(ren)'s teachers.

**Reminder: If you are signing up for conferences with more than one teacher or signing up for conferences for multiple children, be sure to look for the "Register for multiple conferences" button to help coordinate your times. 

  • Grades K-2 Conferences are PARENTS ONLY.
  • Grades 3-8 Conferences should involve both parents and children. 
Note that there will be an EARLY DISMISSAL (11:30 a.m.) on Thursday, and NO SCHOOL on Friday (see Fall School's Out Programming info below).

Questions? Contact the Front Desk
Registration Open for School's Out Programs During Conferences 

Early-bird pricing will be closing for Fall Conferences: School's Out programming on Thursday, September 5. Registration fills up fast; register today on  Your student(s) won't want to miss this! 

Thursday, September 26: Outdoor Fun and Games at Heilicher
Programming runs from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

Friday, September 27: Field trip to Big Thrill Factory-Minnetonka!
Programming runs from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Grades 4-8 Band Registration

The 88 Notes Concert Bands (formerly Encore Ensembles) is leading Heilicher's band program this year. Students in grades 4-8 are invited to join band, no prior music experience required. Mr. Sean Prichard is returning to teach lessons and direct the bands. Fourth-grade students will have an opportunity to meet Mr. Prichard and try out instruments during music class on September 9. Registration is due by September 20. Band lessons will begin Wednesday, October 2, and Thursday, October 3. Feel free to contact Mr. Prichard with any questions. 
yardhouse logo
Join Us for a Parent Happy Hour 

Come kick-off the new school year with other parents from our Heilicher community on  Thursday, September 12, 6:30 p.m., at Yard House in St. Louis Park. This will be a great way to catch up after summer as well as meet new parents. We hope you can make it! RSVP to  Ali Berdass by Monday, September 9.
Dining Room Menus & All-Inclusive Lunch 

Already tired of packing a cold lunch? Hot lunch menus are available online  for the start of the school year.

Lunch Pricing-Two Options 

$5.75/lunch for K-8 and adults 
(Lunch would cost $940/year at this price.) 

Annual pricing discounts (divided into 11 monthly installments): 
  • $725/year K-Grade 5 (@$4.45/lunch) 
  • $825/year Grades 6-8 (@$5.05/lunch)
The all-inclusive program includes daily lunch for an entire year. The annual fee will be billed in monthly installments to the family's Heilicher account on file (not through MSA). Contact the Finance Office to sign up .
MAP Testing for Grades 3-8 

Dear Heilicher Parents and Guardians,

While we are a school built on the commitment to assess and educate the whole child, we look to standardized assessments to provide us with a snapshot of a student's basic skills along with other forms of assessment. This spring your student will take the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) test. This is a norm-referenced assessment that provides teachers with an opportunity to understand a student's skills. Taking the MAP test in the spring gives teachers another opportunity to monitor student progress over time and provide data. This additional data results in a better understanding of student strengths and needs. 

Fall MAP testing will take place on  September 9-20Your child(ren)'s classroom teacher or advisor will communicate specific tests dates and times. Please reach out to your child(ren)'s classroom teacher or advisor with questions.

It is important to encourage healthy eating and sleeping habits during  testing  weeks. Please avoid scheduling appointments during  testing .

The MAP tests help bolster the informal and qualitative assessments that classroom teachers use. Here are some highlights of the MAP assessment:
  • MAP is a computerized assessment (similar to the SAT or GRE) that adapts to a student's answers. If a student answers a question correctly, the test presents a more challenging item. If a student misses a question, MAP offers a simpler item. In this way, the test narrows in on students' learning levels, engaging them with content that allows them to succeed.
  • At Heilicher, MAP is given each fall and spring to assess growth and skill development.
  • Recommendations are provided for skills that need additional practice, reinforcement, as well as enrichment.
  • MAP is aligned with state and national standards.
  • There are no time limits for students during MAP testing.

Heilicher MAP Administrators
Maia Poling, Associate Head of School
Andrea Hansen, School Counselor
Christine Yussen, Student Services Coordinator

Challah Orders 
August and September challah order forms are available. Please return to the Heilicher Office.

Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School