What is Happenings?
Welcome to the first issue of SDJA's Happenings ! This will be a weekly roundup of feel-good stories and visuals about our families, students, academics and community. Since the campus will be closed until May 29, Happenings is another great way for us all to connect. And, remember to always check our FAQ for key information during shelter-in-place. 

We also want to hear from you! If you would like to contribute a story, picture or other media to a future issue of Happenings, please reach out to our marketing team at Marketing@sdja.com

In this issue:
What does remote learning look like at SDJA?
Even though we're not physically together, SDJA continues to deliver our full curricula to students remotely in meaningful, enriching ways that reflect our mission to further Academic Excellence, Social Responsibility, and Active Jewish Living.  At the same time, community remains an integral part of the SDJA experience--now more than ever. Our Shabbat and holiday celebrations, music classes, Zumba classes, meetings with our guidance counselor and support services are all now done remotely. 

Through this challenging period, we are adapting and growing together, carrying out our vision to challenge minds, inspire purpose, and explore possibilities.  Here's what this looks like:

This is what our students have been working on at home. Passover artwork, thank you notes to our first responders and so much more.

SDJA HomeTalks Podcast 
Welcome to our new podcast called SDJA HomeTalks.  Every week we will bring you segments created and performed by SDJA students. We will share music, opinions, news and more for your listening pleasure. That's right- no video, just audio! So push away from that screen and listen in.

Check out the first three episodes here
Live from Levana's Garden, Executive Chef, Giselle Wellman, teaches us about gardening and cooking.

Hello SDJA! A message from our SDJA Coaching Staff.
A Word From Our Heads of School
Teachers are always learning about the most effective ways to meet students' needs, especially with remote learning platforms. On Wednesday afternoon, teachers will have professional development for this exact purpose, and they will let your children know how it might impact their schedule that day.
ECC Update
By Yael Edelstein, Head of Early Childhood Center

My utmost respect goes to the ECC teachers who pivoted in an incredibly short amount of time to create a rich  virtual  learning environment for our ECC students. We are now offering our youngest learners (9 months-5 years old) daily zoom meetings, weekly newsletters with a myriad of suggested activities, daily Facebook videos of the teachers teaching a skill, weekly personalized and one-on-one zoom meetings with the P4/PK students and BY, as well as and weekly emails/phone calls from the teachers and/or Administrative staff. In addition, we introduced Spanish in our daily class zoom meetings. We also continue our tradition of celebrating Shabbat in our weekly Friday Shabbat Sing-a-longs led by Anita. The ECC engages with their families and continues to support them during this time. We work hard to meld together academic learning  with  fostering our relationships with our  children  and their families, and thank them all for their  continued support. 
GMLS Update
By Kelley King, Head of Lower School 

I'd like to start by acknowledging you, mom and dad - For the many hats you are wearing and the many challenges you are encountering with having young children at home during this time of remote learning. You are a key facilitator of your child's education now while juggling all of your other responsibilities in an environment of uncertainty and without the support systems you're used to having. The importance of our partnership with you has never been so great.   At GMLS, with students ranging in age from 5 to 12 years old, distance learning is a unique experience for each child and each family. GMLS's hallmark commitment to personalization serves our students well every day - and now more so than ever. Personalization comes in both familiar and new forms in the frontier of remote learning as we strive to meet the needs of every child and every family.  Rabbi Jonathan Sacks says,  " (Gratitude) reminds us of how dependent we are on others and on a Force greater than ourselves." Our interdependence as a community has never come into sharper focus. I am grateful to be working hand-in-hand with you and welcome your continued collaboration.
MUS Update
By Mike Quigley, Head of Upper School

With the roll out of a redesigned schedule in the MUS after passover break, Wednesday afternoons are now dedicated to pod and various student life opportunities. In addition to pod sessions, the high school book club, fitness sessions, clubs, and student government committee meetings will be in the  ZOOM space  for the remainder of the year. The long tradition of robust collaboration with students and faculty led to rethinking our school week and inserting some aspects of upper school normalcy in our virtual MUS experience. 
This week at SDJA
Lower school and preschool families celebrating Yom Ha'atzmaut at a distance with a drive-through parade in the school's parking lot. Cars were adorned with decorations, Israeli flags, balloons and more bringing life to the simcha even within  the confines of our new reality! Click here for the full photo gallery. 

Check out the upper school presentations for Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'atzmaut! 


8:00-8:45pm 5th-6th grade Puberty and Reproductive Health Parent Program
5/6 10:00-10:40am Mindful and Conscious Parenting
5/12 10:00-10:40am How to Create your Parenting Mission Statement with Amy Scher- Exploring Jewish Values and Personal Characteristic development to prioritize your intentions in parenting.
5/13 6:45pm Virtual Hebrew Ulpan- Beginner level taught by Morah Shira. Intermediate level taught by Noam Shmueli. Please RSVP to Karen Breziner to confirm your participation.
5/14 4pm SDJA Virtual Challah Bake- Please join us on Zoom for a family baking night led by our very own, Chef Giselle Wellman and Rabbi David Frank. 
5/19 8:00-8:40am Mindful and Conscious Parenting
Some Good News 

San Diego Jewish Academy parents were featured in local news today for work they are doing to help first responders. Check out the story on  NBC San Diego

The Del Mar Times write up, "San Diego Jewish Academy parents team up to get meals to hospital and first responders."

Check SDJA out on Page 27 of this month's issue of the San Diego Jewish Journal
A Moment of Gratitude 
What are SDJA parents saying about remote learning?
"We wanted to send a thank you for all you are doing to create normalcy during this chaotic time. You all should be very proud of the work you have put out. We feel so appreciative to have assignments daily that are thoughtful and creative. Our children have been on task and we know that we have had the full support of our teachers with check ins daily in so many ways. I have even more appreciation for their 4 amazing teachers AND all their specials teachers too!  I have never felt more appreciative of this wonderful community and support. With the added pressure of all the families needing your support, you each have risen to the challenge with what seems like incredible ease (although I know behind the scenes it must be difficult)."
"I wanted to take a second to express my heartfelt gratitude for all of your efforts to put together such a comprehensive, complete and clear program for distance learning, especially on such short notice! What I thought would be a daunting and hard to implement situation turned out to be a godsend- our day was occupied with productive and interest-grabbing activities. I found the outline of assignments easy to follow, and the instructional videos and stories made it dynamic and exciting for my child to see his teachers on screen. I just wanted to make sure you got the recognition you so highly deserve.  Thank you for making this situation much more tolerable and less stress inducing." 
Support SDJA 
Support San Diego Jewish Academy while you shop! Simply click the links to several retailers below and SDJA will earn up to 5% of your purchase as a charitable donation. If you do not see your favorite stores, please let us know and we will be sure to add them for you!
Macy's     Nordstrom     Target     Expedia    Wine.com       Neiman Marcus
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