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Day Schools in Connecticut: An Update

Connecticut is home to nine Jewish day schools and seven Jewish high schools and pre-college yeshivot, — all working to provide a high level of education in both secular and Judaic studies.

As the new school year approaches, the Ledger checked in with the schools to see find out about the new and exciting programs that will greet students in just a few weeks.

NOTE: Schools that are included here as listings only did not report back to the Ledger by press time.

DAY SCHOOLS

Bess & Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy
Preschool – Grade 8
53 Gabb Road, Bloomfield
(860) 243-8333
sigelacademy.org
Rabbi Eliott Feldman, Principal

School ha chess

Chess is a popular extracurricular activity at the Bess & Paul Sigel Hebrew Academy.

Students and teachers use Chromebook technology to supplement the study of Bible and Jewish history, as well as language arts, social studies, science, and math. Each student has a Google Drive, which is used for individual and joint class projects. Additionally, through this platform, when other schools were closed for “snow days” this winter, the Hebrew Academy had “shovel days,” with teachers having the ability to share the day with students, thus not skipping an academic beat.

Debuting this fall is an “Imagination Station.” This “maker space” will enable students to work independently or in groups with different media, such as electronics, food, wood and metal. Playful Pals Playgroup, the school’s highly successful free program for children under five and their caretakers, will continue again this year.

 

Bi-Cultural Day School
Preschool – Grade 8
2186 High Ridge Road, Stamford
Jacqueline Herman, Principal and Head of School
bcds.org

Among the changes this year, is the addition of seven new staff-members: Michael Dreimiller, middle school science and mathematics; Rabbi Uri Grosberg, middle school Jewish studies; Lauren Hazony, elementary school Jewish studies; Jessica Niedober, early childhood/elementary school; Helena Raffel, middle school English/social studies; Talia Siscovick, middle school Jewish studies; and Elana Trombka, middle school Jewish studies. Also, Rabbi Eli Kohl, the incoming rabbi of Young Israel of Stamford, will bring insights, spirit, and his guitar to the school-wide morning Tefilla, as well as teach Judaic studies in the middle school. In addition, Bi-Cultural will be welcoming Lior and Chaim Helman and their family as the new Israeli shlichim (emmisaries).

Bi-Cultural is building upon its popular lunchtime and learning program, available to students in grades K-8, which includes chess classes, a Chesed Club, Student Council, and a middle-school study hall.

This year, Bi-Cultural is adding more options to its extensive afterschool program, which already includes a wide variety of sports activities as well as clubs and programs for other interests. New choices include wresting, volleyball, and soccer teams, as well as Lego programs, violin study, an a cappella singing group, and gymnastics for the younger students.

Bi-Cultural’s popular theater program will go into full force at the start of the school year as auditions are held for the annual musical performance. This year, Bi-Cultural students will be performing The Wizard of Oz, with students working on stage and behind the scenes.

 

Carmel Academy
Transitional Kindergarten – Grade 8
270 Lake Ave., Greenwich
(203) 863-9663
carmelacademy.com
Nora Anderson, Head of School

carmel butterfly

Carmel Academy kindergartners welcome guests to their “Israeli shuk.”

This year, Carmel Academy started its new Transitional Kindergarten program. Headed by veteran early childhood educator Julie Thaler, this pre-kindergarten program’s project-based curriculum will follow the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) as well as the Bank Street and Reggio Emilia approaches to teaching.

The school also has planned several events and programs open to the wider community, including an open house for prospective families on Sunday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.- noon; and a Preschool Holiday Happening Series for preschoolers and their parents that begins with a Sukkot Science program on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m. The free series runs October through March and gives preschool children an animated and hands-on opportunity to learn alongside Carmel’s kindergarten children.

Carmel will expand the year-long engineering course that it offered for the first time last year to select eighth graders to include the entire grade this upcoming academic year. The school’s latest STEM offering expands upon Carmel Academy’s E2K and SET3 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics enrichment programs, in which Carmel’s students have won multiple regional, national, and international awards.

Thanks to a Better Together grant, the school will expand its integrated chesed program, enabling the school’s seventh graders to be part of a year-long intergenerational book club with seniors from the local community. Carmel will also be expanding its Chanoch LaNa’ar values-based character-development program, as well as continuing to integrate its acclaimed brit middot values covenant into the daily life of the school.

During the 2015-16 academic year, the school’s faculty will participate in professional development led by two renowned child-development experts, learning about the concept of executive function skills as they relate to student academic success. Carmel has also been invited by the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York to take part in a new initiative to develop rabbinics curriculum standards and benchmarks.

 

ezra science

Ezra Academy 6th-graders learn about chemistry in science class.

Ezra Academy
K – Grade 8
75 Rimmon Road, Woodbridge
(203) 389-5500
ezraacademyct.org
Dr. Melanie Waynik, Head of School

This year, Ezra is celebrating its 50th birthday with a host of different activities, including a Gala and Golf Classic. Ezra is also beginning a new program with local senior centers in the area, in which the school will create intergenerational programming that allow young and old to learn from one another.

 

Solomon Schechter Academy
660 Ocean Ave., New London
(860) 443-5589
ssa-newlondon.org
Barbara Wolfe, Head of School

Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford
Preschool through Grade 8
26 Buena Vista Road, West Hartford
(860) 561-0700
ssds-hartford.org
Andrea R.C. Kasper, Head of School

SSDS experiment

The STEM program in action at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford.

New for 2015-16: Schechter is a partner school with Facing History and Ourselves, an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.

In addition, the school’s Maker-Space will get a new 3-D printer and our Language Arts program is being enhanced.

 

Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy
Preschool – Grade 8
261 Derby Ave., Orange
(203) 795-5261
schacademy.org
Rabbi Sheya Hecht, Head of School
Rabbi Enan Francis, Principal

school SCHA preschool

Southern CT Hebrew Academy pre-schoolers.

The big news at Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy (SCHA) is growth. SCHA has 260 students registered to begin school on Aug. 31 – which translates into two sections of each preschool level, including kindergarten. It is the first time the school has had two sections of a day school class in many years.

The school will launch an updated website in August.

 

Yeshiva K’tana
Preschool – Grade 8
32 Hillside Ave., Waterbury
(203) 528-4147
Rabbi Yehuda Brecher, Principal, Boys’ Division
Penina Noy, Principal, Girls’ Division

Yeshiva K’tana has expanded the school’s in-house resource room and has appointed Rabbi Shalom Rohr, PhD, to launch its new Learning Center, aimed at coordinating all the various needs of learning differentiated students.

Our extra-curricular forecast includes all-new and exciting programs to complement and enhance the learning, personal growth and development in our school.

To accommodate the Yeshiva K’tana’s rapid growth – it has been hailed as one of the country’s fastest growing schools – the school is now in the process of enhancing and expanding its existing building.

Yeshiva of New Haven
Pre-K – Grade 8
765 Elm St., New Haven
(203) 777-2200
yeshivanewhaven.org
Rebbetzin Sarah Greer, Principal

 

HIGH SCHOOLS

Hebrew High School of New England
300 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford
(860) 231-0317
hhne.org
Rabbi Jeremy Bruce, Head of School

201412018:  Hebrew HS of New England.  (Shana Sureck Photography)

English teacher Daniel Page engages Hebrew High School of New England students in discussion.

A significant amount of work has been devoted to overhauling HHNE’s schedule, allowing for the appointment of more full-time staff.

Some of the staff additions include: Rabbi Willie and Estee Balk to our Judaic Studies department. Rabbi Balk will teach a variety of Talmud and Torah courses while also developing HHNE’s co-curricular Judaic Studies program. The Balks will also be working with NCSY to expand their programs in the region. Deborah Carroll, who joins the English faculty, was previously an English teacher at West Hartford’s Kingswood Oxford School and has also served as English faculty chair at the Gann Academy in Waltham, Mass.

In the academic sphere, HHNE will add a greater number of Advanced Placement (AP) examinations — including physics, and government and politics – to its complement of existing AP and college level courses already offered at the school. The appointment of the school’s first-ever dedicated music teacher will mean expanded opportunities for those interested in music.

HHNE staff are working with Bonim B’Yachad [online learning platform] to enhance the school’s Talmud curriculum with a range of blended and online learning modules. Bonim B’Yachad will also give the

Talmud department the opportunity to train and work with some of the top Talmud educators in Israel.

HHNE will also expand its community service and social action program to include increased opportunities for our students to work with a number of Jewish and non-Jewish charities and community organizations in the Greater Hartford area as well as Greater New Haven and Western Massachusetts. Students will be encouraged to integrate their academic knowledge with Jewish principles of serving others and the environment to build leadership skills, take initiative, and shape the world around them.

 

JHSCT class

Jewish High School of CT’s award-winning STEM program teaches students to apply scientific principles to the practical world.

Jewish High School of Connecticut
1937 West Main St., Stamford
(203) 357-0850
jhsct.org
Rabbi Elisha Paul, Head of School
Dr. Paul Castle, Principal

This year, the Jewish High School of CT (JHSC) will offer a newly-expanded gifted program. The school is also in the process of accrediting some of its general studies classes to get college credit with the University of Connecticut; and this year the school is partnering with a neighboring learning support service to expand the breadth of students we serve.

 

Yeshiva Ateres Shmuel of Waterbury
Mesivta High School

Boys, grades 9 – 12
47 Buckingham St., Waterbury
(203) 756-1800
yasw.org
Rabbi Daniel Kalish, Rosh Yeshiva

 

school beth chana at tower one

Beth Chana Academy girls visit Tower one/Tower East.

Beth Chana Academy High School
Girls, grades 9 – 12
261 Derby Ave., Orange
(203) 795-5261
schacademy.org
Rabbi Sheya Hecht, Head of School

Beth Chana, which will have its first graduating high school class since 2011, will relocate to a brand new module classroom and office space to accommodate the school’s growth.

The school will launch an updated website in August.

 

Yeshiva of New Haven Boys’ Mesivta
Grades 9 – 12
765 Elm St., New Haven
(203) 777-7199
yeshivanewhaven.org
Rabbi Avi Hack, Menahel (head of school)

 

Yeshiva Bais Binyomoin / Mesivta Bais Pinchos Sholom
Boys, Grades 9-12
132 Prospect St., Stamford
(203) 325-4351
baisbinyomin.org

 

Yeshivas Beis Dovid Shlomo
Boys, grades 9-12
292 Norton Parkway, New Haven
(203) 789-4571
ybdsnewhaven.org
Rabbi Menachem Kalmanson, Rosh Yeshiva, 
Rabbi Yosef Lustig, Menahel

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