At PJA we love celebrating holidays! We dress up on Purim and enjoy a carnival and a hilarious student shpiel (play). Every day during Hanukkah we light candles together during carpool, and enjoy the lingering smell of oil in the hallways knowing every class has taken their turn making latkes. One of the most challenging aspects of virtual learning is transferring our beloved holiday traditions into a virtual world.
The start of the new school year is among my very favorite times of year, and this year is no different. However, the expression “back to school” sounds rather odd this year. When we talk about going “back to school,” we usually think about returning. Returning to a space that is familiar.
Three months ago, almost to the day, our lives and our school pivoted in ways we could never have imagined. Purim was among our last days in school.
In reflecting on our current landscape, the word juxtaposition comes to mind. While many of us may feel stagnant in our day-to-day routines, we are surrounded by polarity.
It feels a bit daunting, I’ll admit, to write a blog post thanking teachers for everything they are doing right now to support our PJA students. The eyes of society are always glancing at our profession - sometimes squinting narrowly, focused and scrutinizing.
I am an eternal optimist, and I know that our school and our community will come through this even stronger than before. These days, I often find myself thinking about what positive changes might come from our current situation. Here are a few of my musings.
We are excited to announce that our early childhood classrooms will be beginning a new initiative. The new program is often referred to as “Family Style Dining” and will begin during snack times in some of our classrooms. Our pilot program will be introduced in one classroom from each age group. We hope after a successful pilot program that we will introduce this program to all classrooms...
As we prepare to work more deeply in the area of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), I look back at the Diversity Statement our community drafted a few years ago when we began to embark more seriously on this work. We have always (PJA) prided ourselves on being a community Jewish day school that welcomes all.
Every school wants their tefillah program to be meaningful, relevant and joyful across the grade levels. We all hope our students will have the skills they need to participate actively in tefillah, but we also want them to relate to, understand, and connect to the words they are saying.
Using “loose parts” is one way that young children express languages. Loose parts include both natural and manufactured materials that can be moved, combined, and taken apart in a variety of ways. There are an abundance of natural and manufactured materials for children to play with and manipulate.