Monday, July 27, 2009

A new school year commences, August 2009

August 2009
Tammuz 5769

Welcome to the start of another school year, which begins on Monday August 24th for the Lower and Upper schools, Monday August 31st for the ECE.

Our goal every year is to raise the standard of education, both secular and Jewish, that we provide for your children, and this year is no exception. While we continue to introduce and train our staff to use the new technologies, we are also introducing Spanish to our curriculum, a recognition of the changing demographic in the Jewish community in North Miami Beach. For those for whom English is their first language, it will be an opportunity to learn the language of their Spanish-speaking friends; and for the Spanish speakers, the majority of whom have only learned to speak but not to read and write, it will be a chance to gain a full and formal knowledge of their first language. We will introduce Spanish in K, 1 and 6 this year, and then extend it in the years ahead.

You may already have seen our wonderful new website; if you haven’t, take a look, and bookmark it in your computer for easy access, because from this year we are going to be using the website as our principal means of communication. The pages for the 3 schools are in the drop-down menu titled ‘Education’, and include a page which the Parents Association will be using for their information and communication. While some fliers will still go home on paper, we are trying to be as green as possible, so expect to receive e-mails that contain little more than a hyperlink to the website; and of course, the beauty of this is not only saving paper, but the archiving of fliers so you can easily find again those registration or donation or permission forms you thought you’d lost.

The High Holiday festivals this year fall just four weeks after the start of term, three for the ECE. Almost all will be at the weekend, so school will not be seriously disrupted, but it is very important that the children use those first few weeks to establish the routines and disciplines that will make them successful throughout the whole year. Please check your school calendar for the festival days when we are either closed or have early dismissals, and make sure you have noted other significant occasions. We will be running our regular High Holiday Children’s Program on both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur; sign your children up, and join us in the Sanctuary.

I wish you and your children a happy and successful school year. One year on since I joined the staff at Temple Sinai, I feel I have begun to get to know many of our families reasonably well, but one of my personal goals for the coming year is to begin to get to know all our families very well. Please find an opportunity to come and talk to me, whether informally when you are dropping off or picking up your child, or visiting the Temple for any other reason, or formally by making an appointment to see me; the school office will be happy to make the necessary arrangements. For day-to-day issues affecting your child in school, please address your child’s teacher directly first of all, or speak to your Campus Principal.

David Prashker

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