Thursday, June 21, 2007


Teacher Magazine is featuring this article on the value of single sex education for high school girls. While single sex education is clearly a halachic value in our community, I was wondering to what degree our community also ascribes to the socio-educational benefits alluded to in this article (amongst many others).

Summer Break for Teachers?

Renne Moore, a high school English teacher in Mississippi, argues in her blog post (for those new to blogs, references to other websites will always be hyperlinked, so that clicking right on it will take you to the site to which I am referring) that the difference between an average teacher and an excellent teacher is often reflected in their summer plans. Although personally I think downtime is incredibly important and the need for educators and administrators to refresh and rejuvenate can not be underestimated, Moore's contention is certainly thought provoking. At the very least, the list she has compiled of what master teachers are doing during their summers, provides us with a portrait of educational excellence to which we can all aspire.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I just returned from a three day "Summer Institute" run by Independent School Management (ISM). ISM is the largest independent school consulting firm and an organization with whom we plan to work rather extensively in our efforts to introduce best practices into all areas of school life. This workshop was limited only to Heads of small schools like ours and was chock full of practical information and good ideas on everything from school finances to time management. I also had the opportunity to network with other Heads of School from New Mexico to New York and from Pennsylvania to Indonesia, as well as to learn from their experiences and insights. While I was the only head of a yeshiva in our workshop, there were heads of other faith-based independent schools (Baptist, Episcopalian, Quaker, etc.). The similarity between the challenges we all face was rather amazing and, in a way, reassuring.

Survey Says...

So far, we have collected 65 responses to our parent survey. When we factor out the bouncebacks and those families for whom we had multiple email addresses, we land up with about 130 potential responders. As far as surveys go, 65 out of 130 is fantastic. Of course, 130 out of 130 would be even better! So, if you haven't yet sent yours in, please do so. Also, if you are a current or past parent who did not receive an email with the survey invitation, or you know someone who should have received it and did not, please email me and let me know: , and I'll be happy to add your names to the list. We do hope to share the results of the survey with you in the beginning of the school year so stay tuned.

Shalom y'all

Welcome to my blog! For those of you familiar with the blogosphere, please forgive me as I learn the ropes. For those of you who have never been to a blog before - don't worry - we'll figure this out together.

The purpose of this blog is to give our school community brief and informal glimpses into the wonderful world of the Margolin Hebrew Academy / Feinstone Yeshiva of the South. I'll try to post as often as I can with descriptions, pictures, perhaps a video clip every now and then, of happenings related to our school. I'll also use it as a forum to share links that might be of interest to our parents as well as some of my own thoughts on Jewish education, current events, and just about anything else relevant to our school community.

Of course, a blog would not be a blog without readers posting their responses to my posts. As such, I hope that this becomes a vehicle not only for the expression of my own thoughts, but for conversation across our diverse and incredibly dedicated community. So, thanks for joining me and please check back often!