Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reflections from the Side of the Road

As many of you know, we owe much of our accomplishments over the past few years to the generous support of the AviChai Foundation.  The following article is an overview of all that we've done, and advice to other schools interested in embarking on a similar journey, that was posted today on AviChai's blog.  It's a real credit to AviChai for their belief in our vision, to our admin and faculty for their commitment to growth, and to our parents for their support, that we've come as far as we have.

The Margolin Hebrew Academy’s Curriculum 21 Initiative: Reflections from the Side of the Road

This article is cross-posted from the eJewish Philanthropy Blog.
This article is part of a series focusing on new ideas emerging from the day school field with relevance for Jewish professionals in Jewish education and beyond. The post contributes to the conversation on the topic of 21st Century Education.
by Rabbi Dr. Gil S. Perl
The odyssey now known to our parents and faculty as our C21 Initiative began almost four years ago. Like most journeys of this kind, the path from where we started to where we stand today was far from a straight one and it was in the dips and the bumps, the wrong turns and the unforeseen curves, that the most institutional learning happened. And while we are still quite some distance from our destination, and probably will be for some time, we’ve learned enough from our progress to date to step to the side of the road for a moment in order to share some insights and suggestions with other schools that may be embarking on similar journeys of their own.
The Cast
This story is not about the efforts of any individual. What we’ve done, we’ve done as a team. It’s critical to note, though, that the team is far leaner than some might imagine. Today our educational leadership team consists of an Early Childhood Director (Mrs. Charna Schubert), a Lower School Principal (Mrs. Sandy Gersten), an Upper School Principal (Rabbi Uriel Lubetski), an Assistant Principal for Student Support and Professional Development (Mrs. Melissa Perl), and me. We have no curriculum coordinators, no 21st Century Learning specialists, and until this year, we did not even have an educational technologist on staff. What we do have is a talented and dedicated faculty who have become learning partners with our admin team as we brave what are completely new waters for us all.
Read the rest of the article here...

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