Our entire student body participated in the California Young Reader Medal Awardsprogram. This program is sponsored by the California Reading Association, the California Association of Teachers of English, the California Library Association, and the California School Library Association. The program promotes the value of reading. Every student in our School heard the nominated titles, and voted for their favorite book. The winner in our School for Grades K-3, is the book, Memoirs of a Goldfish, by Devin Scillian, and Grades 4-6, The Junkyard Wonders, by Patricia Polacco. In May, we will know the winners for the entire state of California!
April is National Poetry Month. Poetry helps teach reading and enriches student writing. We have many quality poetry books in the library, so come in and check them out this month with your children.
Also, please remember the Book Awards Assembly will be held on June 4. If your student is participating in the book clubs this year, please have them turn in their forms to the Library by May 17.
Robert Lloyd, Librarian
In 1947, David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel spoke these words:
“Three hundred years ago a ship called the Mayflower set sail to the New World…This was a great event in the history of England. Yet I wonder if there is one Englishman who knows at what time the ship set sail? Do the English know how many people embarked on the voyage? What quality of bread did they eat?
Yet more than three thousand three hundred years ago, before the Mayflower set sail, the Jews left Egypt. Every Jew in the world…knows what kind of bread the Jews ate-Matzah. Even today the Jews worldwide eat Matzah on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan. They retell the story of Exodus…”
Passover is by far the quintessential Jewish peoplehood holiday. I don’t think there is another Jewish holiday as widely celebrated and revered as Passover. Regardless of one’s degree of observance, we all come together whether it is to retell the story of our exodus, to be reminded of our own exodus or simply to get together with our families, eat symbolic foods and be grateful for what we have.
As educators, we are committed to link our children to the chain of Jewish tradition and help them connect to the story of our people passed from generation to generation-Midor L’Dor. Alon Moradi, our 4th grader said so beautifully during his class practice Seder,” We tell this story every year so we know it and can tell it to our children.” Out of the mouths of babes!
This week, we had the chance to eat the symbolic foods with the Kindergartners while they explained the meaning of each symbol on the Seder plate; to leave Egypt with the 1st Graders in joy and excitement; to recite the blessings with the 2nd Graders who read them all by themselves; to listen to the 3rd Graders personal Dayenu verses of gratitude added to the traditional song; to create beautiful Matzah plates with our 4th Graders as they talked about the pattern of number 4 in the Haggadah; to watch in awe as the 5th Graders took leadership roles during their interactive classroom Seder; and to cross the Red Sea and receive the Torah as our 6th Graders went on a journey from slavery into freedom.
We know you’ll be able to enjoy all the learning that happened at school when you sit at your family’s Seder table and your children share their wealth of knowledge with you.
We extend a special thanks to all the parents who helped us make our Passover learning that much more meaningful by sending food, paper goods, and volunteering time and efforts. Todah Rabbah!
Wishing you Chag Pesah Sameah,
Director of Hebrew/Judaic Studies
As we have gone through the very important process of Parent/Teacher conferences this week, it has provided us with an opportunity to reflect on the many and varied ways in which we build relationships between students, parents, and staff. Providing feedback and opportunity for discussion on a student’s social, emotional, spiritual, and academic progress is essential to the educational process, and one that we take very seriously. For that reason, we created a schedule in which progress reports alternate with parent/teacher conferences to provide four distinct, formal check points throughout the school year.
Progress Report narratives are intended to provide a balanced snap shot of the student as a whole, from social-emotional development, to specific academic characteristics, to his/her connection with Jewish Values, culminating in specific goals. Our teachers and administrative team work collaboratively to provide input in the writing of one cohesive student essay. We thank all of our teachers for the countless hours that they spend in order to provide this extremely valuable, detailed communication piece.
Parent/Teacher conferences are a time for parents to feel welcome, valued, listened to, and validated as part of the learning process. It is a personal discussion about the student’s strengths, performance, and progress on goals. We invite questions, and hope that the discussion is balanced, purposeful, and meaningful.
Informal communication is also essential to the relationships that we build, and we have an incredible staff to provide specific expertise in social/emotional issues, advanced learners, struggling learners, etc. Just send us an e-mail or give us a call if you have a question. Eduloops, this E-Newsletter, the digital screen in the office, our Facebook page, and our website are also updated regularly to communicate with you from a variety of platforms.
Thank you for your participation in Parent/Teacher conferences and for providing invaluable feedback to our School. We appreciate it and know that it makes us stronger!
Director of Curriculum and Instruction