parent involvement - Temple Beth Abraham

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Temple Beth
Abraham
Religious School
Parent Handbook
2012/5773
1
MISSION STATEMENT
We are a congregation of Learners. Temple Beth Abraham educates Jews to be dynamically
involved in and committed to the totality of Jewish life, the Jewish people, God, Torah, and Israel.
We engender a joyful, lifelong pursuit of Jewish Learning. We provide a spiritual and moral
center, which prepares Jews to make informed decisions about their place in the world. We
transmit pride in, loyalty to, and fulfillment through, our heritage in an atmosphere which makes
each member feel at home.
Religious School Affirmations:
We affirm that Jewish education should engage individuals and families through their diverse
intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs.
We affirm that the educational process requires choices and flexibility to achieve its goals.
We affirm that our educational programs foster the creation and strengthening of Jewish homes
by facilitating shared Jewish experiences in the home.
We affirm that Jewish education should be joyful and creative.
We affirm the honored and valued role of the Jewish teacher and commit ourselves to
encouraging each teacher's growth as a Jewish role model and educator.
We affirm that Hebrew is the primary vocabulary of the Jewish experience and that all programs
and learning opportunities should make the Hebrew language an integral component.
We affirm that Jewish study should be integrated into all aspects of Temple life.
We affirm that our curriculum is designed to educate our students in the subjects of God, Torah
and Israel so that they can make decisions through an informed Jewish lens.
We affirm the study of Reform Jewish principles including the value of ritual, history, Hebrew
literacy and Tikkun Olam.
Pamela J. Barkley, Director of Education
Rabbi David K. Holtz
Cantor Margot E. B. Goldberg
Audrey Gelfand, VP-Board of Education
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE #
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Letter from Pamela J. Barkley, Director of Education
Letter from Chairperson – Board of Education
Letter from Rabbi David Holtz
Letter from Cantor Margot Goldberg
The Parents’ Role
The Board of Education
Curriculum
Attendance
A. School
B. Services
4
5
6
7
8
9
10-12
13-14
9.
Communication
A. Contacting Teachers
B. Contacting the Educational Director
C. Contacting Families
D. Progress Reports
E. Parents and Guests Visiting the Classrooms
F. Switching Sunday Sessions
G. Information Resource – TBA Website
14-15
10.
Rules of Conduct
A. Discipline
B. Dress Guidelines
C. Preparation for class & homework
15-17
11.
Classes
17-18
A. Class Placement
B. Tutoring
C. Special Learning Needs
12.
Membership
18-19
A. Requirements
B. Bar/Bat Mitzvah
13.
Traffic Rules
19-20
14.
Emergency Closing
20
15.
Miscellaneous
20-21
3
T
Teem
mppllee BBeetthh A
Abbrraahhaam
m
David K. Holtz, Rabbi
Margot E.B. Goldberg, Cantor
Pamela J. Barkley, Director of Education
Dr. Paul R. Siegel, Rabbi Emeritus
25 Leroy Avenue
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Phone 914-631-1770
Fax 914-631-7872
September 2012
Dear Parents,
Shalom! Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year at Temple Beth Abraham! I hope that this year
will be even more rewarding for all of us than the last. There are many new programs and many
returning favorites. New teachers and ones who have been working here for years. I have been
planning this school year for months now and I am excited to get started. Please keep in mind
that although it is your children who attend the school, we truly want the entire family to be
involved. Your help in reinforcing learning at home, checking homework, and taking part in
services and rituals, is all an integral part of giving your child a complete and full Jewish education.
Please review this handbook. It outlines our expectations as well as what you can expect from us.
But this handbook of course is only a tool. It should never replace the one-to-one conversations
necessary for helping your child learn in the best way possible. It is important that we keep the
lines of communication open so feel free to contact the teachers and anyone here at TBA
whenever an issue arises.
Lastly, please make sure that you stay informed as to special events at the Temple by checking the
Purple Page each month. Everything you need to know about what is happening at school can be
found on this sheet!
I look forward to another year full of opportunities for fun, sharing, and Jewish learning.
L’shalom,
Pamela J. Barkley
Director of Education
4
T
Teem
mppllee BBeetthh A
Abbrraahhaam
m
David K. Holtz, Rabbi
Margot E.B. Goldberg, Cantor
Pamela J. Barkley, Director of Education
Dr. Paul R. Siegel, Rabbi Emeritus
25 Leroy Avenue
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Phone 914-631-1770
Fax 914-631-7872
September 2012
Dear Parents,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2012-2013 school year. I want to wish everyone L’Shanah
Tovah. I hope that you plan on attending our opening day on September 9th with your children. It
is a great way to start the new religious school year with something for everyone. Our Director
of Education, Pamela J. Barkley and her staff of dedicated teachers, along with Rabbi Holtz and
Cantor Goldberg, put great effort and thought into creating a challenging, stimulating and
meaningful curriculum. Which in addition to teaching Hebrew reading, and prayer, is, designed to
educate and prepare our children to assume their rolls as active and valuable members of a vibrant
Jewish world community. In order to guarantee the success of our program, it is essential that
you are actively involved in your children’s religious education. Please check book bags for the
Purple Page and the Temple bulletin for upcoming school events. Volunteers are always needed to
help run special events or mitzvah projects during religious school. New insights and ideas are
always welcome too. To that end, we also invite any parents who are interested, to join the
Board of Education, which meets on the third Monday of every month at 8:15 p.m.
It is our goal at Temple Beth Abraham, to see that our children receive the highest quality in
Judaic education in a comfortable and nurturing atmosphere. We look forward to working with
you and our staff toward achieving that goal.
L’Shalom,
Audrey Gelfand
VP, Board of Education
5
T
Teem
mppllee BBeetthh A
Abbrraahhaam
m
David K. Holtz, Rabbi
Margot E.B. Goldberg, Cantor
Pamela J. Barkley, Director of Education
Dr. Paul R. Siegel, Rabbi Emeritus
25 Leroy Avenue
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Phone 914-631-1770
Fax 914-631-7872
September 2012
Dear Parents,
The Talmud teaches that it is the parents’ obligation, their mitzvah to acquire a Jewish education
for their child. The facts that you are reading this means that you take your obligation seriously.
We feel privileged that you have chosen to make us your partners in fulfilling this commandment.
Our goal is to work with you so that together we can help your child form a positive Jewish
identity. We ask you to do your part by emphasizing to your child the importance that you place
on the Religious School experience and by helping them to take what we do here seriously. In
return, we promise not merely to provide information, but to serve as models as adult Jews who
are excited about being Jewish, and who believe that behaving Jewishly - doing Jewish things,
making decisions based on Jewish values - is a vital part of who we are.
We know that what happens on Sunday mornings, Monday afternoons and Wednesday afternoons
cannot replace the Jewish things you are already doing, and the Jewish values you are already
inculcating at home. That is truly where Jewish identity is formed. Rather, we hope to
supplement what families are doing. If you yourself would like to learn more so that you can do
more at home, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Through a committed partnership between
us, we will make our children’s Jewish education the foundation for a lifetime.
L’shalom,
Rabbi David K. Holtz
6
T
Teem
mppllee BBeetthh A
Abbrraahhaam
m
David K. Holtz, Rabbi
Margot E.B. Goldberg, Cantor
Pamela J. Barkley, Director of Education
Dr. Paul R. Siegel, Rabbi Emeritus
25 Leroy Avenue
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Phone 914-631-1770
Fax 914-631-7872
September 2012
.‫ וְׁ עַ ל גְׁ ִמילּות חֲ סָׁ ִדים‬,‫ וְׁ עַ ל הָׁ עֲבֹודָׁ ה‬,‫ּתֹורה‬
ָׁ ַ‫ עַ ל ה‬:‫עַ ל ְׁשלשָׁ ה ְׁדבָׁ ִרים הָׁ עֹולַם עֹומֵ ד‬
Al sh’losha d’varim ha-olam omeid: al ha-torah, v’al ha-avodah, v’al g’milut chasadim.
The world depends on three things, on Torah, on worship and on loving deeds.
Dear Parents,
Shalom! It is an awesome task to teach the concepts of Torah, worship and loving deeds to
anyone, especially to children. These are difficult concepts to teach in a world where many
surround us who ignore them. The world depends on us, as parents and teachers, to show our
children how important Torah, worship and loving deeds are.
The Torah is the basis for all that we know is right and wrong as Jews and good human beings.
Worship is the way that we come together as a community or as individuals to celebrate the
simchas and sorrows of our daily lives. Finally, g’milut chasadim, loving deeds, are the things that
we do to help our community to repair the world. Tikkun olam, to repair the world, is everyone’s
responsibility, young and old, to try and bring the world to a peaceful existence. These are the
things we try to impart to your children but we need your help. It is not enough to talk about
these things in the classroom, our children need to see us set an example and put at least some of
these things into daily practice.
Whether you already incorporate any of our rituals into your daily life and you would like to add
more or you would like to start, please feel free to contact me at any time to ask questions or to
ask for help. I have lots of easy suggestions I would like to share.
I am looking forward to a wonderful year filled with Torah, worship and g’milut chasadim.
L’Shalom,
Cantor Margot E.B. Goldberg
7
I
THE PARENTS’ ROLE
We at Temple Beth Abraham are building a warm, comfortable, and positive climate for Jewish
experience and education for our children. In order for our program to work we need parent’s
help and support. The success of our program depends in large part on whether the children
receive positive reinforcement of their Jewish education at home.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT – THE SCHOOL CANNOT DO THE JOB ALONE
Parents are teachers, too! Educators have not found the 100% foolproof formula for perfect
achievement in any school, whether it be secular or religious. However, experience has shown
that parent involvement is crucial to helping children to have the most well-rounded, positive
experience possible. As a parent, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Have I discussed with my child the reasons that I feel Religious school is important? Better
yet, do I know why I feel Religious school is important?
2. Do I make a conscious effort to ask my child what he learned in his classes and to regularly
discuss and expand upon these topics with him at home?
3. Do I check to make sure that my child completes any Religious school assignments with the
same amount of care and detail as he does in her secular homework?
4. Do I encourage my child to behave in a respectful manner during Religious School?
5. Do I make sure that my child attends Religious School regularly?
6. Do I support my child’s Religious school by volunteering to help with special programs and
events?
7. If I am contacted by Religious School about a concern with my child’s conduct or achievement,
do I treat this matter with the same amount of concern as I would from my child’s secular
school?
8. Do I encourage my child to develop friendships with Religious school classmates?
9. Do I show my child that Jewish study and learning are important by attending adult education
classes and by making sure that my house contains books, ritual objects, and music of Jewish
content?
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10. Do my actions match my words? Do I demonstrate to my child that Judaism is important to
me by attending services, participating in synagogue activities, celebrating holidays, lighting
Shabbat candles, putting a mezuzah on the door, or do I just drop my child off at Religious
school each week and figure “that’s enough”?
In Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) we are told that those who teach Torah are to be considered
as parents to their students. From this we understand that teachers have a special relationship to
their students and deserve the same honor and respect as parents. We also learn from this text
that one who accepts responsibility for transmitting our heritage fulfills the task of “V’shinantam
l’vanecha” (and you shall teach them to your children) and merits being called parent. Not only is
a teacher of Torah regarded as a parent; a parent should also be a teacher of Torah in the home.
We have a shared responsibility in this endeavor of religious education.
Parents play an important part at specially scheduled events, programs, and services, as well as
providing resources; challah and juice, art supplies, and money. Supporting your child’s school in
the ways listed above is important, however, we recognize that this is not the only expression of
parental commitment. In fact, we are constantly attempting to find ways for parents to interact
meaningfully in our programs. In your registration packet you received a list from which to
choose your own ways of volunteering to assist our school during the year. These same sign up
sheets are available to you on opening day. You are given the occasion to sign up to help with a
variety of special programs, so please consider doing so.
As part of our Family Education Programs, parents will be given opportunities to learn with
their children. At least once during the year, parents of children in each grade level will come to
religious school or an off-site location and engage in a morning of joint learning activities with their
children. These concurrent learning opportunities will be designed to coincide with and
compliment the specific curriculum for each grade level. The religious school calendar has these
dates listed so please mark your own calendars now so you can plan on being there.
II
BOARD OF EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Parents are invited to serve on the Board of Education, which sets policies and constantly
evaluates our program in order to improve it and serve the needs of the families in our
congregation. The Board of Education meets at 8:15 p.m. on the third Monday of the month, if
you would like to come to a meeting, please contact Audrey Gelfand ([email protected])
VP, Board of Education.
9
III
CURRICULUM & SCHEDULE
General Information: K-3
Our Kindergarten through 3rd grade program meets once a week on Sundays from 8:30-10:30 or
11:00-1:00. Each week these students have music where they learn songs appropriate to the
Jewish calendar. During breaks between the Jewish holidays, the students cover songs that relate
to Shabbat, Israel or prayers. In addition, the entire K-3 group meets with the Cantor for a prayer
service each week. This service not only covers some of the basic prayers but provides an
opportunity for our youngest students to ask the Cantor any questions they may have. Grade
specific information is as follows:
Kindergarten: Students will be introduced to the symbols and stories behind all of the major
Jewish holidays. An art project will be associated with each of these holidays in order to help the
students integrate what they have learned. In addition, the basic symbols of a synagogue will be
explored and explained. Each week the Kindergarten class will take part in a practice Kabbalat
Shabbat service so that they begin to learn the blessings over the candles, wine and challah. The
kindergarten will take part in our school-wide Mitzvah Program by completing a project that helps
care for animals.
1st Grade: Students will be introduced to Torah stories beginning with Creation. These stories
will be read aloud and discussed in class. Students will also continue their study of the major
Jewish holidays as they occur and complete art projects when appropriate. Each week the 1st
grade will take part in a practice Kabbalat Shabbat service so that they can continue to learn the
blessings over the candles, wine and challah. The 1st grade will take part in our school-wide
Mitzvah Program by making food for the Midnight Run and helping to feed the hungry.
2nd Grade: Students will be introduced to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and begin to learn
the names of the letters as well as the sounds they make. Students will cover the major Jewish
holidays adding on to the information that they have already learned. In addition, the 2nd grade will
complete units on Tzedakah and God. Each week the 2nd grade will take part in a practice
Kabbalat Shabbat service so that they can master the blessings over the candles, wine and challah.
The 2nd grade will take part in our school-wide Mitzvah Program by visiting a nursing home during
Purim and delivering Mishloach Manot, Purim baskets.
3rd Grade: Students will review the Hebrew Alphabet and begin to add vowels so that they can
read one and two syllable words. In addition, students will read and discuss the stories of our
Patriarchs and Matriarchs in the Torah. Jewish holidays will be reviewed in class and information
will be sent home to parents who wish to have a fuller discussion about each of the holidays. The
3rd grade will take part in our school-wide Mitzvah Program by hosting a holiday party for Even
Start, a local literacy program in Tarrytown.
10
General Information: 4th-6th
Our 4th-6th grade program meets twice a week. Everyone attends on Sundays from 8:30-10:30 or
11:00-1:00. Then, on Mondays the 4th and 5th graders meet from 4:30-6:30. On Wednesdays, the
6th & 7th graders meet from 4:30-6:30. During the midweek session, services take place for the
first ½ hour of class. These are led by the Rabbi or Cantor and are aimed at helping familiarize our
students with the melodies and prayers while also leaving time to explore the meaning of prayer
and developing a relationship with God.
In Sunday school, the 4th and 5th graders have music each week that covers the major Jewish
holidays as they occur. There are no services on Sunday for this group. Grade specific information
is as follows:
4th Grade: Students are introduced to the Prophets, Kings and Judges of ancient Israel. Beginning
with the Israelites entrance into the Promised Land, the students will cover some of the major
figures including Deborah, Samson, Gideon, Elijah and King Saul and King David. While Hebrew is
not the focus of the Sunday curriculum, every effort will be made to expose the students to the
Hebrew words associated with each bible story. The 4th grade will take part in our school-wide
Mitzvah Program by hosting seniors from a local nursing home during the festival of Sukkot.
5th Grade: Students will explore the people, places and history of the land of Israel. Each student
will be given the opportunity to have an Israeli pen-pal with whom they will communicate
throughout the school year. This special relationship helps our students develop a personal
connection to our Jewish homeland. Special attention will be given to the Jewish Holidays
associated with the land of Israel such as Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day), and Yom
Hazikaron (Day of Remembrance). The 5th grade will take part in our school-wide Mitzvah
Program by running a carwash to raise money for the families of their pen-pals to buy food,
clothing and books. They will also learn about the geography, people and history of Israel. Each 5 th
grade Hebrew class will be assigned to lead a Family Shabbat Service sometime during the school
year.
6th Grade: Students will study Jewish lifecycle events including bris, bar-mitzvah, marriage and
death. They will also cover the history of the immigration of Jews to America. Mid-year, a special
6 week program will focus on the B’nai Mitzvah process and will include 3 family programs as well
as in-class work. The 6th grade will take part in our school-wide Mitzvah Program by creating
some sort of bag of goodies for children at Neve Michael, a home for traumatized children in
Israel. Each 6th grade Hebrew class will be assigned to lead a Family Shabbat Service sometime
during the school year.
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7th -12th GRADE
OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM
7th Grade: Students in 7th grade continue to come twice a week. On Wednesdays they come
from 4:30-6:30 to continue their Hebrew studies and cover additional prayers both for content,
meaning and reading fluency. On Monday nights, they attend with the rest of our “High School”
from 6:15-8:15 pm. This Monday night program begins with a pizza dinner in the social hall for all
students, grades 7-12. Then the 7th grade has its own specific classes beginning at 6:45. The
Monday night curriculum is aimed at engaging our students in thinking about how their Judaism
interacts with their real life. The students will be discussing everything – and we mean everything
– about how being Jewish relates to their friends, their communities, their country and their
world. Within this framework, we will be talking about some controversial issues including drugs,
body piercing and other current topics. It is an experiential program filled with action and
discussion. The class will be breaking up into three sections on Monday nights. Each section will
rotate through three subjects: Relationships & Values, Community & Mitzvot, and Israel. At the
end of the year, the entire group will join together for a unit on the Holocaust.
8th-9th/11th-12th Grades: Students in these grades school attend once a week, Monday evenings
from 6:15-8:15 pm. This Monday night program begins with a pizza dinner in the social hall for all
students, grades 7-12. This group then has some grade-specific “core curriculum” for part of the
year. However, our teenagers in particular enjoy choosing what they want to learn about, and
finding the teacher that works best for them. Therefore, almost half the time spent here on
Monday nights will be in electives. About 3 weeks before each elective session, we will send home
an elective brochure describing the choices being offered. Your child will be asked to give us
his/her first and second choice and will be placed in an elective on a first come, first serve basis.
There will also be High School wide activities throughout the year with special guest speakers and
programs.
10th Grade – Confirmation Class: The Confirmation class also comes once a week, Monday
evenings from 6:15-8:15. They will join the 7th-12th graders for a pizza dinner and then at 6:45 meet
with Rabbi Holtz in the library. The curriculum is based on the Ten Commandments but it is
mostly a forum for provocative, challenging discussions between the Rabbi & the students. There
is also an annual Confirmation class trip to Washington, DC. At the end of the school year the
10th graders are officially confirmed at the Shavuot service which they themselves write and lead
for the congregation.
12
IV
ATTENDANCE
A. School
The goal of our Religious school is to provide our children with a quality Jewish education in
order to deepen their Jewish experience and knowledge, to strengthen their faith, and increase
their love of Torah and identification with the Jewish people, through involvement in the
synagogue and participation in Jewish life. A very lofty goal for a supplementary school, which
meets only 30 sessions a year! For this reason, your child’s consistent attendance is of the
utmost importance. Your child’s attendance is vital to the learning process and to the
development of a strong and positive relationship with other students, teachers, the Religious
School, and the synagogue. Poor or inconsistent attendance disrupts the continuity of the
curriculum and classroom. All students are expected to attend Religious school sessions
regularly. If your child is going to be absent, please notify the school office.
Regular attendance is defined as a minimum of 80% of the total class sessions for
each class. Absences amounting to more than 20% of the total class sessions will
result in a student receiving a grade of “incomplete”. No student will be
promoted with a grade of “incomplete” unless the work has been made up by
completion of a specially prepared assignment.
Each time a student is absent a note or email will be sent to the student’s home with the
homework assignment or the teacher will telephone the parent with the assignment. Absent
students are expected to make-up the work they missed at home. Teachers will report two or
more consecutive absences to the Educational Director and the teacher will call the parents to
determine the reason for the unexcused absences. Requests for independent study or other
exceptions must be submitted in writing to the Board of Education.
Please keep in mind that time is very precious; religious school is in session for a mere 30
sessions a year. This is a small amount of time in which to accomplish all of our educational
goals. Late arrivals and early departures are disruptive for your child and for the entire class.
Please make every effort to see that your child arrives on time and stays until the end of class.
However, if your child must leave early on a particular day, please send a note to the
classroom teacher on that day. Parents must come in to the building to pick up their
child. No student will be allowed to leave class and meet you in the parking lot.
B. Services
Regular attendance at Shabbat and holiday services is an important part of your child’s Jewish
education. For children in grades K-3, we require attendance at service a minimum of 6 times
during the year, 3 per semester. For students in grades 4-7, we require attendance at service a
13
minimum of 10 times during the year, 5 per semester. When your child attends services, he
or she should sign their name in the Service Attendance books in the lobby. If your child does
not sign in, we cannot give credit for service attendance, so please make sure they sign in
every time. Please assist your child in this process. Children in the B’nai Mitzvah program
have additional service attendance requirements that will be explained when the time comes.
Each Kindergarten – 6th grade class will be given the opportunity to participate in a Friday night
Family Service. All K-3 grades will sing songs that relate to what they are learning in school.
The 4th graders will sing as well as receive their own copies of the Reform prayer book. All 5th
& 6th graders will be given the chance to lead a piece of the service either in Hebrew or in
English. Parts are assigned by the Director of Education 6 weeks prior to the service.
V
COMMUNICATION
A. Contacting Teachers
To contact a teacher in the Religious School, parents should use the contact information
given out by the teacher at our “Meet the Teacher” program.
B. Contacting the Educational Director
To contact the Educational Director, parents should call the Temple office and receive a
call back within 2 days.
C. Contacting Families
Our primary method of communication with families will be email this year. Please make
sure the Temple has an updated email address at all times and check your email frequently
for updates. In addition, the Purple Page will be sent home with your child on the first
Sunday of each month. 7th -12th graders will receive the Purple Page on the first Monday of
the month. The Purple Page is a great way to keep up with the programs and events for
your child. Please make sure you read the Purple Page every month.
D. Progress Reports
Progress reports will be issued in January and in June. Parent/teacher conferences will be
scheduled as required. Failure to complete assigned work can result in a denial of
promotion until the work is satisfactorily completed. Teachers will contact parents during
the school year when there is a need to share information or observations.
14
E. Parents and Guests Visiting the Classrooms
Periodic visits to your child’s class can be an important opportunity to become familiar
with the curriculum, the classroom environment and your particular child’s progress.
Please contact the teacher and Educational Director at least one week in advance to
schedule your visit.
Students who want to bring a visitor, relative or friend for a one-time visit must receive
permission from the Educational Director and their teacher at least one class session in
advance of their friend’s visit. The Educational Director and the teacher retain the
prerogative of suggesting another more convenient time for the visit.
F. Switching Sunday Sessions
If you need to switch sessions for any reason, this must be approved by the Director of
Education. All students will be given one switch per semester without hesitation. Given
the large number of students in the school, the size of the classrooms and limited time, we
cannot allow students to switch more than once per year.
G. Information Resource – TBA Website
The dates of all events, for both the Religious School and the Temple are posted on the
TBA website, www.tba-ny.org. Event sign-up forms, flyers, class elective brochures, the
Purple Page, school calendar, traffic duty schedule – you name it – it’s on the website!
Please use this valuable tool as a resource to answer questions about dates or just to find
the form your child may have forgotten to bring home.
VI
RULES OF CONDUCT
A. Discipline
Temple Beth Abraham believes that setting high standards in our religious school
strengthens the entire congregation and advances our goals of learning and spiritual growth.
We believe that by enforcing religious school requirements and standards of appropriate inclass behavior we are nurturing respect for ourselves as well as others.
In order for Jewish education to be effective, there must be mutual respect and cooperation
between teachers and students. Students are expected to treat their teachers and
classmates with courtesy, dignity and respect. Each classroom has standards and rules to
assist in creating a healthy school climate.
15
Appropriate care of the building and its fixtures are extremely important. Students should
show proper respect for Temple property. Parents and students will be held responsible
for the cost of repair or replacement of damaged Temple property.
The philosophy of Temple Beth Abraham discipline policy is meant to create an atmosphere
of mutual respect. Each student is expected to act with dignity, show respect to himself or
herself, to other students, to the teachers, the Rabbi, Cantor, Educational Director and
synagogue. Our Religious /Hebrew school follows a system of discipline which gives
teachers and students a clear understanding of what is acceptable behavior in the classroom.
Students who follow this policy are rewarded with praise, recognition and in some cases,
tangible incentives. For students who choose not to follow the policy there will be negative
consequences, which will, hopefully, encourage them to make different choices, concerning
their behavior in the future.
Teachers will make every effort to deal with disciplinary problems in a positive and
productive manner. Every effort will be made to deal with disruptive behavior within the
classroom. When such efforts prove to be ineffective, the Educational Director will be
notified and appropriate actions will be taken. These actions can include: phone call to
parents, letter to parents, meeting between parents, teacher and/or Director.
A student will be immediately removed from class when:
 Physical harm is done towards oneself or another.
 The student is verbally abusive
 Drugs or alcohol are found or used on Temple property.
 Other behavior as determined by teachers and/or Educational Director.
B. Dress Guidelines
Students are expected to dress appropriately for school. Students and their parents have
the primary responsibility for acceptable dress and appearance. Youngsters inappropriately
dressed will be sent to the Educational Director’s office where a large T-shirt will be
provided for the remainder of the school day. Brief garments such a tube tops, tank tops,
halter tops, spaghetti straps, short shorts, mini skirts, plunging necklines are not
appropriate. Skirts need to be 3” above the knee or longer. All undergarments are to be
covered by clothing. The torso must be completely covered. In addition, items of clothing
which are, or have messages that are suggestive, obscene, vulgar, or denigrate others are
prohibited. Footwear must be worn at all times. Headwear other than kippot is not
permitted anywhere in the building.
16
C. Preparation for class and homework
Students should come to school prepared to work. Students must bring pens/pencils and
notebooks to class. Book fees are included in registration fees. Students are responsible
for safekeeping of all materials. A $5 fee will be charged for any book that needs to be
replaced.
We understand the demands on our children from secular school. However, as you know,
a language is difficult to master without studying outside of the classroom. Therefore,
homework will be assigned each week for students to retain and reinforce their new
acquired skills. Each homework assignment should not exceed 30 minutes per week. If it
exceeds the above time, please let your child’s teacher know. All assignments will require a
parent or guardian’s signature. In addition, all students in 3rd grade and up are asked to read
Hebrew between 5 and 10 minutes every night. This is the only way we can ensure the
level of fluency that we know you want your children to achieve.
Students must earn satisfactory evaluations in all academic areas. Any student whose work
is judged as “incomplete” will be expected to redo the assignment in order for the student
to earn a satisfactory evaluation and remove the “incomplete”. Assignments are to be
completed by the next session. If the assignment is not completed a call will be made home
to the parent(s) and an agreement between the teacher and parent(s) will be reached. No
student will be promoted with a grade of “incomplete” until the work has been
made up by completion of a specially prepared assignment.
VII
CLASSES
A. Class Placement
The Temple Board of Education strongly feels that we should encourage our students to
be one, large TBA community. We encourage our students to form relationships with
other students from around Westchester not only within their school district. We will
therefore create classes that reflect a geographically mixed environment. At that same
time, wherever possible, we will group at least two students per school district.
Placement in Hebrew classes will also be determined by the child’s performance on a
Hebrew competency test given at the end of the prior year by the Hebrew school teachers
in coordination with the Educational Director. Consideration will be given to gender and
class size and class make-up at the discretion of the Director.
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In regards to Sunday school, placement in first or second session will be done on a first
come, first serve basis. Registration forms will be sent out to all current students in the
Spring and all completed forms will be numbered and dated as they are received. Please
note that registration for the next school year will not be accepted until all financial
obligations for the current year have been fulfilled completely. In addition, member
families will be given priority over non-member families with regard to session placement
up to the “early bird” registration deadline indicated on the registration form. After this
date, placement will be completely on a first come, first serve basis.
B. Tutoring
Students who need extra help will receive 15 minutes of tutoring between 3:30 and 4:30
p.m. prior to Hebrew school on Mondays and Wednesdays. This will be arranged with the
Educational Director. Priority will be given to those students with documented learning
disabilities. If these times are not sufficient, parents may contact the Educational Director
and arrange for additional tutoring at their own expense.
C. Special Learning Needs
All children, regardless of their abilities, should receive a Jewish education. TBA is
committed to providing education that suits an individuals needs. We currently offer a
midweek program, Madragot, for those children with special learning needs. This class
meets Mondays from 3:40 pm -5:00 pm and Wednesdays from 3:40 pm – 5:00 pm and
includes instruction with a teacher certified in Special Education and a ½ hour service
where they are mainstreamed with the student population that day.
Some families who have children with special needs do choose to pay for private tutoring
in lieu of attendance at midweek classes. The request to do so must be officially submitted
to the Board of Education and approved at our monthly meeting. It is our hope however,
that all our students will find a place within our various programs, to receive their Jewish
education in a community setting.
VIII
MEMBERSHIP
A. Requirements
Membership at TBA is required for all families with a student in 3rd grade and up. Families
where the eldest child is in K-2nd grade may choose to try out a year of Religious School
without becoming members. Non-member tuition rates will apply in these cases. After
one year, all families must become members.
18
B. Bar/Bat Mitzvah
In order to be eligible for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah at 13, all students must be enrolled in Religious
School by 4th grade. All B’nai Mitzvah families must be members in good standing, in
accordance with the rules set by the Membership Committee, at the time of their child’s
Bar/Bat Mitzvah. In addition, all B’nai Mitzvah students must be enrolled in Religious School
at the time of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
IX
TRAFFIC RULES
Please observe the following traffic rules when picking up your children:
1. Keep to the right as you enter the parking lot to join the pickup line. The left lane may
be accessed by making a left or right turn into the parking lot, but must be used for
drop-offs only. No left turns into our parking lot are permitted for any other reason.
When the line is long enough to reach the street, it continues on to Leroy, with all cars
facing down the hill (toward Broadway), as close to the right as possible.
2. Children may only enter the parking lot, when directed by a member of the traffic
squad, either to enter one of the four cars at the pool line or to be handed off to a
parent.
3. Be sure to pull all the way up as directed by the staff; this allows four cars to load at
once and helps the line to move along more quickly.
4. Do not pull out of the line unless you are instructed to do so by a member of the
traffic squad.
WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN
 As parents arrive for pick-up, they should take their place in the carpool line.
 Cars enter the parking lot via a right turn only.
 Upon entering the lot, pickup cars should proceed in the right lane around the lot and stop at
the school door...four cars at a time.
 A teacher will ask for the name of the student(s) you are picking up and communicate this via
phone to a teacher with the students.
 The students will come out the front door and wait by the cones at the end of the driveway
until your car is in front.
19
WHAT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN
 Students should not be running in the parking lot and between moving and parked cars.
 Students should not leave the safety zone unescorted by an adult.
 Adults should not be calling for their children to come to cars that are not positioned in front
of the school door.
 Drivers should not be making left turns into the lot creating traffic jams and unsafe conditions.
 Drivers should not be yelling at staff who are trying to make sure our children are safe.
X
EMERGENCY CLOSING
In the event of a snowstorm, you can access a machine message in regards to closing by dialing the
Temple at 631-1770 extension 22. I will update this message as soon as a decision is made
about whether we are going to have school. This means, you will no longer be called at
home by the class parent to tell you that school has been cancelled. You may also tune into
WFAS (103.9FM, 106.3 FM and 1230 AM or log onto www.wfasfm.com or www.wfasam.com)
where TBA will broadcast all closing announcements, or News12.
In addition, on Mondays and Wednesdays, please note that TBA religious school
follows the Tarrytown school system in regards to school closings. If Tarrytown
schools are closed, we will be closed as well. If Tarrytown imposes a delay, but then
opens, our school will be open for afternoon classes unless the weather has
deteriorated. In that case, as previously noted, you can either call into extension 22
at the Temple or listen to WFAS or News12 to find out if we have cancelled classes.
XI
MISCELLANEOUS
Tzedakah - It is traditional for Jews to give Tzedakah (charity) on a regular basis. At Temple
Beth Abraham, we encourage our children to bring Tzedakah. A special box is present in each
room and students are encouraged to bring contributions on a regular basis. These contributions
will have more meaning if they come at least partially from the student’s own pocket. Sometime
during the year each student will be given a “Tzedakah Worksheet” with two choices. Each
student (with parent help if necessary) will be responsible for researching the two charities and
offering his/her reasons for which charity they believe is more worthy. The class will then take a
vote to determine where the Tzedakah money goes.
20
Shir Chadash (Junior Choir) - Shir Chadash is led by the Cantor and is a voluntary part of the
Temple experience. Shir Chadash rehearsals will be held on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
and are open to all students from 3rd grade up.
Senior Youth Group: 9th through 12th graders. Contact Gerry Hecht ([email protected])
Madrichim Program: All 7th – 12th graders are invited to become “madrichim” (aides) in our
Sunday school. Placement in our madrichim program is given by grade, beginning with the 12th
grade, working downward. You must be at least a 7th grader to be considered for the program.
Participation in our madrichim program does not count towards the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Project
requirement. Contact Pam Barkley, Director of Education.
21
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