PHDS school year starts on a high note

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Providence Hebrew Day School is “making good even better” this year with innovations from administrators and teachers.

Classes began on Aug. 28 with 163 excited students eager to see old friends, meet new friends, and meet their teachers. 

The school community is thrilled to welcome several new teachers. Many of these new teachers are being mentored by veteran teachers. This mentorship program is being funded by Title II federal funds administered by the Providence School Department. In addition, Dr. Kayla Hack, middle school girls’ Judaic Studies teacher, will be mentoring Shoshana Golden, the new middle school and high school math teacher, through the New Jewish Teachers Project, a national mentor training program. Again, funding for this program will be provided by Title II funds.

The school has added two positions to support students.  Rabbi Yaakov Zimmerman will be joining the school as a part-time resource professional utilizing his social worker training. He will meet with students and work on various skills in the classrooms. Rabbi Zimmerman gave a well-attended presentation at the opening staff meetings and to the parents at Open School Night. Rabbi Yechezkel Yudkowsky, a beloved teacher in the middle school, has expanded his role to serve as the Middle School boys’ Mashgiach/mentor. He will continue to build his relationship with the middle school boys and offer them support for their emotional, behavioral and spiritual needs beyond the classic Rebbe-Talmid relationship. His job will include meeting with the boys and continuing to work with the administration, Rebbeim and teachers to develop a team approach to specific middle school concerns.

The school has also introduced some curricular changes for this year. These include:

The accelerated math program that is part of the Renaissance package. This program will allow teachers to customize math learning for each student based on his/her testing results.

A community-wide middos program based on the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation’s Hishtadel L’Hiyos Ish program. This will be launched after Sukkot.

The Safe Sitter babysitting program will be offered in Grades 6-8 in November. This worldwide program trains 35,000 young adults (ages 11-14) in the dos and don’ts of supervising younger children, including first aid and other practical matters.

“Handwriting Without Tears” curriculum will be used in Pre-K through Grade 3. This was  piloted in Pre-K and Grade 2 last year and was rated as highly successful.

Grades 2 through 4 will be using the new “Ivrit123” curriculum in their Hebrew classes. This program includes workbooks, flashcards and posters for the classrooms. 

Students left the first day of school as excited as they had entered – if not more – and are looking forward to an amazing school year.

Submitted by Providence Hebrew Day School