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Bridge to the Future

Bridge to the Future – the implementation of the educational frame of our recently completed Strategic Plan – focuses on five pillars of educational excellence: the whole child, student-centered learning, JSTEAM/Integrated Curriculum, Outdoor Experiential Education, and character development. The Bridge to the Future ensures that our students continue to thrive at Tehiyah, and that their education is truly relevant to this 21st century world in which we live.

Check out the latest updates as the pillars of our Bridge to the Future integrate seamlessly into everyday life at Tehiyah:
Bridge to the Future Update - February 2018
 

STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING

  • Writer’s Workshop: Palpable excitement and pride about writing, many publishing parties have showcased finished pieces, many students making huge strides in writing.
  • Reading: Assessments completed in most ES classrooms, RAZ kids, book clubs, independent reading- matching readers to “just right” texts.
  • Focus on differentiation across all subjects- individualized instruction, strategy groups, flexible grouping.
  • Project Based Learning will be expanded and developed across all grades and subjects. A new cohort of teachers will be attending PBL World in June to continue training teacher
 

INTEGRATED LEARNING/ JSTEAM

  • PBL class in middle school is focusing on exploring identity. Students are using various modalities to explore identity: writing, art, music, film, maker’s lab, acting. Alice in Wonderland will be the collaborative MS showcase in the spring.
  • Thinker’s lab examples of integration: bookmaking with 5th graders, immunology board games with MS, rockets with BK & K to connect with study of birds, primitive tools with 4th grade.
 

OUTDOOR EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION

  • All overnight field trip in grades 3-7 will focus on outdoor experiential learning. New trips include:
  • 6th grade will be going to the Outdoor Science School in Santa Cruz.
  • 7th grade will be going to Yosemite through the Naturebridge program.
  • Onna and Susan are working with grades BK-4 to integrate outdoor education and the garden in the primary and elementary science curriculum.
 

THE WHOLE CHILD & CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

  • Toolbox is now fully integrated into our midot. We have a value of the month as well as a corresponding “tool” of the month. The tool for December is the “breathing tool”.
  • The Responsive Classroom curriculum will be adopted. Ongoing professional development through the Responsive Classroom organization is being planned.
  • Morning Meeting is continuing to evolve and strengthen. This structure and designated community meeting time provided a natural container for the hard conversations we had with classes around Darwin’s death. Next year we will be adding more components of the Responsive Classroom. https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/about/
  • Focus on two TaNaKH standards:  
  • #1. “Students will view TaNaKh as the formative narrative of the Jewish People- past, present and future.”
  • #2. “Students will develop a love of Torah study for its own sake and embrace it as an inspiring resource, informing their values, moral commitments, and ways of experiencing the world.”
 
LOOKING AHEAD:
  • Expanding our Service Learning curriculum to embrace and put into action our Jewish values.
  • Joining the Silicon Valley Math Initiative. This initiative provides performance assessment, ongoing professional development, networking, coaching and math curriculum materials such as the “Problem of the Month” and “number talks” for each grade level.
  • Growing our outdoor education and garden curriculum, with teachers working towards integrating this more into their curriculum and classroom.
  • Establishing Tehiyah “mishpuchas” (Small family groups with students from different grade levels working together on projects related to the value of the month, tzedakah and service learning.)
  • Service Learning curriculum and projects will be refined and expanded across all grade levels to embrace and put into action our Jewish values.
  • We are joining the Silicon Valley Math Initiative. This initiative provides performance assessment, ongoing professional development, networking, coaching and math curriculum materials such as the “Problem of the Month” and “Number Talks” for each grade level.
  • Growing our Outdoor Education and Garden Curriculum, with teachers working towards integrating this more into their curriculum and classroom.
  • Establishing Tehiyah “Mishpuchas”. These will be small “family groups” comprised of students from different grade levels and one teacher “parent” working together on projects related to the value or tool of the month, tzedakah projects or service learning.
Bridge to the Future Update - Fall 2017
 
The following represents the strides we have made in our journey toward the Bridge to the Future. We are thrilled to share our progress with you:
 
  • Our teachers have been participating in ongoing professional development with Elana Naftalin-Kelman, Tehiyah Alum and expert in the field of Differentiated Instruction. This summer, five of our Tehiyah faculty will be participating in PBLWorld at The Buck Institute of Education, the nation’s leader in “Gold Standard” Project Based Learning. Workshops and additional trainings will continue as we move forward with our Initiative.
 
  • Outdoor education opportunities have reached across campus as our BK and K students spent time preparing for Tu B’Shevat and celebrating Shavuot. Another example would be our first annual Field Trip week.
 
  • Our 1st and 2nd grade science classes have been incredibly innovative this year, thanks to our teacher’s creation of a JSTEAM center, encouraging exciting hands-on activities.
 
  • Led by our Student Council, who was trained by the Anti Defamation League in an Anti-Bullying program, our entire student body has committed us to being a No Place For Hate school.
 
  • In the fall, we will incorporate elements of the Responsive Classroom philosophy; for example, starting every day with a brief morning meeting to support and welcome each individual and to build community. Our Assistant Head of School Andy Hess and Nati Porat will be leading our faculty in the Responsive Classroom training over the summer to ensure that this important part of the social-emotional curriculum starts off in August.
 
  • We will be embarking on the Lucy Calkin’s Readers and Writer’s workshop over the next few years. Specifically this coming fall, we will begin with the Writer’s Workshop- a program that focuses on literacy development for our students.
 
  • This summer, our Maker’s Lab will come to life in its own creative, dedicated space.
 
  • With the guidance and expertise of Andy Hess, Pamela Brenman and Susan Danek, we will be creating new schedules that give more time for in-depth learning, active movement and differentiation among the grades.
 
  • Rabbi Tsipi and the Judaic Studies faculty will be participating in a two year program through the Jewish Theological Seminary called the Legacy Heritage Instructional Leadership Institute. With the guidance of an academic mentor, our Judaic Studies department will be identifying standards and benchmarks, specifically focused around Torah learning.
 
These are just some of the first steps in setting the Bridge to the Future in motion and what we can look forward to seeing this coming year.
 
We are deeply grateful to those who - through their generosity - are making the Bridge to the Future possible. If you would like to learn more about how you can support the Bridge to the Future, or if you have any questions at any time, please contact: renewal@tehiyah.org
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