Each day we see the ways that our educators ignite each child’s spark and encourage them side by side. Our students and faculty are diving into authentic learning in ways that both support and challenge each individual learner to realize their potential. As we continue on this journey together we take pride in our growth and we are excited to share a few of the strategic steps we have taken together thus far:
The Creation and Implementation of the Kehillah Model:
In Grades 1-4, we have created and begun to implement the Kehillah Model, where experienced teachers and learning specialists work in collaborative teacher teams to form a fully integrated learning environment. Teachers in these Kehillot use an instructional method called, “Flexible Grouping” which allows students to be regrouped based on their performance, readiness level, and/or social emotional needs. Each individual student benefits from exposure to multiple teachers over the course of a unit, while being provided with targeted instruction. Students who benefit from additional support and/or enrichment are provided with appropriate instruction given their demonstrated skill level in a particular area of study. As an added benefit, teachers teach two grades in each Kehillah, allowing for continuity from one grade to the next.
The Learning Lab:
“The Learning Lab,” is a place where students in the 5-6 and 7-8 Kehillot receive the tools needed to be successful learners. In addition to being a space for personalized small group learning, the Learning Lab serves as an environment for students to take assessments in a quiet and supportive alcove, to receive organizational support as they transition into their Middle School years, and even to take time to complete unfinished learning. Learning Specialists also partner with content teachers by being present in various classes to provide on the spot differentiated support.
Student Reviews and the Child Study Team:
Student Review is the time where each Kehillah teacher team gathers every other week to discuss students with the School Psychologist, Social Worker, Director of Student Learning and the Principal of the given division. In these meetings we use documentation methods that track next steps and action plans in order to ensure that every child’s needs are continuously addressed. Additionally, we have implemented Child Study Teams that are made up of the Director of Student Learning, the School Psychologist, the Social Worker, the School Rabbi, the Principal of the given division, and the Director of Education. These teams discuss and devise action plans involving students who have the greatest needs whether it be academic, social emotional, or otherwise.
MAP Assessments and Faculty Insights:
MAP Growth assessments provide us with detailed results that identify which skills students have mastered, which skills they are ready to learn, and which skills they need to have reinforced. The assessment allows students to venture into content that is far above their grade level if they continue to answer questions correctly. While it is important to remember that MAP scores reflect only one moment in time, the data, paired with classroom assessments, provide teachers with valuable information to tailor learning experiences to each student’s needs.
We will continue to build upon these successes as we strive to foster our commitment as a growing and thriving learning community. We keep in mind the wise words attributed to King Solomon in the Book of Mishlei 22:6, “Teach a child according to his way. Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” As we work together to help each child find their way, our entire Kehillah is enriched, and the mission of our school comes alive.