This past year, our 7th Grade embarked on a year-long Holocaust and Human Behavior course, which includes a final capstone project. This year, the students created a Virtual Memorial to various people, places, and events of the Holocaust.
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It is tradition to share some of the wonderful character traits that we have observed and grown to love about our 8th graders. In just one school year, it was clear to me that the Class of 2022 is remarkable in many ways. Here I share just a few.
Unplugging for the Summer: The first year I went to sleepaway camp was before my third grade year and I really didn’t know what exactly to expect. I knew that I was going to a Jewish overnight camp somewhere near Seattle, WA, that it would take about five hours to get there by bus, and that there would be lots and lots of different outdoor activities for me to enjoy all day long. While I was a very active child in a variety of sports, I also was a big television and movie kid.
Last Thursday night, the Greater Washington, DC community experienced a momentous event. After 43 years as a franchise in the National Hockey League, the Washington Capitals went into Las Vegas, were able to win their 16th playoff game of the year, and earned the right to raise the Stanley Cup and call themselves champions. As a native born and bred Canadian from Vancouver, watching the final minutes of the game, I was fully aware of what that victorious moment meant for the team, the fans, and this community. My hometown Vancouver Canucks were founded four years before the Caps in 1970, have reached the Cup Finals three times - all in my lifetime while twice playing a game 7 - but have yet to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup.
Welcome to the last KabShab of the year! Congratulations to everyone for completing (or almost completing) another full year of school.
This week’s parsha is Parashat Shelach. God tells Moshe to send 12 spies to Canaan to scout out the land. They return with an abundance of fruit and report that the land is bountiful. However, ten of the spies also claim that the land is filled with giants and cannot be conquered. Only Caleb and Joshua say that Bnai Yisrael should do as God said and conquer the land.
Have you ever worked hard to solve a problem, struggled and persisted mightily, only to have a solution arise when you diverted your attention away from the problem? Or have you ever worked on a piece of writing, reached a point at which you lost your "flow," set the task aside for a while, and then returned to it and made quick progress? I suspect most of us, if not all of us, have had one or both of these experiences.
Only twelve percent of engineers are female, according to computerscience.org. Statistics like this are the reason why it’s not just important to bring more women into STEM fields, but to get them excited about it.
The goal of CoderGals, a national organization founded in 2015, is to start this interest young. CoderGals clubs are all-girl environments so that girls can feel confident with themselves and never feel that they are alone in liking computer science. The clubs are also for students of various grades, which fosters bonds between the girls and contributes to the feeling of a powerful female community.
In my first Principal's Perspective article that appeared during the first term, I wrote about the concept of "Whole Child Education" and how it manifests in our school. We take seriously the importance of focusing our teaching and learning not only on excellence in academics, but also in the social-emotional, spiritual, and physical domains.
Last month, with contributions from several of our outstanding faculty, I wrote about the alignment of current CESJDS extracurricular activities with our Portrait of a CESJDS Graduate. It stands to reason that we think a lot about the education of our students in the present for the sake of their futures, and The Portrait is an inherently forward looking document.
A lot has changed about CESJDS recently, but I’m going to explain something that has remained constant since my high school days at JDS until my return this year as a math teacher. (And, no, I don’t mean the fantastic cafeteria cookies. That’s an article for another time.)
As a parent and educator I am constantly thinking about what the appropriate balance of authority is with my children and students and how to strike that balance. After all, my children at home and in school are human beings with their own experiences, worldviews, interests, and concerns.
Arts Chai-lights is fast approaching; the time where all of our students’ arts accomplishments take center stage. It is an evening celebrating arts education and the capacity for creation and artistic innovation within our students. Though once the evening is over, how do we talk about the arts with our students? What do we say when our students show us a piece on which they have been working or after a performance?
I work at a Jewish organization, Charles E. Smith Life Communities, and on my first day, I felt especially fortunate when I saw mezuzahs in doorposts throughout campus.
I am traveling in Israel with the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School group on the JWRP trip. We arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday. As I walked to my hotel room and saw the mezuzahs in all the rooms, it hit me: I am in Israel!
Rabbi Malkus, Head of School, and Dan Mendelson, President of the Board, recently introduced the Portrait of a CESJDS Graduate to our community. In their introductory email, they indicated that the Portrait represents both our current curriculum and our aspirations for our graduates.
Each morning at the Lower School, we recite this teaching from rabbinic tradition as a kavanah/statement of intent for the activity of our school day.
Yesterday we remembered the millions of innocent lives lost and destroyed during the senseless atrocity of the Shoah/Holocaust. Today we also make a point of giving those who survived, their children, and their grandchildren space and time to share their memories and grief with us.
I spent 13 years at JDS from kindergarten through 12th grade. Like many students, I didn't realize at the time how much it would prepare me for the rest of my life.
The cover article of the March 5-18 issue of New York Magazine is titled “How to Raise a Boy,” a topic that I was immediately drawn to, since I have one of those creatures living under my roof who I love very much. The author, Will Leitch writes: “Like any parent, I would do anything for my children, and like any parent...I want my kids to have a better life than I did. “
In their final year of high school, our students complete their coursework in January and graduate in February. From late in February to late in May, most of them participate in our culminating trip to Israel and Eastern Europe. Even for those who have been to Israel previously, the profundity of this trip cannot be overstated.
March 14, 2018 was a remarkable day in our Middle School and it was not only because it was Pi day! On Wednesday, each one of our grades was involved in both planful and spontaneous experiential learning.