What a week!
I flew back from Los Angeles on Tuesday after having participated and presented at this year’s North American Jewish Day School Conference [#NAJDS for those inclined to Twitter]. It was a wonderful conference from every perspective. As has been our experience at each conference our staff and I have had the privilege to present at (PEJE, FCIS, JEA, etc.) or to host at our school, you come away invigorated at having met other trailblazers treading a similar path towards the future and excited by how far along that path you, in fact, are.
And let me unabashedly state for the record: We Are.
The story of how a (relatively) mid-sized K-8 Solomon Schechter Day School in Jacksonville, Florida stumbled into the eye of the 21st century learning hurricane continues to inspire all of us – parents, students, faculty, donors and community supporters – to keep the ball rolling. We are onto something special here and I grow ever-confident each day that is only a question of when, no longer if, that will translate into all the dreams dreamt once upon a time nearly 50 years ago by those who birthed this school into existence; dreams nurtured with love and care by generations of administrators, clergy, teachers, parents and students; dreams that a Jewish Day School would not only offer outstanding Jewish Studies, but could be a model of rigorous, future-thinking (now “21st Century Learning/Curriculum 21”), and the highest-of-quality secular academics; dreams on their way to coming true.
Those dreams have not yet been realized; we are not that school yet…but each day we work our hearts out to grow one day closer.
Here’s a fantastic example of our team at work:
How awesome is that? I can talk about “Curriculum 21” and what it means to be a school dedicated to “21st Century Learning,” but nothing beats seeing it with your own eyes! [If you want to add a “quality comment” of your own click here!]
So…what else is going on?
If you have visited my blog before, you will see that I have added my latest obsession, Shelfari, to the blog. What a gift to librophiles! But beyond love of books, it actually allows me to begin to share with teachers and parents (and students) some of the foundational Jewish, Jewish educational, and educational books that have shaped my personal Jewish journey, that impacted my thinking about education, and as an added bonus, serve as the source texts for my weekly Parent University course here at the school. At least parents can be reading along as we go along. [My long-awaited “Parent University” blog post is coming soon!] In the meanwhile, I have created a (largely) professional Shelfari profile you are welcome to peruse. (NOTE: There are some number of fiction novels on the shelves. I have been careful about the appropriateness of titles, but there are books that deal with mature themes and may include mature language. Be forewarned should you let your child browse. I realize I have made this sound so much more interesting that it actually is.)