Hebrew School Philosophy
The Hebrew language is one of the unifying forces within Judaism, crossing the boundaries of history, time and place. As such, it is a vital component of the Jewish educational process at Temple Sinai .
Hebrew instruction at Temple Sinai begins when our children enter grade 2. Hebrew becomes a requirement by grade 3. Five years of continuous Hebrew study is required for bar/bat mitzvah.
The Mitkadem Program
Mitkadem is an exciting five-year Hebrew curriculum that generates enthusiasm and excitement for our teachers, students and parents. Our students learn to read Hebrew and enjoy a sense of accomplishment as they progress through a series of well-organized, stimulating, and self-paced ramot (levels).
Mitkadem’s self-paced and child-centred approach allows each student to achieve according to his/her own ability, so learning challenged students as well as students who are very motivated catch on quickly. The Mitkadem approach helps every teacher feel capable and confident of administering this program to all different kinds of student learners, identifying those students who need additional help early on. The content of the program is similar to other Hebrew programs; the approach is new.
As each student progresses through each ramah they are tested and recognized for the success. No one is held back because another student is not ready to move on. Assistants in the classroom are available to support the independent work to maximize personal success.
General Attendance Policy
Our Religious and Hebrew Schools offer opportunities for worthwhile and valuable learning. Regular attendance is required in order for students to fully benefit from these Jewish educational experiences.
We know that occasional absences, due to illness or unforeseen difficulties, will occur. In order to ensure the integrity of our school, the following attendance policy has been adopted by the School Board, and accepted by the rabbis, the executive and the Board of Directors.
Religious School Attendance Policy
Students may miss six classes with no out-of-class assignments required.
Upon the seventh absence, students will have to make up the class by going to private tutoring sessions paid to the tutor (one hour in duration). The classroom teacher would be first on the list, with an approved list for backup available from the School Office. The make-up session needs to occur within two weeks of the absence.
The maximum number of classes a student can miss and still pass his/her year is 10. Students who have not made up all the missed classes by the end of May will not be promoted to the next grade. Parents will be notified before their child reaches the allowable number of absences.
In order to ensure students’ comfort and proficiency in their Hebrew language studies, students will be tested regularly and be required to achieve 60% in oral and written work. The school will provide a range of options to assist students who are having difficulties. These will include special reading classes for those identified with learning needs, individual assistance with a Hebrew language lab teacher and on-site tutorials for students who demonstrate a need for remediation at no additional cost to parents. In addition, parents may hire Temple approved tutors at their own expense. Throughout the year, parents will be informed of their child’s progress. If the child’s teacher and extra help through our language lab are not sufficient to keep the child from falling behind, the Hebrew supervisor will request the family hire the child’s classroom teacher in order to help the student catch up with their studies. This may be proposed at any time throughout the year.
Weekly attendance at the Sunday Hebrew Service for Grades Bet to Dalet (including home tutored students) from 9.00 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. is mandatory, attendance will monitored.
Testing will be done by senior staff in the spring . An 80% prayer book reading proficiency will be required to be excused from Kita Hey (Grade 7). If a student requires more Hebrew enrichment, they will be required to attend on Wednesdays for the Fall Semester.
To maintain siddur proficiency, a service will be conducted as scheduled on Tuesday before Religious school. This service will be held at 6.30 p.m. Students who have passed Kita Dalet proficiency and day school students are required to attend these services.
Bar/Bar Mitzvah Attendance Policy – Day School Families Please Take Notice
Students who attend Hebrew day school are required to attend Grade 7 Religious School. Students whose bar/bat mitzvah falls after September 1 of Grade 8 are encouraged to register for Grade 8 Religious School. Attendance at Bar/Bat Mitzvah Institute is required.
Family Participation and Special Education
Many options are available to this group of children. Some of our options include attendance in our regular classes with ongoing communication between teacher and consultant; attendance in classes with a one-on-one teenage assistant; attendance in a special education environment that includes small group sessions and a reading dynamics class for Hebrew and tutoring when needed.
Family participation is an integral part of each child’s learning at Temple Sinai. Opportunities for parent involvement are varied and available at all grade levels. The PACE program (Parent and Child Education) actively involves families with children in grades 3 through 6. Hands-on activities further solidify the partnership in Jewish Education and living. Parent and teen programs are offered in grades 7 through 10. These programs explore the bar /bat mitzvah experience, Reform Jewish practice in the world today, modern social issues confronting the Jewish community and modern Jewish living. In Hebrew School, we offer a Sunday family experience for parents to support the first step in Hebrew studies (Mechinah PACE).
Special Education at Temple Sinai
Meeting the challenges of children with special needs is an important and ongoing process. We approach each child with the assumption that there is a future that includes Jewish learning. Bar or bat mitzvah is the goal at the forefront of our minds as we attempt to match each child with the best and most appropriate learning atmosphere. With input from the parents, the director of education, the principal, and the special education consultant, we look to find the right placement and assistance for all our children.