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 In Hashavua Article

What comes to your mind when you hear the word community? Does this word invoke an image, feeling, or memory? Maybe you think about geography, shared interests or a common religion. For me, community is about a sense of belonging — a group that not only accepts each other, but lovingly pushes them to be their best selves. Thriving communities are more than the sum of their parts and, as we have learned since March, are more than the building in which they meet.

As you know, one of Yavneh’s fundamental educational beliefs is based on the text from Pirke Avot 1:14, “Hillel used to say, If I am not for myself, who am I? If I am only for myself what am I? And if not now, when?” As we prepare for the first day of school on August 25th, now is the time to live our Yavneh beliefs and take care of ourselves, each other and the community. So what does that look like in August of 2020 when we know that the first day of school will be virtual?

First we begin by welcoming new families, greeting old friends, and building new relationships with classmates and teachers. Below, you’ll find the link to register for family conferences; these crucial meetings provide opportunities to discuss hopes and dreams for your child this year, share information, and begin to form the important relationship between teachers and family.

Next, we continue to communicate in multiple modalities about our plans for this year. On Tuesday, August 11th at 7:30 pm, we are holding our second Summer Town Hall to share updated information about the schedule and communication platforms as well as answer questions. On Wednesday, August 12th there will be a New Parent Orientation at 6:30 pm. The following week, we’ll be holding three Q and A sessions with Cindy that will target different grade levels: K-2, 3-5, and 6-8. 

Finally, we want to assure you that in addition to taking care of and educating your children, we listened to your feedback. Our schedule for virtual learning and improved virtual platforms will foster student independence while providing more student support. I understand that the graphics included in last week’s email could not be viewed by many parents. While we work through those technical challenges, below is a basic outline of our virtual schedules Monday – Thursday, on Friday we gather for Kabbalat Shabbat at 2:30pm:

K-5
8:45 – 9:15: Community gathering or Morning Meeting
9:15 – 10:15: Whole class, small group, specialist instruction
10:15 – 10:45: Morning Recess
10:45 – 11:45: Whole class, small group, or specialist instruction
11:45 – 12:15: Chavurah learning community (supervised Zoom room for independent work)
12:15 – 1:00: Lunch
1:00 – 1:45: Whole class, small group, or specialist instruction
1:45 – 2:15: Chavurah learning community (supervised Zoom room for independent work)
2:15 – 3:15: Whole class, small group, or specialist instruction
3:15 – 3:45: Office Hours (start at 3:00 for K-2)

6 – 8
8:45 – 9:15: Community Gathering or Advisory
9:15 – 10:15: Academic Class
10:15 – 10:35: Morning Recess
10:35 – 11:25: Academic Class
11:30 – 12:20: Academic Class
12:15 – 1:05: Lunch
1:05 – 1:55: Academic Class
2:00 – 2:50: Office Hours and Independent Learning
2:55 – 3:45: PE and Electives

While very comprehensive, these schedules do not mean that students will need to be on Zoom all day. There will be opportunities for independent work/asynchronous learning as well as movement breaks. We look to your partnership in navigating the schedule so that it works for your child as well as for your family.

No matter what our longitude and latitude might be, we remain a vibrant, thriving, Yavneh community. Always together. Always Learning.

Kol Tuv,

Cindy