The summer has officially ended and with its end come mixed feelings. The relaxed, easy way of summer will be replaced with routines and filled schedules. At Carmel Academy we are ready for the 2016-17 school year! Our school theme for the year is the “Carmel Academy Experience.” We will research, learn, and offer each one of our constituents the type of experience each deserves. Whether it’s faculty, students, parents, extended families or community members – Carmel Academy is about a unique community sharing common values and high expectations. We are committed to each member of our community having the most extraordinary experience offered by any Jewish Day School.
Over the last ten days, our new staff participated in a special orientation geared toward familiarizing them with our school. After interviewing them several times, observing their demonstration lessons, checking their references and ensuring that we had found the best professionals in Jewish education – they were ready to jump in and participate in this orientation. Our discussions included CA educational and religious philosophy, how we bring the best out of our children, how we address their needs and create learning environments that deepen knowledge while fostering creative and critical thinking.
After two intense days with our new faculty, we welcomed our entire faculty and staff for a full week of learning and team building. Building upon our “Carmel Academy Experience” theme, our faculty had the opportunity to play and learn together. Our week included conversations surrounding curriculum development and integration, student needs and the creation of Individual Action Plans (IAP), and communication – internal, external, to parents, classes, grades and school-wide. In the midst of these sessions, our faculty set the classrooms, finalized orders and developed their first unit and lesson plans of the year. As a community of learners, we began every day with a d’var Torah and an opportunity to learn together.
We have just entered the month of Elul, the last month of the Jewish year and the month dedicated to reflect upon the past year and prepare for the High Holidays. Some Chasidic sages see ELUL as an acronym for the phrase from Shir HaShirim 6:3—Ani LeDodi V’Dodi Li – “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine.” While reading about this interpretation, I learned that during this month we are to initiate a kind, loving and honest relationship with God as well as with our peers. Elul is seen as a time to search one’s heart and draw close to God in preparation for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. We know that this preparation requires us to also search and open our hearts to those close to us — families, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, those who are not as privileged as we are … meaning, open our hearts to humanity, and, in doing so, we enhance each person’s experience and better the world.
In keeping with the theme of Elul and of our school year, “Carmel Academy Experience,” our leadership and staff are committed to opening our hearts and ensuring that each one of our children reaches their highest potential, that all parents feel heard, that our community cares for each other and for the world. We are eager to welcome your children tomorrow and are excited to share this year with you!
Enjoy our “fun filled” video…we have a feeling, that this year is going to be a good…good year! Click here to view it.
With warm wishes for a wonderful school year and a month of reflection and growth.