Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Flipped Classroom tried at....Moriah

At the He'atid parlor meetings we were told about the concept of "flipped classrooms," where lessons would be taught online through pre-recorded lectures & problem solving (or "homework") would be done in class with a teacher present to assist when necessary.  The term "flipped classrom" was invented by educational pioneer Salman Khan as part of his "Khan Academy."  Khan seems to imply that the purpose is to individualize the educational experience & let students learn at their own pace, but He'atid seemed to imply that it was a cost-saving measure.

I'm not clear how it saves money since you still need a teacher for the same amount of hours.  Perhaps it would reduce resource room needs if the teacher was helping students with the exercises.  But even if it doesn't save money it certainly would help the parents if they didn't have to sit with the kids while they are doing homework.

Anyway, one local Jewish Day School tried the model recently & it wasn't He'atid.  From Moriah's website:

Students in Mrs. Koslowe's 6th Grade math classes tookpart this week in a "Flipped Classroom" experiment, while leaning about Exponents.  In a Flipped Classroom, learning takes place primarily online and most class time is used to practice and reinforce concepts.  The teacher moves from his/her role in the traditional classroom of "Sage on the Stage" to a new role of "Guide on the Side"  Mrs. Koslowe's students watched the online Video Tutors that work in conjunction with our Pearson Math textbooks and began practicing at home by taking the 5 question online quiz on the topic of Exponents and Simplifying Expressions that contain exponents.  Quizzes are scored by the computer and can be retaken, with similar questions of the same genre, until a perfect score is achieved.  A link to Pearson's web page is accessed through Mrs. Koslowe's homepage on HAIKU, our new homework and learning management program.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Westchester Day Cuts Pre-school by 25%

You can now send your children to nursery in Westchester for the bargain basement price of $13,500. The LWMO YDS Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck is less than 1/2 hr from the GW bridge (without traffic) according to Google Maps.  I put up a link on the right to their tuition schedule.  Before you laugh at how outrageous the fees are, keep in mind that they don't have the same "junk fees" so popular in New Jersey.  With the reduction they just announced they are in the same ballpark as our "legacies"

I can only suspect that they are lowering it to compete with the forthcoming New Roc Torah Academy the same way BC legacies lowered to compete with He'atid.

The text of the letter to the parents can be seen after the Jump.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

He'atid Announces Tuition for 2013-2014

Dear Parents,

We are delighted to open registration for the 2013-2014 academic year at Yeshivat He’Atid.

We are  pleased to announce that tuition will remain the same for the 2013-2014 school year. The tuition schedule for the upcoming academic year is as follows:

       Pre-K: $7,990.00 (Initial non-refundable deposit, to be applied to tuition: $995)
     Kindergarten, First and 2nd Grades: $8,990.00 (Initial non-refundable deposit, to be applied to tuition: $1,245)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Teaneck BOE Candidates on Charter Schools

Here are some statements made by each of the BOE candidates about Charter Schools:


"Charter schools are a fact of life," said Trustee David Diuguid. "We should focus our energy not in attempting to block them, but in making sure that those that come here come for a worthwhile reason."  Residents should have a voice about which charter schools come to their communities, Diuguid said.


The quest for funding and the demise of charter schools continues to be espoused by many within the NJ hierarchy without adequate regard to efficient and effective spending.


Board of Education Vice President Gervonn Rice said she hoped to lobby the governor about reforming charter school legislation to allow voters in local districts to weigh in on the creation of charter schools and to ensure they are held to the same standards as traditional public schools.
“It should be the same level of accountability,” she said.


Quality public education is a cornerstone of democratic government. Not only does it help children to become more intelligent and informed voters as adults, it also provides access to opportunities for the socioeconomic betterment for every student. That is why I support Save Our Schools NJ [Ed: see below from Save Our Schools, NJ]. –Sarah Rappoport, Teaneck

From Save Our Schools NJ:

Assault on New Jersey’s Public Schools Part II – Eroding Local Control

In addition to being starved financially, the schools are facing an onslaught of legislative and executive actions that take away local control and further limit the funds available for public education, including

§  Charter school expansion that ignores local voter preferences
§  Siphoning off of limited public funds for private and religious school vouchers


Shelley Worrell · Teaneck High School

The PTO Council supports the Teaneck Board of Ed's postion: The following is the position of the Teaneck Board of Education regarding the proposed New Jersey Garden State Virtual Charter School:
• We are not against charter schools.
• We are not against virtual learning.
• We are not against virtual charter schools.
• We ARE against the present statutes and regulations that allow a virtual charter school application to threaten the very existence of the Teaneck public school system. Therefore, we demand a moratorium on all virtual charter school applications until the laws are changed to protect Teaneck’s and all New Jersey public schools.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

SACS Appeal

Teaneck Patch reports below on the appeal by the infamous Hebrew language charter school that already had two failed attempts at opening.  I really wish they would step aside and let someone else try to open a Hebrew charter school in the area.  I doubt anyone would trust them again at this point.

Shalom Academy Appeals Rejected Charter Application

Federal grant money on hold for proposed Hebrew-immersion school, official says.

State Education Commissioner Chris Cerf in July rejected the school’s bid to open in Teaneck, saying the school had not proven it was ready and could not supply the required documents. Cerf’s decision came after the school was granted a planning year to secure a location.

A spokeswoman at the U.S. Department of Education, which awarded Shalom Academy a $200,000 grant last year, confirmed the school had filed an appeal. Federal grant money is frozen during the process.

“The school is appealing its denial. They did not receive continuation funding so their grants will remain open but on hold through the appeals process,” the spokeswoman said.

Shalom Academy founder Raphael Bachrach did not respond to a message seeking comment.

The charter school was planned to serve students in Teaneck and Englewood. Both districts opposed the application, raising concerns over the program and budget impact.
Shalom Academy planned to enroll 160 students. The school filled those spots and some grades had waiting lists, a representative told Patch in June.

Teaneck and Englewood were required to allocate funds for students from each community to attend the K-5 school. The Teaneck Board of Education allocated $1.4 million for Shalom Academy as part of the 2012-2013 budget while Englewood had set aside around $785,000.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jewish Week Looking for He'atid Parents to Interview

From Julie Wiener of the Jewish Week:

I cover education for The New York Jewish Week and am working on an article about Yeshivat He'Atid and some of the other new Jewish schools (already launched and in planning stages) that are following He'atid's  "blended learning" and lower-cost approach. I'll be visiting the school next week and meeting with teachers, administrators and lay leaders, but I'd also like to interview parents who have children in the school. I'm particularly interested to learn how happy (or not) parents are so far, how the school compares with other Jewish schools where they have enrolled children, and what concerns they have.

If you are interested in being interviewed by phone, please e-mail me at I can protect confidentiality if necessary (although I prefer on-the-record, for-attribution interviews) but I do need to know your name so I can confirm you are a real person.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Open House Ads

[editor's note: some of these open houses were postponed because of the storm.  See school websites for more info]

Anyone reading Jewish newspapers like the Jewish Week, Jewish Press or Jewish Standard has seen a flood of expensive advertisements put in by the local schools to attract people to their upcoming open houses.  2 weeks ago the Jewish Standard had an ad like the one above that had all of the open houses listed together in one ad.  I thought it was a great idea that the schools would consolidate their advertising costs to save money, similar to the way I suggested back in December in a post title Marketing Expenses.  Unfortunately when I turned the page there was a half-page color ad for Moriah.  The next page had a half-page ad for BPY.  So instead of the combined ad replacing the individual ads they are now in addition to them, with the costs born by Jewish Federation donors and, as always, the tuition payers.  Will the schools ever change their ways?  Is their competition with one another more important than working together for the good of the community?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Teaneck BOE Elections

The Board of Education Candidates Forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters and Teaneck PTO Council is scheduled for Monday, October 15 at Teaneck High School (3rd floor Student Center).

The Forum will begin at 7:30.

Candidates for three year terms include two incumbents (David Deguid, Gervonn Rice); Sara Rapaport, co-founder of Teaneck 2020; and David Gruber, author of the Teaneck Causes blog and a member of Congregation Netivot Shalom.

Your attendance is critical to raise the interests of the community.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Teacher Compensation at Public Schools

Chart above comes from a Teaneck Patch article showing Teaneck with the highest paid teachers in Bergen County. I'm curious to know how the salaries compare to Yeshiva Day School teacher salaries so we can know if there really is a chance teachers would bolt to public schools if we added days to the calendar, as one reader suggested.  Of course there are huge advantages for MO teachers to want to stay in an MO school including being off for Yom Tov, discounts if they send their children to the school (or at least getting to pay in pre-tax dollars), familiarity with the environment, kosher food, etc.

I also came across the maximum class sizes from the United Federation of Teachers contract. Interesting to note that they allow for much larger class sizes than we have in our schools:

The UFT contract establishes limits for class size as follows:
• Pre-kindergarten: 18 students with a teacher and a paraprofessional.
• Kindergarten: 25 students.
• Grades 1-6: 32 students.
• Junior high school/middle school: 33 students in non-Title I schools; 30 in Title I schools.
• High school: 34 students; 50 in physical education/gym.