F.A.Q.

GENERAL

Why do parents choose Beth Hillel Day School for their children?
Check out what parents are saying about us on www.greatschools.org.

What are the advantages of a Jewish Day School education?
A Jewish Day School education is a “values added” education.  You don’t need to give up anything to send your child to our school.  Because of our excellent teacher to student ratio, your children will receive the attention and support they need to be successful academically.  They will also have instruction in the arts, technology and physical education.  Integration of Jewish themes and values into school life also allows students to develop a strong Jewish identity, internalizing Jewish values.  These are the values that your children will need to make the complex moral decisions they will be required to make as adolescents and adults.

In our Hebrew Program, students also receive the benefits of learning a second language at a young age.  Not only do students learn a second language more easily when they are young; studies show that studying a second language in elementary school can improve academic performance in other subjects, particularly in mathematics.

What are the school hours?
School hours are Monday to Thursday, 8:15 am to 3:15 pm and 8:15 am to 3:00 pm on Fridays.

What is the teacher/student ratio at BHDS?
There is one general studies teacher for every 11 students at Beth Hillel Day School.

Are there before and after school programs?
BHDS offers early morning drop-off starting at 7:45 a.m. Students may also stay in our AfterCare program until 6:00 p.m. every day. Additionally, afterschool enrichment classes such as orchestra, sports and drama are offered daily.

Where do most students live?
Families come to Beth Hillel Day School from all around the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles. BHDS families live in Calabasas, Woodland Hills, Encino, Lake Balboa, Valley Glen, Valley Village, Burbank, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, and Los Feliz.

Where do students go after graduating?

Our students have gone on to middle and high schools including Buckley School; Brentwood School; Campbell Hall; Cleveland High School Humanities Magnet; Hamilton Magnet High School; Harvard-Westlake; Heschel Day School; Kadima Hebrew Academy; New Roads School; Los Angeles County High School for the Arts; Milken Community Middle School; Milken Community High School, Millikan Middle School (including the Performing Arts Magnet and School for Advanced Studies); deToledo High School; Oakwood School; and Walter Reed Middle School (including the Independent Honors Program and School for Advanced Studies).

What is Beth Hillel Day School’s commitment to diversity?
Beth Hillel Day School celebrates diversity.  We are known as a warm and welcoming community.  While we require that our students have one Jewish parent, our families are otherwise quite diverse.  They include families with two parents, single parents, same-sex parents, blended families and grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.  Our parents come from diverse ethnic, national and socio-economic backgrounds and include many interfaith families.  We welcome all of these families, encouraging parents, grandparents and students to share their cultural and family traditions at Generations Day and in student projects.

ADMISSIONS

When do we need to apply?

Applications are accepted for fall after November 1, 2015. The application deadline is January 29, 2016. Applications will be accepted after January 29 if there is space available.

When will be notified of your admissions decision?

Notifications will be sent out March 18, 2016.

Do we need to join the temple?

The school is a service for Temple Beth Hillel members and membership is required. One of the benefits of being a part of the Beth Hillel Day School community is being a part of the larger Temple Beth Hillel community. Membership allows for access to our Temple clergy, to synagogue programming, and to the greater synagogue community. Many of our families enjoy participating in Brotherhood, Sisterhood or on Temple committees, attending synagogue events like Seder in the Desert, and building friendships among temple members.

What is the first step when applying?  

Once you have taken a tour and spoken with our school leadership team, you should fill out an application and turn in the application along with a $150 non-refundable application fee.

How old does my child have to be to enter kindergarten?
Admission to Beth Hillel Day School’s kindergarten program is determined by a number of factors.  Applicants must turn five by September 1st of the year of entry. Students are also evaluated for social, emotional and academic readiness as determined in our assessment process.  In some instances, we will work with the child’s preschool to determine the appropriate placement for a child who just misses the cut-off.

What can I do if my child has completed preschool but is not ready for kindergarten? 
Our transitional kindergarten program is designed for students who have completed preschool but are either too young or not ready for today’s demanding academic kindergarten programs.  In our transitional kindergarten, students will have an opportunity to develop the skills they will need to be successful in kindergarten, school and life.  These skills include oral language skills, fine-motor skills, the ability to listen, the desire to be independent, and the ability to play well with others.

How are admissions decisions made?
The admissions committee looks for a fit between the school and the student as well as the student’s family. The committee looks for a match between the child’s learning profile and the school’s educational approach, the fit of the child within the social structure of the classroom, and the child’s ability to positively add to the classroom environment. The committee also seeks to admit candidates whose families are aligned with the school’s mission, values and educational approach, and who will partner successfully with the school to support the child’s success. Additionally, the committee seeks to create classes that are balanced in terms of gender, age, learning styles and personality types.

RELIGIOUS LIFE

I am not Jewish, but my husband is.  Will our child be able to attend at BHDS?
One parent needs to be Jewish in order for children to attend BHDS.  Interfaith families are welcome and are encouraged to participate in all aspects of school life.

How involved are BHDS families in Jewish life? 
Our Jewish parents range in background from orthodox to secular Jews.  Some are very knowledgeable and others have no Jewish knowledge.  All families have the opportunity to learn through their children and through participation in school Shabbat and holiday celebrations. Adult education programs are also available through the Temple.  These include Temple Beth Hillel’s program for interfaith families and families of Jews by Choice and the Temple’s Adult Bar Mitzvah Program.

How much of the day is devoted to Hebrew and Jewish Studies?
Our students in kindergarten through 6th grade have a Jewish Studies class for 45 minutes, four days/week. All students also study Hebrew for an additional 45 minutes four days/week.

We currently belong to another synagogue.  Can we attend BHDS? 
Yes.  Beth Hillel Day School is a service for members of Temple Beth Hillel, so families must become members of Temple Beth Hillel prior to starting school at Beth Hillel Day School.  Affiliate membership is available for families who belong to other synagogues.

We are interested in applying for first through six grade, and our child has no Hebrew background.  What can we do? 
Hebrew is required for all Beth Hillel Day School students.  We are able to accommodate some lower grade (1st and 2nd grade) students who enter our school, and some lower and upper grade students with an aptitude for language are able to catch up to their peers through differentiated class work and homework assignments.  Other students require Hebrew tutoring at parent expense.  Please contact our Admissions Director who can help you determine the actions you need to take to ensure your child will be successful in our Hebrew program.

What is the kashrut (kosher) policy at Beth Hillel Day School?
Food served by the school at Hot Lunch is kosher style.  We do not mix milk and meat in the same meal, and meat meals are prepared in a facility with a kosher kitchen. When food is sent from home for snack or lunch, or when food is served to a BHDS class, in an after school enrichment class or at a school gathering, we request that families not send or serve pork or shellfish products or mix meat and milk products in the same snack or meal.