“There is a commitment to academic excellence on the part of students, teachers and the school leadership, but we have also found a sense of belonging to a family. Our son feels a passion for learning in a school where people truly care about each other and everyone is given opportunities to shine.”
-Anna H., Beth Hillel Day School Parent
Beth Hillel Day School is known as a place where children and families are known and appreciated for who they are. In our tight-knit community, every child is acknowledged and celebrated on a daily basis and has the opportunities to form deep friendships that will last throughout his/her life. The small community breads confidence as well as opportunities for leadership. Our students enter middle school understanding that they are agents of change while knowing who they are and the values they hold true.
We recognize that a child’s social and emotional growth is just as important as his/her academic growth. The Responsive Classroom approach is a widely used, research-backed approach to elementary education that increases academic achievement, decreases problem behaviors, improves social skills, and leads to more high-quality instruction. Through opportunities for autonomous choice-making, logical consequences and positive teacher language, classrooms become a place where students are challenged to grow their academic, social and emotional competencies on a daily basis.
Every day begins with a 30 minute Morning Meeting, one of the tenets of Responsive Classroom. During this time, students greet each other, do an activity together, share news and read a morning message. Through this Morning Meeting, students’ sense of belonging, significance and fun are targeted. Once these three feelings are ignited, students are prepared for a day of learning.
Based on the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, students learn a tangible metaphor for doing kind deeds for others. Through individual student buckets and classroom buckets, students are able to both give recognition to others who fill their buckets and receive recognition for kind deeds they have done. Bucket filling provides a simple language that all students can use to speak and think about the ways they treat others.
Every child at Beth Hillel Day School has many opportunities to speak in front of large groups on a regular basis. Whether it is a class presentation, leading tefillah or facilitating the Morning Assembly for the school, Beth Hillel Day School students learn public speaking skills starting in Transitional Kindergarten.
Every child in Transitional Kindergarten through second grade is assigned a buddy from third through sixth grade. The buddy relationship blossoms throughout the year by joining together in tefillah, celebrating holidays and creating a special friendship. Their partnership builds leadership skills for the older students while building the confidence of the younger students.