The 6 W’s

The State of the School: Akiba-Schechter’s 6 W’s

Who are we?

We are …

  • a community Jewish day school in Hyde Park
  • a nurturing community of learners, children and adults, who respect and challenge one another to be better
  • a community that embraces our differences
  • a school that values mensch-like behavior as much as, if not more than, academic excellence
  • imagea school that embraces and supports teachers willing to experiment and take risks
  • a school committed to multi-aged learning
  • a school where teachers understand that they are teaching children and not just subject matter
  • a school that values the development of life skills such as perseverance, initiative, curiosity, respect, honesty, and more
  • a school that cultivates leadership and confidence in public speaking
  • a school where students are encouraged to self advocate both in and out of the classroom; where they know that their thoughts and ideas are valued and heard
  • a school where teachers and staff make connections with students and families
  • a community that embraces and supports one another in times of need, at life cycle events and holiday observances
  • a community where teachers receive as much from their students as they give
  • a school that accepts and teaches modern science
  • a school where children can experience the joy of learning for its own sake, not for a reward of any kind
  • a school where children own and exercise independence in their learning
  • a school with a high level of rigor in both general and Judaic studies
  • a nurturing environment where students can discover their talents, interests and voice
  • a school that welcomes parents as partners in education
  • a school committed to maintaining excellent art, music and physical education programs, all of which are seen as critical to students’ development
  • a school where children have numerous opportunities to perform

Who are we NOT?

We are not …

  • a school that welcomes only those who can afford tuition
  • a one-size-fits-all school for students or staff
  • a school that expects all families to practice their Judaism in the same way
  • a school that hands teachers a script
  • a school that values conformity
  • a school that views students as empty vessels to be filled

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What do we STAND for?
We stand for …

  • intellectually honest and inquiry based teaching and learning
  • thoughtfulness, compassion and empathy
  • education motivated and driven by student interest, curiosity and initiative
  • Jewish learning and observance guided by original texts

What do we NOT stand for?
We do NOT stand for …

  • children, families or staff being made to feel less than others for any reason, including how they practice Judaism
  • unequal education for boys and girls
  • The school being located anywhere but Hyde Park

Why do we MATTER?
We matter because …

  • we provide a safe and inspiring space for students to proudly explore their Jewish identities in every aspect: spiritual, historical, cultural, religious
  • we provide an environment where children are given the opportunity to know, experience, appreciate and respect people who are different from them; this environment fosters the development of those skills critical to leading a life of responsible and active citizenship
  • we celebrate childhood and meet children where they are
  • we provide opportunities for children to develop age-appropriate worldliness
  • we provide opportunities for children to appreciate their privileges and internalize a sense of responsibility
  • we provide an environment that values curiosity over conformity, love of ideas over materialism

Where are we going?
We plan to …

  • have more consistent execution of all of the above
  • raise expectations of staff professionalism and teamwork
  • have more collaboration across the Judaic/General studies divide and across divisions
  • have more project and problem based learning across the curriculum
  • have a more thematic approach to teaching all subjects
  • have more opportunities for staff to learn and grow together as colleagues and friends, both formally and informally
  • promote more and better ways to use technology throughout the school including instruction of basic and advanced computer skills
  • communicate more effectively and proactively with parents
  • take additional steps toward educating the whole child including executive functioning, social growth, emotional and physical health, safety