The Hebrew Academy - A Yeshiva Day School serving Toddler through Eighth Grade

Wednesday, 04 February 2015 21:09

Great News at The Hebrew Academy!

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Dear Parents:

We are proud to inform you (you probably heard from your children already!) that with G-­‐d's help we finally realized a dream we have been working on for the past 18 months. Today we launched our iPad 1:1 Personal Learning Program: we gave an iPad to each student in Kindergarten through Middle School to use in school throughout the day. To our knowledge, we are the only school in Rockland, and possibly in North Jersey as well (at least the Jewish schools) that has a true 1:1 (one iPad to one student) in all elementary and middle school grades.

It was so exciting to watch the students enthusiastically accept the iPads and get right to work. I personally visited many classrooms and was very happy to see students using the iPads to enhance their learning in meaningful ways that can only be achieved with a 1:1 program. Please visit our Facebook page and Instagram to see some photos and videos.

Prior to distributing the iPads, we met with the students in the library. As today was Tu B'Shevat, the Rosh Hashanah of the Trees, we discussed how trees seem to be the same but really each one is different and unique. The students were able to relate that to themselves; how each student is unique and has different learning styles, abilities and strengths. They also realized how, just like trees, people
need the right mix of 'soil, water, sunshine and air' in order to grow into healthy and strong 'trees'.

In addition to all the necessary and vital 'materials and tools' we provide your children with in order for them to succeed, the most important of which are our great teachers, we are now providing them with a tool that will enable them to drive their own learning. On an average, each iPad is filled with over 100
high-­‐quality apps that will empower your children to Create, Communicate and Collaborate. Students
can use the iPads to do research, take notes, review their lessons or watch a video assigned by the teacher. But there is so much more they can do with the iPads. Stay tuned as we share with you the wondrous things your children will learn, create, and work on together in the months and years ahead.

Key to the success of this initiative is giving the teachers the training and support they need. We already meet weekly to discuss different ways of using the iPads in the class, learn new apps or share success stories from their classrooms. To further provide them with expert training, we have hired Mr. Michael Cohen, the EdTech Director at Hillel Hebrew Academy, Beverly Hills, California, to provide a two-­‐day intensive iPad integration workshop for our teachers. Mr. Cohen has extensive experience working with teachers and students and has lectured at technology seminars and summits across the country. The workshops will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 17 and 18. There will be no school on Feb. 17 and 18 for elementary and middle school grades; preschool will still be in session on Feb. 18.

We would appreciate any feedback from you and we will keep you posted of further developments.

We give thanks to G-­‐d for enabling us to reach this momentous achievement and hope that we will all have much nachas from our children. Mazal Tov!


Rabbi Avremel Kotlarsky

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