The Jewish Day School 2030: Just Imagine …

June 11, 2013

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


Imagine if Day school affordability was no longer a challenge facing our Day School community, thus enabling schools to focus all of its resources and energy exclusively on student recruitment, retention quality, impact and achievement, what would our Jewish Day Schools look like in the future? asks Chaim Y. Botwinick.


He writes:

"Just imagine a 21st Jewish Day School whose mission and value proposition promotes, supports and offers:

  • Ongoing mentorship and coaching support for all faculty, heads of schools and trustees;
  • Student teaching laboratories and clinics developed and offered in collaborative partnership with colleges and universities;
  • “Curriculum Mapping” which continuously informs, supports and assesses curricular goals;
  • Individualized Professional Development portfolios for all teachers and faculty;
  • Teacher and faculty compensation packages which are competitive and commensurate with other professions requiring licensure and certification;
  • Parent feedback/engagement programs whereby parents are continuously informed about the academic progress of their child;
  • Web-based homework stations and tutorials for students requiring remediation;
  • “Career Ladder” opportunities for all promising teachers and faculty;
  • Advanced Placement (AP) in Judaic and General Studies and a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math tracks for all qualified students, and state-of the-art laboratories;
  • Inspiring and stimulating classes, lectures and shiurim aired in real time from Israel;
  • Instructional feedback and teaching performance norms and standards for all teachers and faculty;
  • Meaningful and fulfilling volunteer engagement opportunities for all parents and trustees.
  • Mandatory board and trustee training and development;
  • Mandatory community service engagement / Chesed / Tikkun Olam / Jewish Civics projects;
  • Mandatory leadership succession planning for all Heads of School and Board Chairs/Presidents;
  • Joint educational partnerships and programs with local Jewish day schools, synagogues and Jewish communal agencies;
  • Generous merit and need-based scholarship assistance to all qualified parents/families;
  • Comprehensive medical insurance and pension programs for all full-time career teachers;
  • Teacher and student overseas exchange programs with Israeli and European Jewish educational institutions.

After outlining his visions he concludes:

"So to my friend and colleague who posed the vexing question – what would our Jewish Day Schools look in the future, if “affordability” was no longer an issue? I answer with a modest and humbled response. The reality of current day school costs and affordability is daunting and palpable; and will impact our schools for the immediate and foreseeable future. The unswerving challenge for day school leadership however, is to transcend this hurdle by ensuring that we don’t miss a golden opportunity (and responsibility) to inspire, dream and transform the Jewish lives of our children and future generations. Innovative, creative and forward thinking fundraising and advancement efforts must move forward – some schools and communities will succeed at greater speeds than others. However, while pursuing these avenues, let us not get sidetracked, distracted, diverted or discouraged from creating an exciting and inspiring future for our Jewish day schools. Visioning, dreaming and imagining are powerful drivers for effective and successful philanthropy."


Read the post on eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: Jun. 18, 2013