HAT begins a new school year proclaiming, “We’re more than a school, we’re family!”

September 8, 2017

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As Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and Strelitz Early Childhood families enter the building this year, they are greeted with friendly smiles, photos of engaged children, and a new bulletin board that announces, “There’s no place like the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater.”

On August 22, students excitedly returned to school and parents were welcomed to the annual first day of school’s Back to School Parent Coffee.

The HAT trademark is the warm nurturing community (kehillah) of the caring faculty, Jewish values, and individualized student attention. “The warm community is like a family here. When I came to the school, I immediately felt at home,” says Maureen Sullivan, the school’s student support specialist who joined the HAT faculty a year ago after leaving a long time position with the Virginia Beach Public Schools.

“We are thrilled to welcome our new faculty members to our excellent educational team,” says Heather Moore, HAT’s head of school. A native of Virginia Beach, Adam Leiderman, is the new physical education teacher for HAT and Strelitz. HAT also added a full time conversational Hebrew Language instructor, Israel native, Yafa Bosler, who teaches conversational Hebrew to students in kindergarten through grade five. Bosler is a former HAT parent and joins HAT after teaching in the Virginia Beach Public Schools for 17 years. Although HAT students have always had instruction in Hebrew as a second language, the new curricular structure is designed to give students more consistency and fluency as they move from kindergarten through grade five within the HAT Hebrew program. “We also will be adding an optional Hebrew lunch period for students who want to practice their skills,” says Moore.

Also new this year, the HAT faculty completed a Project Based Learning (PBL) training to implement more inquiry based units in the curriculum. Teaching through PBL allows students to work on units for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.

The PBL approach enables teachers to design units based on their students’ strengths and interests allowing the students to provide input in activities that support individual levels and learning styles. In addition, the creation of a Maker Space is underway. Students will be able to create their own inventions using the building materials and tools in the Maker Space center.

While HAT and Strelitz students begin an exciting school year of growth and change, the faculty says it wants to wish the 2017 graduates good luck as they embark on their new middle school adventures at area top middle schools: Norfolk Academy, Norfolk Collegiate, Plaza IB Middle Years Program, The Brickell Academy, and Cape Henry Collegiate.

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