All families with students enrolled in the Religious School will also receive this school handbook via email and/or as a printed copy at the beginning of the school year—the distributed version will have contact info for Religious School teachers and staff.
You will receive a complete school year calendar on or before the first day of school (and can also view it here), including dates of religious school and special services and events designed for your children and family. The calendar will also be on the temple website and upcoming dates will be highlighted in the weekly Hadashot. Please mark these on your family calendar to ensure your family will be free to take advantage of all offerings. Events will also be publicized on the temple website, and via weekly reminders in the Hadashot.
Hadashot means “news” – each week, you’ll receive an email with information about upcoming events and plans for the week. The Hadashot is also a great place to share information among school families – feel free to send your news along to the director at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the weekly email blast.
Arrival and Tardiness
School begins at 10:00am, but children are welcome to arrive beginning at 9:45, which provides them with some vital socializing and community-building time. Please endeavor to have your children at school BEFORE 10:00am. If you know your child will be late, please email or text the director.
School ends at 12:00 noon. Please be sure to arrive promptly for pick-up so our staff may leave on time.
If your child will be absent, kindly email both the director and your child’s teacher (contact information for all staff is included in the printed version of this handbook that you will receive). If you know your child will be out on a date in the future, please let us know as soon as possible. Given our small class sizes, being informed of a child’s absence will help teachers plan the day in a way that ensures the best experience for all of the students. Keep in mind that many absences can make it difficult for students to feel connected to classmates or to master material. Try not to miss school unless it is absolutely necessary.
Derech eretz means, “the way of the land,” but really it is about respectful behavior. We hope to create an environment in which derech eretz is observed, and teachers and students feel respected and valued by each other at all times. All individuals have the right to experience respectful treatment and in return will act respectfully toward all others.
We also ask that everyone act responsibly toward every area of the building, including classrooms, bathrooms, lobby, and public areas both within and outside our building, and help to keep our spaces neat, clean, and cared for.
We hope everyone, both children and adults, will feel an integral part of our community. While we recognize close friendships often develop, we want to emphasize to both students and parents that no one should be excluded from social interaction. We – parents and teachers – can teach this most important lesson by reinforcing this position at home, discouraging cliques, and modeling inclusion.
The joy of Jewish learning is accomplished in class, at services, and through experiences that embody Jewish values. Since homework is generally not relished by students (or parents) and has not been proven to strengthen students’ academic achievement, there will generally not be any onerous homework assignments.
However, since Hebrew reading is a skill which requires practice (like playing an instrument or mastering a sport), we do ask that your child spend 5-10 minutes at least 4 times per week reading from the homework sheets that will be sent home, OUT LOUD. This practice will reap enormous dividends for your child, particularly as he/she moves toward preparing to become a bar/bat mitzvah.
Please know that many of the prayers are available on this website and both children and parents are welcome to listen and sing along at home to help build greater fluency.
It is our hope that every student at TEMV will celebrate becoming a bar or bat mitzvah. For additional information, including program guidelines, planning and costs, please see our B’nei Mitzvah Handbook.
Every child has unique strengths, and nearly every child has some unique learning styles or challenges. If your child has an IEP, health issue, or any other physical, emotional or neurological challenge, please know we want to accommodate him or her to the best of our ability. Please be sure to communicate your child’s needs to the director and teacher before school begins, or as early in the year as you are able.
There will be a very short break during the day for a healthy snack and drink. Please send your child with a drink and healthy snack (pretzels, granola, crackers, fresh or dried fruit, etc.).
Students will be provided with all materials and text books, and are asked to keep most of these at temple to avoid loss. However, we do ask that you send a couple of sharpened pencils and a pocket folder for homework and notices each week.
Each week we will collect tzedakah (charity) which will be donated at the end of the year toward a worthy project of the students’ choosing. Please make sure your child has a bit of tzedakah money each week; $1 is a suggested amount.
Our learning time is so precious and it’s hard to maintain a distraction-free environment – please have your children leave their phones/games/electronics at home, or turned off and put away, when they come to school. Electronics may be taken away from students during class and returned to parents at the end of the day.
If school must be cancelled due to inclement weather or other emergency, check your email or phone for notification, or WHDH Channel 7 Boston news. If we have more than one snow day, we may extend the school year by one week.
Report cards will be sent home at least once per year. These will include a summary of material covered and a few words about your child’s understanding of and interaction with the material.
Services and Events
There are a number of services and events for our religious school students and families scheduled to occur outside of religious school hours. While your family is not obligated to attend these, they provide wonderful opportunities for whole-family involvement and closeness within our warm community. Many of these events also offer students a chance to demonstrate their newly-acquired skills and parents a chance to kvell (beam with pride).
We are blessed to have an extensive library. There are many books for all ages, and you should feel free to borrow materials that you and/or your children will enjoy. If you would like to help us grow and update our library, please let us know – we are developing a wish list of more up-to-date titles.
There are many ways in which you can become involved throughout the year. Please consider attending School Committee meetings, or helping out at specific events. Even if you only have a small amount of time to share, your efforts are appreciated!
You are welcome and encouraged to visit the school. Please let the director know if you’d like to sit in on a class. Feel free to phone or email the director or your child’s teacher to share any concerns, questions, comments or encouragements.
School fees are due before or on the first day of school. If you are struggling with financial hardship, please contact the Treasurer, Phebe Rand, to make confidential arrangements.