- What’s the advantage of sending my child to a Jewish day school?
- Don’t you need to have a “serious” Jewish background to go to a Jewish day school?
- How does Agnon manage to teach everything public and private schools do while devoting so much time to Judaics and Hebrew?
- My child has never attended a day school and is already in 3rd grade (for example). Isn’t it too late for my child to start at Agnon?
- Does Agnon keep kosher?
- What happens after eighth grade? How well do Agnon students adjust to secular secondary education?
Jewish day schools offer small classes, low teacher-to-student ratios, passionately connected and motivated staff, and a value-driven curriculum. We offer our students and their families a connect to their (our!) common history; and we provide the foundation for that student to play a role in his or her community.
No. The great thing about a community school is that students, families and staff represent the entire community. Students come to Agnon with different backgrounds, different levels of knowledge and different perspectives on personal observance. We don’t believe in “right” answers — we strive to create an atmosphere of mutual respect, from which we all learn from each other.
The answer lies in Agnon’s unique “integrated curriculum.” Traditionally, day schools divide their class time between general studies and Judaics, keeping the two knowledge sets separate. At Agnon, while time is set aside for Hebrew and tefillah, much of Jewish and Hebrew learning is also integrated into the general studies curriculum. We take a multi-disciplinary approach that ensure that the subjects taught are alive and relevant to our students’ own lives.
Here’s an example: In a 4th grade unit on Chanukkah, students simultaneously learn about: the Greek city-state and the rise of democracy; Jewish history in the second century Before the Common Era (BCE); the science and architecture of the period; and the role of mythology in Greek culture. At the end of the unit, students haven’t merely amassed a collection of names and dates and facts and figures; they’ve developed a multi-layered appreciation of a time and a place.
In a word, no. We have a program called Ma-ayan (“wellspring”) for those who come to Agnon without benefit of a strong Hebrew background, which offers small group tutorials at age-appropriate levels. Most students are able to join their grade’s Hebrew class after three months of Ma’ayan. We believe it’s never too late to build a strong, positive Jewish identity. Early adolescence is the perfect time to install a strong personal identity and a connection to the community.
Yes. Agnon observes Kashrut and has an optional daily hot lunch program. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are dairy or pareve (neither meat or dairy) days. Lunch and snacks served by the school and those brought from home are required to be dairy or pareve. On Tuesday and Thursday, lunch and snacks served by the school are meat or pareve; but students can bring only pareve lunches on those days (no meat products can be packed for student lunches brought from home).
If you’re not used to keeping kosher, you’ll find it easy to adapt. For a list of dairy and pareve lunchbox ideas, click here.
To talk about Agnon with alumni or the parents of alumni, contact Admission Director Laura Simon.