At STARR JDS, we offer multi-age classroom learning environments (kindergarten, as a transitional class from pre-K to elementary, remains a standalone classroom). While some parents worry about the demands on the teacher, and, to some extent, the students, we believe this type of classroom structure serves many benefits.
STARR JDS is dedicated to providing Jewish children an education in limitless possibilities. Below is the STARR JDS commitment and how we measure our standard of academic excellence for all of our students:
Critical Thinkers: An integrated Jewish and college preparatory education with a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) principles
Confident and Involved: A commitment to Torah and its ethical and moral precepts and to the Jewish people.
Israel Ambassadors: The development of a spiritual bond with the Land and State of Israel.
Proud Americans: The dedication to our American heritage and achievement in contemporary society.
Respect is Foundational: The cultivation of respect for others, within a family oriented atmosphere.
Givers: The focus on community service as a responsibility.
Creative Doers: Embrace art, music, and theater as complimentary and necessary for a well-rounded education.
Love for Language: Hebrew, not just as Lashon Hakodesh (the holy language), but part of a united dual-language curriculum.
We believe that a strong partnership with parents is beneficial to the overall success of the student.
Your child’s teacher is readily available via email or phone and will periodically contact you through these channels to share updates about your child. Furthermore, our doors are always open and we welcome your input and involvement. As a school with favorable teacher-student ratios, your child will receive individualized attention based directly on your input and feedback throughout the year. STARR JDS Parents are active partners in the success of our students and our school.
- Evening parent orientation
- Regular parent-teacher conferences
- Weekly school newsletters that include updates on various school programs, projects accomplishments, peer-to-peer interviews, and important parent reminders of school holidays and events.
- Skills-based report cards provided quarterly
- Weekly teacher notes and regular two-way parent-teacher communication
There is much research that supports this pedagogical approach to be effective. According to Ronald E Riggio Ph.D. with The Psychology Times (www.psychologytoday.com), below are his nine advantages of “combo” classes:
Research has shown there’s no difference in academic achievement between children in split classes versus straight grades. Split-grade students are less competitive with one another and more cooperative than students in same-grade classrooms.
Children learn at different paces. Blended classes offer a wider range of curricula across 2 grade levels.
Advanced students can be more easily challenged with higher-level material; struggling students can more easily return to earlier material.
Younger children gain self-confidence and maturity by being exposed to older students; older students learn to be positive, mature role models for the younger students. (Most children come from a home environment with siblings of different ages).
Children are carefully selected for blended classrooms; younger children are more mature and ready to “stretch”; older students have demonstrated a pattern of good behavior and social skills.
Some children will benefit by having the same teacher over two years, as the teacher comes to know the students’ abilities better. This is called “looping.”
Students in blended classrooms tend to take greater personal responsibility for their learning.
There is greater peer-to-peer learning in blended classrooms.
Students develop friendships across grade levels and blended classrooms instill a greater sense of responsibility for one another, and a better sense of community.