B'Yadenu (In Our Hands)
Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners in Jewish Day Schools: A Whole School Approach
Gateways: Access to Jewish Education has been chosen to coordinate and deliver professional development services for six area day schools in an initiative to build the capacity of day school teachers and leaders to better serve students with a range of learning needs. The initiative is called B’Yadenu (In Our Hands), Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners in Jewish Day Schools: A Whole School Approach. Funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation, it’s a collaboration between Gateways, CJP’s Initiative for Day School Excellence and Yeshiva University’s Institute for University-School Partnership.
"The grant will strengthen access for all learners in area Jewish day schools, hopefully generating a model program for Jewish day school education," says Alan Oliff, CJP's Director of the Initiative for Day School Excellence. "This holistic approach is in line with our commitment to educating the next generation and helping to build strong connections to Jewish life."
Gateways will expand its professional development and training programs to build the capacity of teachers and school leaders so that schools are better equipped to address the needs of students with special learning needs. "This grant will allow Gateways to take its existing professional development program to the next level," says Arlene Remz, Gateways' Executive Director. This new model will enable each school's entire staff to become involved in and responsible for the education of students with a wide range of abilities, making a Jewish day school education accessible to a broader population.
Gateways Access to Training for Educational Success (GATES) Gateways believes that professional development for teachers is vital for school success, teacher satisfaction, and student learning. The GATES approach to professional development provides the foundation for teachers and administrators in Jewish education settings to meet the wide range of needs of the students in their classrooms. GATES provides collaborative and sustained learning opportunities that include:
- Shared learning by teams of educators through staff workshops and seminars
- Classroom observation and debriefing
- Ongoing coaching and consultation
- Facilitated team meetings throughout the year
The GATES model has been implemented in many Boston area day schools and is currently primed for expansion into congregational and community supplemental schools and Jewish preschools, with workshops and materials adapted to the needs of each staff.