The B'Yadenu Project

Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners in Jewish Day Schools: A Whole School Approach

Teacher and Student, with tablet

To help day schools in their quest to better serve all students, Gateways: Access to Jewish Education and Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies, with funding from the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation, have partnered to pioneer the B’Yadenu project.

B’Yadenu— Hebrew for “In Our Hands”— is a whole school approach to improving access and student outcomes, with a particular focus on embedding the practices and structures that meet the needs of students with varied learning styles and abilities. B’Yadenu emphasizes coordinated and strategic professional development as the engine to drive improvement for the entire student body. By ensuring a good education for atypical learners, schools ensure good education for all learners.

Piloted in five Boston-area day schools, B’Yadenu has honed a state-of-the-art process to:

  1. Pinpoint areas for improvement and set goals for how an entire school faculty can address them together and, then,
  2. Implement a series of professional development activities that aim to embed research-based strategies across the school, followed by a cycle of measuring impact and refining those strategies.

"I am really enjoying the process of "digging down" into the teaching practice of the lower school and trying to prioritize what our next steps should be to move our school forward and to make the learning more robust for the students. Gateways has given us the guidance and the tools to structure our conversation, and has kept us accountable to the continued examination of our practices."

- Suzy Israel, Lower School Principal, Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, Maryland


The B'Yadenu Toolkit

To facilitate the process, Gateways has developed a comprehensive toolkit that guides teams through a Logic Model approach to managing organizational change. The toolkit contains 12 building blocks, through which your school team will plan and monitor your progress toward meeting your defined professional development goals. B’Yadenu is rooted in collaboration and emphasizes teacher leardership.

Click here to download the toolkit.

Click here for an overview of the toolkit.

How Gateways Can Help

Although a school’s teachers and leaders are ultimately responsible for changing educational practices, there is no need to go it alone. Throughout the change process, professionals at the Gateways Center for Professional Learning can act as indispensable “guides on the side” to provide the objective and seasoned perspective so necessary when endeavoring to generate whole-school improvement.

To learn more about launching the B’Yadenu Initiative in your school, please contact the Center for Professional Learning at cplinfo@jgateways.org or at (617) 630-9010.

Participating Schools

The five pilot schools are:

 

In 2016, B'Yadenu expanded to four schools in the Washington, DC community: