Message from Rabbi Epstein Regarding Yachad Schedule Change and Registration

Dear Parents,

As the 2018-2019 starts to wind down, I am writing to share with you that Yachad will be implementing an adjusted schedule for the 2019-2020 school year.

The change comes about after having spent the past year working intensely, listening to parents, observing classes, and working with the Yachad Parent Committee and the CBE Board to develop a program that truly returns us to the original Yachad vision of utilizing well-supported and highly invested full-time educators. I believe that by moving almost entirely to classes taught by full-time educators, we can create the best possible supplementary Jewish education at CBE.

Additionally, as we have grown in enrollment by approximately 10% per year the past few years, the new model will allow us to accommodate the number of classes we need for all of our students, within our eight Rotunda classroom spaces.

Next year’s program will also feature a revised program for our Saturday K-2 families. Similarly, after observing classes and students, and talking with teachers and parents, next year’s program will feature more time to engage in Jewish learning as a family, more opportunities to build relationships with other families, and will better support our youngest students’ engagement and learning.

Please see the chart below to see the times and days that will be offered for next year, as well as FAQs below. FAQs will address both logistical and programmatic topics.

Registration will be open in late April/early May, and will be on a first come first serve basis. We encourage you to register early to reserve your preferred space. Please be in touch with any questions.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Epstein

 

FAQs

What is the rationale behind creating an early and a late shift at weekday Yachad?

As Yachad has grown in numbers, we have had to bring on numerous part-time teachers in order to maintain appropriate class sizes. Creating two shifts of weekday Yachad enables our Lead (full-time) Educators to teach twice as many of our classes. Therefore, we’ll be working with many fewer part-time teachers than we have been previously, enabling us to have greater focus on staff development and support. Additionally, having two shifts of students enables us to accommodate our growing number of students in the Rotunda for hopefully several more years, without utilizing classroom space needed for our other youth programs located in the Temple House. We’re excited about the higher quality that we’ll be able to provide, and we look forward to a great year next year as we implement these adjustments.

What is the rationale behind changing the K-2 Saturday program to include family programming? What will be the new schedule?

There are three main drivers behind changing the K-2 Saturday program. 1) We’ve noticed this year that our K-2 students are quite tired after attending Gan Shabbat family service starting at 9:30am, going to the Sanctuary service and then learning in class until 12:30pm, and that it is challenging for students to concentrate in the last part of class time, even with the movement break in the gym. 2) Additionally, many families in these grades have shared that they would like more opportunities to make connections with other families, especially since in this age group there are many new CBE members. 3) The original intent of Yachad, when it began ten years ago, was to create a Shabbat experience for the whole family together (b’yachad) that incorporated both Jewish learning and Jewish living. Providing family programming, in addition to the Gan Shabbat family service, enables families to share in the joy of Jewish learning and living, and brings us closer to the core mission of the program.

 

 

The new K-2 Saturday program will be:

Why will 6th grade be moved to M/W or T/Sat?

By moving 6th grade to the schedule of the 3-5th grades, our staff will be fully available on Thursday evenings to teach our 7th and 8th graders. Our middle schoolers will benefit greatly from having a lower teacher-student ratio than we can currently provide in dividing our teachers between 6th, 7th, and 8th all on the same evening.

When will registration be open?

Registration will be open mid-April/early May! Stay tuned for the exact date.

Will classes be first-come, first-served?

As Yachad grows in numbers, in order to best plan for staffing and rooms, class registration will be first-come, first-served. Classes in grades K-6 will be capped at 15 students, with a minimum of 8 students required for a section to run. By registering early, you have the best chance of getting your preferred time and day.

Because a majority of our students in grades 2-5 come from nearby schools and can arrive on the weekdays by 3:15pm, we have created more class sections in the earlier shift. Additionally, 6th grade will only be offered in the later shift due to their later school dismissal and often further travel distances.

What will the registration deposit be? Will there be payment schedules available?

In order to encourage early registration, the registration deposit will be much lower this year – $50 (in past years it was $300). Additionally, we are offering 3 payment options – pay in full, quarterly, and monthly. We hope these changes encourage families to register before the June 15th early-bird deadline.

Of course, we do not want finances to be an impediment as families consider registering for Yachad, so please be in touch with our Membership Director, Sam Sterling, ssterling@cbebk.org, if you would like to discuss options.

EARLY SHIFT LOGISTICS. I would like my student to attend the early shift of Yachad, from 3:15-5pm, but my student needs care until 6pm. Can my student participate in CBE’s After School program?

Yes! If your student attends one of our pick-up schools, CBE staff can pick up your student after school and bring them to CBE for Yachad. Currently, CBE picks up from 295, 107, 10, 9, 316, 282, 39, 118, 321, 372, 32, Poly Prep Lower School, Berkeley Carroll, BSI, BNI, and 32 (pick-ups are arranged pending a minimum of 4 registered students; yearly fee required). After Yachad early shift ends at 5pm, your student can participate in CBE’s After School Homework Help or Game Room, until 6pm, at no extra cost beyond Yachad tuition. CBE staff will accompany your student across the street to the Temple House to the After School program.

Sample M/T/W Early Shift Schedule with After School care bridge

LATE SHIFT LOGISTICS. I would like my student to attend the later shift, from 4:30-6pm, but my student needs to be picked up from school and cared for until Yachad starts. Can my student be picked up by CBE and participate in the After School program?

Yes! If your student attends one of our pick-up schools, CBE staff can pick up your student. Currently, CBE picks up from 295, 107, 10, 9, 316, 282, 39, 118, 321, 372, 32, Poly Prep Lower School, Berkeley Carroll, BSI, BNS, and 32 (pick-ups are arranged pending a minimum of 4 registered students; yearly fee required). Then, your student can participate in Homework Help or Game Room through our After School program, at no extra cost beyond Yachad tuition, until Yachad late shift starts at 4:30pm. CBE staff will accompany your student across to the Rotunda for the start of Yachad.

Sample M/T/W Late Shift Schedule with After School care bridge

If I register for the Tuesday/Saturday option for my 3-6th grader, what is the timing of Saturdays?

The Saturday program time will remain 9:30-12:30pm for all students in 3-6th grade. The program will be adjusted during that time frame to account for the two sections of students. Third-6th grade students will still start in services at 9:30am, then transition to class with their teachers at 10:45am, and remain in class until 12:30pm.

How will the weekday shift overlap be handled?

During the weekday, some early shift classes will end their program with tefila (prayer), whereas other late shift classes will start with tefila. Other grades will have Hebrew Through Movement, Hebrew decoding practice, or other programmatic elements during the overlap, to ensure that our Lead Educators can teach both shifts of the afternoon.

I have another questions. Who should I contact?

Please contact Rabbi Rebecca Epstein, repstein@cbebk.org, or Leslie Lewin, Yachad Parent Committee Chair, leslie.lewin@gmail.com with additional questions.

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