Schools, Schools, and More Schools!

A brand new school in Minnesota, two middle schools open, and more are being planned – what a year!When the New York State Board of Regents approved the charter renewal for our flagship school, HLA in Brooklyn, in March of 2015, it also ushered in the first middle school in our national network of dual-language public charter schools. That great news was soon followed by more great news when the State of New Jersey granted Hatikvah permission to expand into grades 6-8. Then, in the fall, Agamim Academy in Minneapolis opened with a student body of 73. We could not be more proud of all the people at HLA and Hatikvah, as well as our partners in Minnesota who worked so hard to secure these achievements. And more Hebrew Public schools are on the way: In the pipeline are new schools for Atlanta, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles.

Harvard University Professor Lee Teitel and his graduate students partnered with HLA to study effective staffing practices in diverse schools.

Network-wide staff attendance at the Teachers College’s summer institute for the teaching of reading was the highest ever in our history.

Israeli Teachers of the Year visited HLA in the fall to get a first-hand look at how one of our schools operates.

Hatikvah Performance



Model World Language Program

The State of New Jersey has selected Hatikvah for a full-day visit in early 2016 in round one of the two-part process to evaluate the school for possible “Model World Language Program” status, based on the school’s classroom practices for teaching Hebrew. “Whether we win the final round or not, we feel honored to be moving forward in the process and continue to be proud of the work of our Hebrew teachers,” says school head Dr. Marcia Grayson. “Sara Schwartz has been supervising Hebrew at our school for more than five years… She is a superb and gifted educator and a truly wonderful person who we are very fortunate to have leading this important work.”

At Hatikvah, representatives from the Center for Israel Innovation and Education visited to see some of the cutting-edge approaches going on there.

Amir Lazar, Hebrew teacher, is shows how to make pitot (pita breads) for the sixth graders.

Hatikvah Hikes the Appalachian Trail

Hatikvah kicked off its first sixth grade class with a 10-mile hike along the Appalachian Trial. The school’s principal, Dr. Marcia Grayson, shared some of her observations. The students:

  • Went through areas with streams, waterfalls, swamps, and various elevations, saw different types of plant growth and many different types of rocks. They participated in a scavenger hunt while hiking, made observations of the natural habitats, did a little bird watching, found frogs, several new insects, and saw some beautiful large turtles in the camp’s pond.
  • Learned through personal experience what’s emotionally and physically needed for trail survival. This discussion will continue in future design classes when they will need to plan for an unexpected overnight survival on a swampy trail with limited resources. During these lessons, they will be learning the Middle Years Programme Design Cycle planning process, which they will use during the next three years while they plan for all types of projects, including robotics projects, and other off-line designs.
  • Experienced how to use nature as inspiration for developing similes, metaphors, and personification and then how to apply these ideas to creative writing.
  • Learned how to make some delicious s’mores over the fire and they made fresh homemade pita with their new Hebrew teacher, Amir. Amir also made enough dough to make them all soufganiot (donuts).
  • Built solar ovens.
  • Learned about the pH scale and tested three different samples of water that they collected.
  • Had a karaoke, guitar, and saxophone jam session with a visiting musician. They sang, laughed, played games, made a big mess, ran around and got a ton of fresh mountain air.

“We were all very impressed by the children’s stamina, cooperation, collaboration, curiosity, compassion, and joy of life,” says Dr. Grayson. “They made us all feel like this trip was a most worthwhile experience and one that we will remember with fondness for many years to come.”

Famous Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza performed at Harlem Hebrew.

Our New York region schools have embraced data-driven instruction. Throughout the year, they use the Fountas and Pinnell Literacy Benchmark Assessment System, which links assessment to instruction. Additionally, three times a year, the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress assesses growth and achievement in literacy and mathematics.

Network Diversity






According to surveys conducted by Hebrew Public, 96 percent of parents agree that their children are receiving an excellent education in our schools, while 96 percent of our teachers confirm that their schools have cultures of academic excellence.

The HaOlam Street books Shalom Ani Roni (Hello I am Roni), and Shalom Ani Tal (Hello, I am Tal) were published and distributed to all of our network schools.  Our students are very attached to the characters that we have created, so much so that some of the younger students believe they are real and want to meet them!

HLA Performance



Agamim Classical Academy, in its very first year of existence, exceded its enrollment projections.

Kavod’s charter was renewed through 2020. Third-graders performed above state averages in English and math.

Kavod received double the number of applications for its kindergarten class than spaces available for 2016. Its second annual fundraiser, “Mesiba,” raised approximately $7,500, and its parent campaign has raised $9,000 so far for 2015-16.

Lashon Academy is offering a Hebrew choir/voice program and had its first showcase in December.

Student Enrollment by School

Third graders at Lashon are participating in a pilot program with Youth Education for Success, where they are writing, acting, filming, and editing an anti-bullying video that will be shown across the ToonGoggles website.

Sela Public Charter School has been approved to add a PK-3 class and surpassed its enrollment target for 2015-16.

News Channel 10 in Israel profiled Sela in a feature that garnered nearly 80,000 views on YouTube.

© Copyright 2016 - Hebrew Public President's Report
(This report covers the period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2015.)

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