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A Note from the Head of School

August 2017
August 2017
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Shalom EPJA Parents,

 

On behalf of the teachers and staff at the El Paso Jewish Academy, we extend a warm welcome to you and your children as they return for the 2017-2018 school year.  Everyone was very happy to see each other as we gathered in front of the school on August 21st.  That was also the day of the eclipse, so students and teachers participated in many activities designed by our science teacher, Donald Thompson. Be sure to see our facebook page with all the pictures.

 

The week of activities continued with our Open House on August 24th.  We have our excellent and experienced faculty back with us to include the addition of our Pre-K teacher, Barbara Stegmiller, and our Aide, Kaitlin Conner. Kara Jones has been promoted to Assistant Head of School.

 

On Thursday mornings, Rabbi Leon will be conducting Torah services for all the students. The Judaic teachers have reported that the students seemed to pick up right where they left off in their studies without the usual summer regression. That may be attributed to so many of the students attending summer Judaic camps where they practiced their skills. The general education teachers spend the first two weeks in review and assessment. As always, if you have any concerns please schedule a conference with your child’s teacher.

 

This first week of school will culminate with a pool party at Tennis West on August 25th.  We look forward to many more upcoming events for parents and students.

 

Best Regards,

 

Elizabeth Montes, Head of School


October 2014
October 2014

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Everyone has heard of the old three r's... reading, 'riting, and 'rithmatic, but the EPJA has the new three r's....rigor, relevance, and respect. The curriculum goes beyond the core subjects of language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science to include Judaics and Hebrew and the teaching of Jewish traditions, values (Middot) and prayers.

The mission of the school is to provide an integrated Jewish and secular curriculum with a nurturing Jewish environment. Under the guidance of our new administration, we are continuing to improve all aspects of the education that we offer. The Academy recently received the highest accreditation ratings in its history from the accreditation agency, AdvancED. This accreditation is recognized nationally and internationally and assures families that their children are receiving the highest caliber of education and are fully prepared wherever life may take them.  Beginning in August, 2013, the school added value to the middle school courses by granting high school credit for algebra I, PE, and foreign language. That was the first year that EPJA graduates entered high school with three years of Hebrew credit, thereby fulfilling both the Recommended High School and the Distinguished Academic Program requirements for the high school diploma.

The Humanities program (which in the public schools is only for the 3-5 percent of students identified as gifted and talented) was launched in 2013 with the Grade 4 class and is continuing  this year with the Grade 5 class. All faculty have had six hours of training in creative and critical thinking which counts towards their gifted and talented certification. Provisions are made for students in lower grades to take upper grade mathematics if placement tests show they are ready for it with the result that some 5th grade students are taking Pre-Algebra normally taken in 7th grade. Provisions are also made to provide in-school tutoring for those students who could benefit from additional ...


August 2014
August 2014
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EPJA is excited to have 9 new students that come from 7 new families, all with very diverse backgrounds and different age groups. For some of these students, attending the EPJA will be the first time that they are introduced to formal Judaic studies and the Hebrew language. It is our goal to warmly welcome these new members of the EPJA family and, along with our returning students, nourish their love for Torah and Israel.

Just as we have focused on improving our top-notch secular program, our Judaic staff has worked diligently over the summer to reinvigorate our Judaics and Hebrew curriculum. Since our students graduate from EPJA with up to 3 high school credits of a foreign language, it is our goal to further improve our Hebrew language program so that our students surpass the expectations of a typical 3-year language program. Clara Levy, who serves as our Judaics advisor, and I bring our 15-year experience with the Mesita dual language program to enhance the Hebrew program. In addition, through continued professional development,  we are improving our Judaics program to explore our extensive Jewish history, establishing a deep commitment to Israel and focusing on living lives based on the values and teachings that are learned through the Torah. We will continue to build on the Mitzvah Tree that we started last year by having a Midah of the month such as Achrayut (responsibility), Derech Eretz (Jewish ethics in daily life and practice), Gemilut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness) and Kavod ( honor, dignity, and integrity).

Along with our new families, we welcome 4 new teachers, all highly qualified  in their respective fields. One of them is a former NASA space engineer who was involved in building the space shuttle. She is already planning a new Math Club and making connections for our students with Johnson Space Center. Another teacher was trained this summer in the Jewish Court of All Times (JCAT) and will be working with 7th and 8th graders as they engage ...


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