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While our 2015-16 school year began with davening at Congregation KINS, the story of this year is unlike any that came before it. Students began their first day at 2828 Pratt for the last time, as this is the year when we will finally move to our new, state-of-the-art building in January.

As if that anticipation wasn’t high enough, a flat bed truck showed up first thing in the morning to move our iconic menorah. The statue will be renovated and placed in the new building’s courtyard and will again be lit on Chanukah.

We launched our transition to a 1:1 device school, with freshmen and sophomores each receiving personal iPads. Their backpacks will be lighter this year, with some of their textbooks now in digital format. They have access to thousands of Jewish texts, through our partnership with Sefaria as well. Additionally, the iPads are loaded with apps and digital software for use in class. Read more about our plan to become a 1:1 school.

And all students were trained on our new Learning Management System (LMS), Haiku. At a minimum, teachers will be posting all class assignments and syllabi to Haiku so that students can track their weekly schedules online. At most, the possibilities are nearly endless. Students can collaborate with students in other classes who are learning the same material. They can submit assignments over email and text and then receive it back with comments and corrections that their teachers made online as well. Students can download notes and even lectures from those teachers who record classes.

The new digital technology presents new challenges, all of which we are addressing. Staff were trained throughout the summer to use Haiku and iPads. And Rabbi Binyamin Segal and Mrs. Olivia Friedman, instructional technology coordinators, worked tirelessly with administration and our IT department to ensure the launch goes smoothly. We’re also working with students to teach digital citizenship so that they leave a positive footprint in the digital world and can filter through an endless sea of information. Watch Dr. Green’s online digital citizenship lesson here.

We’re looking forward to a wonderful new school year, unlike any other!

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