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March 10, 1989 - Image 58

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 1989

0
to

Kelly Walters teaches math to her fifth grade class.

Expansion To 7th, 8th Grades
Planned By Hebrew Day School

SUSAN WDMER-GLIEBE

Special to The Jewish News

T

he Hebrew Day School
of Ann Arbor, which
has offered classes
since 1975, will expand to the
eighth-grade level. The school,
which has an enrollment of 65
students, now offers
kindergarten through sixth
grades.
A seventh grade will be add-
ed in September and the
eighth grade the following
year.
"I think it's going to be
quite a challenge," says
Hebrew Day Principal
Marlene Gitelman. "It can be
a very exciting project." Cur-
riculum and teaching details
are still under dicussion.
Barry Gesserman, who
serves on the school's educa-
tion committee and has two
children at HDSAA, says,
"We're trying to blend the
ideal with the real and Ann
Arbor operates off a much
smaller base than Detroit.
We're acting on enthusiasm
and need and we're saying,
`Let's tap into our strengths.
Let's see if we can grow.' "
"We can do it," said Anita
Lieberman-Lampear, who is a
member of several school com-
mittees. "We have enough
parents who are committed."
Lisbeth Fried, Hebrew Day
School board president, said

the move was primarily, but
not totally, a response to the
Ann Arbor Public Schools'
decision last April to establish
a middle school configuration
(grades 6-8) to replace the
district's intermediate school
structure (grades 7-9).
"There's been talk about it
(adding the grades)," says Tsila
Evers, who has served as day
school board president and
headed the middle school com-
mittee investigating the
change. "Some of the parents
said, 'It's now or nothing: "
A second proposal would
have dropped the sixth grade.
"The key issue facing us was
how much can we do to extend
the Jewish education that we
want to give our kids:' says
Gesserman. "lb stop at fifth
grade would fall short of what
we wanted to do."
Adding two grades involves
more than adding a class or
two. "It's going to be expen-
sive," says Fried. In order to
match the public schools' cur-
riculum changes and instruc-
tional methods, the day school
will have to enrich their
science and math programs.
"Building the science stations
will cost about $3,000," says
Fried, and hiring a
math/science specialist will be
necessary.

In addition, space is becom-
ing a problem. If enrollment
expands it may be necessary

to rent a portable classroom.
Parents also want the school
library to be upgraded.
"As it is, we can not do the
things we should be doing,"
says Fried. The school wanted
to hire a Judaica specialist
this year, but "it would have
meant a $10,000 deficit," says
Fried. "We didn't approve it:
With two more grades, a
Judaica expert must be hired.
"We know we want to enrich
our Judaica program," says
Gesserman. Parents point

The day school will
try not to let
money stand in the
way.

with pride at the present
religious program. "Hebrew
Day kids know a lot about
Hebrew and Judaica," says
Evers. But many parents see
a need for more advanced
Judaica programs for older
children. "There's nothing
else after the fifth grade in
this city," says
Lieberman-Lampear.
Finding the funds may be a
problem. The 1989-1990
HDSAA budget is over
$200,000. For 1989 it received
$13,500 from the Ann Arbor
UJA/JCA. Tuition is $2,400
for the first child, along with
a school pledge which
averages $700.

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