We hope and pray you are doing well and in good health. We express our sympathy and wishes of Nechama to those who have suffered a loss in their family over Pesach. Don’t hesitate to reach out, and please make sure to let us know if your family is grieving so we can focus special attention on your child(ren) at this difficult time.
Distance Learning has clearly become a reality for the foreseeable future. Navigating the best course of continuing to provide an effective education for your child(ren) varies from family to family and there is no one formula that can be put into place that will be optimum for all. In all YTCTE divisions, we are proceeding with a mix of recorded and live sessions, written assignments, and review, balancing the age of the student, outside security concerns, the home reality of the individual teacher, and the academic needs of the individual student. Please see your child’s division below for details:
ECE and KES
For the elementary and early childhood children, there is the additional factor of materials – worksheets, workbooks and craft materials that need to get to you. A complex system of gathering, compiling, organizing and distributing these materials by the teachers, office and maintenance staff will be taking place over this coming week and packages of these materials will hopefully be at distribution points for parent pick-up in each neighborhood next Sunday.
For the coming week, instruction will continue basically as it did in the weeks before Pesach. Make sure to check the Google Drive folders daily for further instructions from the teachers. Teachers will begin incorporating more Zoom sessions into the weekly schedule. The bulk of instruction, at least for the younger elementary grades, will continue to be through recorded sessions. Zoom sessions will also be recorded for those who are unable to participate in real time. Additionally, Accelerated and ACE students will continue to receive services from their teachers.
Security in Zoom sessions has become a source of great concern. Be aware, that when a child (or anyone) signs into a meeting they will automatically be placed in a ‘waiting room’ and need to wait until `added’ into the actual session by the teacher. This will protect from unwanted outsiders hacking into a session. It is also a tool the teacher can use to control inappropriate behavior. Teachers will also be password protecting their sessions and will send the password directly to parents and/or post it in the Google Drive. Additionally, there are a number of extra security features and practices that we are implementing behind the scenes.
To maximize the benefit of these live sessions it is highly recommended to provide each child with earphones and to situate them in a quiet place (if it exists!) free of distractions.
Beginning tomorrow, teachers will be taking attendance. A student will be considered present if he/she is present at the Zoom session and/or the day’s work is presented to the teacher. School uniforms for KES will also be expected, especially at Zoom sessions. In addition, wearing a hat or eating at a Zoom session is not acceptable. Appropriate classroom behavior is expected at Zoom sessions. Teachers will be focused on completing the year’s curriculum and eligibility for promotion depends on attendance, participation and performance, the same as if we were in the Yeshiva building for classes.
Please note the following upgrades to the daily schedule:
- Each talmid will check in with his Rebbe at 8:45am to demonstrate that he is ready for shacharis.
- We have added 15 minutes to the Gemara shiurim. We go LIVE at 9:45!
- All talmidim will remain with their own Rebbe the entire morning, until 12:15pm.
- In order to help students with their General Studies course load, they will have two live zoom classes daily (Monday-Thursday).
- We will continue to have Open Office Hours for all General Studies staff on Fridays, 12:30-2:30pm (no appointments necessary!).
- The primary source for all of your son’s school work will be found on their Google Classroom, unless otherwise noted.
- We are adding a daily PE Challenge into your son’s schedule which can be accessed in the shared Google Drive.
While students should continue to focus on the 14 Skills and Behaviors That Support Learning, we have also outlined a list of clear expectations of classroom etiquette while conducting distance learning through the Zoom platform. Please make sure that your son is aware of and follows the RMS Standards for Distance Learning Etiquette outlined below, aka The 10 Commandments of Zoom:
- Student should be in RMS uniform
- Student should be set up in a quiet place with minimal distractions
- Student should be sitting in a chair at a table
- Student’s profile picture and virtual background should be set to the default option (free of pictures and images)
- Student should be prepared when class begins with all supplies
- Student should be in their Zoom classes on time
- Student’s proper name should be displayed on screen to be marked present in the class
- Zoom class should be the only tab open at all times during class
- Eating should be done only at break/lunch times except for water bottles
- Student should remain in class (on video screen) until class is dismissed
Should you have any questions regarding the schedule, please feel free to contact: Mrs. Berry (305) 546-0395 or Mrs. Goldglanz (305) 389-0932. Alternatively, you can leave a message at the middle school office (305) 947-7779 for any one of us; we will return the call.
Below is the schedule and expectations beginning on Monday, April 20th. We want to emphasize to Parents and Talmidim that attending classes during the structured day outlined below and completing assigned work is a requirement for earning grades in the classes. Of course, as always, teachers are ready to work with individual students and make adjustments where indicated.
The Talmidim are expected to get up for davening each morning (The Rabbeim will be encouraging and following up with each Talmid regarding this), have a healthy breakfast and a short break, and be ready to begin learning at 10:00 AM. In order to enhance the kovad that the talmidim and their learning deserve, regular Yeshiva dress code is required for attending all classes. Each day will begin with Halacha, followed by a short break, Gemora Havana Shiur, lunch, and Bekius. The exact details of the schedule are attached to this email and will be posted on the shared google drive; we encourage you to take a look at it before returning to school on Monday. The morning Limud will conclude at 2:00. There will be an official “Mincha together without a Minyan” at 2:00. As we heard from Rabbi Friedman before Yom Tov, davening earlier in the day at a set time is the best way to avoid forgetting later.
Starting on the first Tuesday (April 21st), there will be mishmar every Tuesday night for all shiurim from 7:15 to 8:00. Each of the Rabbeim will be offering an additional optional mishmar on a different night for those Talmidim who are able to attend. They will each discuss this with their shiurim to figure out the best time. The 12th grade Rebbe will communicate to the talmidim the details of the 12th grade night seder schedule.
The Secular schedule will be a bit more fluid, mixing in live Zoom classes and independent work by the students. Each teacher will be zooming live twice a week, following a schedule which is attached to this email and can also be accessed on the shared Google Drive.
Please make sure to check each teacher’s class folder in the shared google drive for their Zoom ID# and any other important information you will need for class. The schedule was created with the needs of our teachers & entire student body in mind. Obviously, it will not be a perfect “lechatchila” for everyone, but please be understanding and flexible to make it work for you.
Included in the morning schedule grid is the information for joining each of the many extra shiurim that are being offered: Rabbi Privalsky’s nightly night seder, Rabbi Blinder’s mishnayos shiur, Rabbi Palgon’s nightly shmiras Halashon shiur, & Rabbi Kier’s ketzos chabura. We encourage each talmid to “take on” at least one of these amazing learning opportunities!
We know and understand the difficulty and stress the system of distance learning places on parents, students and teachers. With creativity, flexibility, understanding and patience we will continue to provide our children with the academic growth necessary to maintain their progress through the remainder of the school year.
Best wishes for your family’s continued good health and well-being.
We hope and pray you are all in good health and coping with the pre-Pesach pressure, amidst the frightening news all around us. Your incredible efforts to enable your children to continue learning from home in very challenging circumstances will, with Hashem’s help, bring you the merit to enjoy increased Nachas from the children in the future, IY’H. Click here for our Pesach Learning Programs.
There is very little of what lies ahead that we can know for certain, but we do want to share, that Florida schools, ours included, are remaining closed, at least until May 1. Our plans for the children’s distance learning after Pesach are being modified to reflect the feedback we received from parents, along with the need to have greater accountability. Student work needs to find its way back to the teachers, to show that the children are actually participating and progressing in the distance learning.
ECE and KES will begin each day with a short Zoom (live-interactive) session to help set the tone and schedule for the day’s learning, and in KES, there will be daily Zoom lessons covering academic subjects. A significant portion of instruction will remain via pre-recorded lessons. There will also be a more streamlined format for the teachers to receive children’s work, requiring less direct parental involvement. RMS is also adding significantly to the Zoom lessons offered in General Studies. DACHS, too, will be adding some more live instruction time, both for Limudei Kodesh and Secular Studies, to build on and improve the overall learning of our Talmidim.
To enable these modifications to work, it is our strong recommendation that each child have their own device available to them during the day. Additional chromebooks are available to be borrowed from the Yeshiva. They are fully protected and can access only YTCTE content. Please click this link to indicate if and how many chromebooks you need. Please respond now so we have the extra time over the Pesach break to order and receive any additional devices that might be needed. A refundable deposit of $100 is requested for each chromebook.
In the days following Pesach, many of the ECE and KES teachers will be preparing additional materials and gathering other workbooks to be sent home. We will be setting up distribution points in each neighborhood for your convenience. Anyone willing to serve as a distribution spot (put materials out on your porch for fellow parents to pick up) please inform Mrs. Serle firstname.lastname@example.org or Mrs. Roth email@example.com.
In a short amount of time we have all made great progress in harnessing remote learning to work for our children and family. The challenge remains great and the effort and patience necessary to make this successful is still quite formidable. The children’s academic progress, achieved through so much effort and perseverance since last August, cannot be allowed to slip away. Each of us needs to increase our resolve and summon the inner strength to carry on through this great trial that Hashem has sent us, and bring us through in good health, emotionally strong and well-positioned to grow to greater heights when we come out the other side.
While apart, we remain united and look forward to re-establishing the close, in-person teacher-child connection, in the very near future.
Rabbi Yehuda Bergida
Rabbi Yaakov Dreyfuss
Rabbi Ephraim Palgon
Mrs. Staci Berry
Rabbi Kalman Baumann
Rabbi Noam Grossman
Mrs. Miriam Deitsch
Mrs. Talia Levine
Learning Continues Over Pesach Break!
Rabbi Elchonon Goldenberg zt’l Hasmoda/Chemdah Project
Despite our Pesach break from school, home-school, virtual school, distance learning and remote learning, Torah learning, Tefila and Chesed never stop!
The Rebbeim and Moros have included the Hasmoda voluntary learning Project for boys, and the Chemdah – Chesed, Midos, Davening and Hasmoda voluntary Project for girls with their Pre-Pesach materials. Please enable and encourage your children to participate! Thank you to our generous sponsors.
RMS world-renowned Pesach Diamond Club program (for davening and learning) will begin on Sunday after Zoom classes are over. Click here to download the form. It is also available in the RMS Google Drive.
DACHS will again be running our Pesach Chazara program for Talmidim to participate in during their Bain Hazmanim. The information for this program can be found on the flier in the shared google drive. Please encourage your sons to participate!
Following days and nights of intensive training, brainstorming, sharing ideas and formulating plans, our teachers JPK – 12, are ready to embark upon a new world of teaching and interacting with students. The teachers have clearly gone above and beyond and our hope and prayer is that this endeavor will strengthen and deepen the school – home partnership, for the benefit of all our students.
This email contains information and guidance for parents and students to navigate and make the most of our distance learning. The information is enclosed division by division, with links to the materials. The central location for all learning materials and instructions for all divisions is located here. You will need to login with a google account. (If you need help, see video instructions below)
Any South Campus parent who was not able to pick up materials today, can come tomorrow morning between 11 and 12 to receive them. Call first to the Girls’ Office, 305-947-6000.
Parents can expect to find the following in the appropriate file (your child’s class) of the Google Drive.
1. A davening video is in its own folder, and is usable each day.
2. There is a daily folder containing: a Judaic studies lesson, a Secular studies lesson, extension activities and read alouds. The lessons are not tied to any time of the day – you may access the file and have your child(ren) engage in the activity whenever it is convenient for you. The children should not go ahead, but do the work for the assigned day.
Supplies were sent home for each child. The teachers will be in touch with each parent directly, over the next few days. Supplementary activities and links to appropriate sites for further materials/activities will be contained in the folder entitled “ancillary materials.”
The students’ daily learning program, while abbreviated, should replicate a typical school day. Participation in the daily lessons is mandatory for all students, circumstances permitting. Student work will be assessed and graded by the teachers. Students should dress in the school uniform to help create the sense of seriousness which the ongoing learning requires. All lessons are pre-recorded, so that the students can receive instruction at whatever time works for your family. Every day begins with davening and that day’s folder contains the day’s lessons. Each day will include the main subjects according to the grade and will include specialties, in accordance with the regular weekly schedule. Grades 1-2 will have approximately 2 hours per day, not including davening. Grade 3, 4 and 5 will have approximately 2.5 hours, not including davening and specialties. Not all the time is teacher presentation, time is built in for reading and review. Teachers will be in touch with each parent at least once each week. Click here for the full learning plan.
The stretch of time between Purim and Pesach typically show the growth of our talmidim – in a way that even they can see and appreciate. We are determined to not only maintain the level of growth that students have experienced but to significantly add to it so that the same feeling of accomplishment is felt. Rebbeim, Teachers and Staff have worked Herculean hours under tremendous pressure to be ready to roll out an entire new way of teaching and learning in a few short days. Just wait until our students see what is waiting for them. We think that they are all in for a pleasant surprise! Daily interactive Gemara shiurim via ZOOM (available by phone for those without access), three additional shiurim plus lots of great Pesach and Haggadah preparation. The General Studies teachers are pumped for accomplishing so much. Weekly projects and assignments in each subject area will be completed by students according to the schedule provided. We are hoping that our students will be inspired, productive and will even exceed all our expectations! Please check out this link with RMS expectations, Daily Schedule and Students’ Advisor/Advisee assignments.
Much thought and discussion was put into creating a schedule that keeps in mind the needs of our students: Continuing their growth of the past few months is paramount, along with the realization that it will be much harder to work in this adjusted environment. When we add to the mix the unique individual situation of each family, we are certainly left with a wide spectrum of needs.
We anticipate that the new learning will be a good fit for some boys, while a challenge for others. Please give it a few days as we all figure things out a little better, and then let your son’s Rebbe know how it is going, what adjustments would be helpful for your son, etc. BE”H this will be a unique learning and growth-filled experience for our students. Click here for the full learning plan.
As we now move onto our distance learning, please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing, and if there’s any help that you might need. The Yeshiva will reopen, IY’H, as soon as it is safe to do so. Please be very careful to guard your health and the health of others. Let’s increase our Tefillos to Hashem to bring a quick end to this plague, and an end to all sickness and suffering, with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our day.
Rabbi Y Bergida
Rabbi Y Dreyfuss
Rabbi E. Palgon
Rabbi N. Grossman
All YTCE Faculty are currently receiving intense training in distance learning and are prepared to do whatever they can to make this transition as smooth as possible. While there may be some bumps along the way, particularly in the beginning, YTCTE is committed to provide the best education possible during these trying times. Details of the learning plan will be shared later today. As always, please feel free to reach out if we can assist in any other way!
In light of the announced closure of Miami-Dade and Broward Public Schools and in consultation with Daas Torah, we have made the difficult decision to close school for Grades JPK – 12, effective immediately. (DACHS Motzei Shabbos JCC is also cancelled.)
Teachers will be asked to come into school on Sunday for continued training and preparation in conducting distance learning, which will commence Tuesday. Faculty and parents, watch for further information.
With the President’s declaration of a National Emergency over the Coronavirus Pandemic, the next few days will be crucial in determining how widespread the virus really is in the country and in South Florida. It is not the time to be gathered in schools or any public place.
The decision to close should not be interpreted as a reflection of a worsening situation, but rather out of great caution to help give the authorities time to identify the extent of infection in the wider community.
We need to redouble our Tefillos and be extremely careful to follow all safety warnings.
We hope and pray for a speedy reopening. We will keep you informed of developments.
Have a safe, healthy and uplifting Shabbos.
There has been no change in the status of our remaining open for the time being. We will inform you as soon as possible, if there is a change.
As a precautionary measure, teachers in KES will be sending home workbooks and materials today in case the students don’t return on Monday. If we are open, you are asked to send the books (and Haggadas) back to school. In fact, we suggest not emptying any backpacks at this time.
ECE materials should be kept at home and stored for a time when they may become necessary.
If any parents are planning to keep their children at home during this outbreak, please inform us so we can try to keep them in touch with the classroom learning. We are training the teachers for the eventuality of distance learning, however we have not yet developed a plan for both staying open and helping those unable to attend. We will try to be helpful as needed.
At this time YTCTE is remaining open. The circumstances are evolving rapidly and at the Yeshiva we are closely following CDC and local public health advisories. Our Medical Advisory Committee is also being consulted for their guidance in these matters.
As soon as there are any updates the information will be posted here.
May Hashem send a Refuah Shelaima to all those affected and protect the rest of us from harm.