Summer Learning in a Few Hours

July 24, 2018 One of the most remarkable aspects of my summertime is that I have more time that is less rushed.  I have more time in my car going from place to place; I have more time in my house sorting through a years’ worth of clutter; I have more time on my porch […]

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Addressing Sexual Education

July 12, 2018 Yesterday, the new Provincial Education Minister, Lisa Thompson, announced that the Government would be repealing the 2015 Sexual Education portion of the Physical and Health Education document.  This has been a controversial piece of curriculum since it was first introduced three years ago. I have already been asked what this means for […]

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Completing the Cycle, Continuing the Journey

June 22, 2018 After today I will have no more predictable “firsts” at Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School. My first year is officially done and I can move into the cycle for a second time. It feels good to know that things ahead might be a little more predictable! As I reflect on my […]

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Reflection and the Graduate

May 25, 2018 The Oxford Dictionary defines a graduate as a person who has completed a course of study or training.  As we approach the end of the school year, we turn our attention to our Grade Six class and become both sentimental and nostalgic about their graduation from our school.  I’m mindful about what […]

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Counting Up

May 11, 2018 Today is the 41st day of the Omer.  In daily morning prayers from the second day of Passover until the start of Shavuot, Jews around the world count the 49 days of the Omer.  In a similar vein, I just counted, and there are only 28.5 days left of this school year. […]

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Passover Generations

March 23, 2018 The sound of the Purim gregger is a wake up call that Passover is around the corner.  As soon as the last hamantaschen is eaten, anticipation of this next holiday begins. At Paul Penna DJDS, our students have been preparing for Passover by learning the prayers, blessings and songs from the Haggadah. […]

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Student Voice and Rocking the School Library

March 15, 2018 I have been thinking a lot lately about student voice.  When to listen? What to ask? How to hear it? Our students are our ‘raison d’etre’ yet they are often the last constituent group we listen to and dialogue with.  As part of the recent strategic plan, we held focus groups with […]

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Coding is a Gender-Neutral Language

March 6, 2018 An Interview With Dr. Amy Platt,  Written and compiled by Stefan Palios, guest writer.  Dr. Amy Platt began her career as an educator. After getting her PhD, she is now an administrator. As Principal of Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School, she’s working on how to bring technical skills and innovation thinking into […]

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Teacher Excellence

February 23, 2018 In a landmark study on student achievement, John Hattie, a very well respected educational authority from New Zealand, examined many of the influences on variance in student achievement.  He concluded that next to students themselves, the largest variant in how students do in school is their teacher.  Hattie goes on to examine […]

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Grit

February 1, 2018 Today’s message is a second reflection from my recent mission to Israel.  The context of my trip was a UJA sponsored Heads of School Mission with a focus on Israel Engagement Education.  The focus of the mission was seeing Israel as a diverse and multicultural nation. As part of the mission we […]

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