1) What makes Hillel the right choice for my family?
For many Jewish families, the opportunity to provide their children with an excellent General Studies education within the context of Jewish culture, beliefs and language is a wonderful choice. You want the best for your child. Hillel Community Day School (HCDS) understands this and offers an exceptional education that enriches your child intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
At the core of our program is the integration of rigorous General Studies with innovative Judaic studies. In addition to Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies, our students celebrate Jewish holidays and study Torah, Jewish history, and Hebrew language. Students graduate Hillel with Earth Science and Mathematics Regents credits which are typicially given to High School Juniors! Our challenging curriculum develops students not only to excel academically, but also to make positive choices in a complex society. Small classes, outstanding teachers, and age-appropriate creative programming add to the Hillel appeal. Our day school is a perfect fit for children who are intellectually curious and excited to learn and for families who want to see their children thrive in a nurturing Jewish community.
2) What are class compositions?
In all grades, Hillel students represent the full spectrum of Jewish philosophies and backgrounds, nursery schools, suburbs, etc.
3) Doesn’t going to a Jewish day school limit a child’s exposure to diversity?
Quite the opposite. The positive value of diversity means a respect for those whom we perceive as different from ourselves. Some of those differences might be skin colour, country of origin and spoken language. In fact, our curriculum includes issues of identity and diversity, including learning about Jews and their differences and similarities all around the world. We also celebrate the rich diversity among our school families: Ashkenazic and Sephardic; Secular, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Unaffiliated. Our families and faculty members are from a wide range of countries throughout the world, such as Israel, Honduras, Jamaica, South Africa and Russia--just to name a few. There are also families of the Deaf community. Diverse backgrounds and cultures are celebrated at Hillel and students are invited to share their unique background with their class.
4) How does a community Jewish day school differ from other types of Jewish day schools, such as a Solomon Schechter school (Conservative) or a Torah U’Mesorah school (Orthodox)?
Unlike denominationally affiliated Jewish day schools, the curriculum of a community Jewish day school does not conform to any single perspective. As they study together, Jewish children of all backgrounds learn to respect and accept the different approaches to their common background. Although they are expected to adhere to their families’ religious practices and observance, the children understand and respect that other families may do things differently.
5) My Spouse and I do not know a lot of Hebrew. How will we be able to help our child with Hebrew homework?
You're not alone with this concern! Many, if not most, of our parents don't know all the Hebrew that the children are learning. Your child's teacher may help with creating study sheets for non-Hebrew reading parents. We have a wide variety of Jewish knowledge and observance among our families. Our job as a school is to inform and engage; not to judge.
6) Are teachers certified?
Yes. All of our general studies teachers hold New York State certifications and master’s degrees. Our Judaic studies teachers are certified by national accreditation agencies.
7) How can I afford a private school education?
Financial Aid is available to all qualified families who wish to apply. Our confidential application process is administered by an outside company, ensuring the highest standards of fairness and confidentiality. In addition, our confidential Scholarship Committee is available to review applications from families whose situations are unique due to special circumstances or recent changes not considered in the standard application process. For only $25.00, families can receive an early financial aid estimate, consequence free.
8) Won’t going to a small Jewish day school make for a difficult transition into a large public or private school later on?
Not at all. The low teacher-student ratio and the nurturing, intellectually stimulating environment inevitably results in a high level of self-esteem for students. This stands them in good stead when they graduate or transfer. The organizational and critical thinking skills cultivated in our students will make for a smooth transition into any new educational environment. Statistics from Jewish day schools across North America indicate that graduates transition to other systems easily and perform exceptionally well. Hebrew language learning has crossover benefits in a student’s capacity for learning other languages and subjects. Each year HCDS graduates rank among the leaders of their high school classes and go on to attend some of the finest colleges in the country.
9) How does a Day School education differ from a Hebrew and Sunday School Education?
Sunday and Hebrew school are important options for many families. However, a Jewish day school curriculum is a more comprehensive and academic program.
Furthermore, our students are engaged during the regular school day, when they are more energetic and receptive than they are in after-hours and Sunday programs.
10) How are parents informed as to their child’s progress?
A major advantage of the small class size at Hillel Community Day School is the more personalized student attention and easier communication between teachers, students, and parents. A weekly school newsletter is emailed to all families. Parents can expect to receive daily classroom updates from their child’s teachers, as well as assignments and grades posted on our school-wide communications website: Parentlocker.com. ParentLocker's unique web based solutions allow schools to effectively create an online community focused around student performance, parent involvement, teacher successes, and efficient administrative management.
HCDS has landed itself on the Jewish Education “map” for organizational excellence in this regard. The Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) is currently showcasing the HCDS Parent Satisfaction Survey as an example of effective communication for other institutions.
11) What’s for lunch?
A delicious, hot, kosher lunch is included with your tuition. Lunches are dairy, with the exception of one meat day per week. Options to regular selections are always available and monthly menus are posted on the website. All meal choices include steamed vegetables and fruit, fresh salad bar choices of cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, salad, chick peas, celery, carrots, cucumbers and yogurt. Beverage choices of skim milk, 2% milk, chocolate milk, apple and orange juice are included. Parents may join their child for lunch on any school day for only $4.00. You will be asked to send in kosher snacks for your child each day.
12) Is busing available?
Bus transportation is provided by your “home” school district. We will supply applications in the spring or you may contact your district directly for a Transportation Form. Forms must be submitted DIRECTLY to your district. Rules and deadlines may vary between districts. If you prefer, you may drive your child to and/or from school. School hours are 8:00am until 3:15 pm.
13) Is there a dress code for students?
Yes. The school dress code enhances the learning environment. It enables each student to show respect for him/herself, peers, teachers and the educational environment.
• All students are required to wear modest, clean clothing in good condition.
• Pants should be neither excessively tight nor excessively baggy.
• Shirts must have a sleeve. The shirt should be long enough so that nothing is exposed when sitting, bending, or reaching.
• For safety reasons, shoes and sandals (including Crocs) must have backs or back straps.
• Boys: Kippot are required inside the school building. Hats are allowed only outside the school. Kippot can be purchased at all local temple gift shops, from Dor L’Dor or the Hillel office.
• Girls: When wearing skirts or dresses, the hemline should be close to knee length or below.
• Sneaker with built-in skates (Heelys)
• Clothing with slogans or images that deal with drugs, alcohol, violence, racial or sexual innuendo
• Tank tops, muscle shirts, see-through tops, halter-tops, midriff tops, low-cut necklines, basketball jerseys (unless worn over another shirt)
• Skin-tight clothing
• Flip-flops or other slip-on sandals
• Platform shoes or high wedge heels
14) What are the school hours & offerings?
The school day for K-8th grade runs from 8:00am-3:15pm. After School Connection is available from 3:15-6:00pm and extra-curricular activities include Sports Club, Basketball, Little League, Boys & Girls Club Partnership events and the annual middle school drama production.
15) Once my child is enrolled, what happens?
Our new Kindergarten students are invited to "step up day" to spend time with their new teachers and classmates. At the same time, Kindergarten parents are invited to a meeting with the school administration to meet each other and learn more about HCDS. Once your child is enrolled, you can request to start receiving our weekly school newsletter to keep abreast of events in the school and provide a preview of some of the wonderful activities your child can look forward to. Your family will also be invited to attend our annual “End of the Year Picnic”.
All new families can expect two packets from the school, one in May/June and one in August. The May/June mailer will include emergency contact forms, technology policy and other "housekeeping" forms. The August packet will include information about hot lunch, after school activities, bus routes and information about the classroom teachers. A Parent Packet Pickup and Ice Cream Social near the end of August for families to come in to the school and pick up their second packet.
Hillel Community Day School | 191 Fairfield Drive | Rochester | NY | 14620 | Phone: 585.271.6877 | Fax: 585.473.8039
Directions to Hillel School