FAQs

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"A Schechter education is more than a gift to our children; it is a gift to our family. Schechter provides a top of the line education in both secular and Judaic studies.  Every day students are challenged academically, and the nurturing atmosphere provides them with a sense of security and the confidence to excel.  Couple that with the fact that every single member of the staff is fully invested in partnering with us to raise our children with a profound sense of morality and Jewish identity, and our jobs as parents are so much easier!"
-- a quote from a Schechter parent


Frequently Asked Questions

How is a Solomon Schechter Day School education different?

We integrate General and Jewish Studies in a dual curriculum that strengthens critical thinking skills in all subject areas, and creates thoughful and capable learners. High school teachers in the area consistently speak of Schechter students as some of the most prepared students in their classrooms.  While learning at these high academic standards, students also cultivate their Jewish identity through living and celebrating the Jewish calendar on a daily basis.

We are not part of the Conservative movement. Will we feel like part of the community at SSDS?

Yes.   Although SSDS follows the tenets of the Conservative Movement, we have many students whose families are affiliated with Reform, Reconstructionist and Orthodox synagogues as well as families that are unaffiliated.  The richness of the SSDS community is a reflection of what each family brings to our community.  We respect the diversity of observance in our Jewish community and are proud that families from such diverse backgrounds feel comfortable at SSDS. All the food we serve is certified Kosher. All families are informed that parties should not take place on Shabbat. We encourage Shabbat as a time for families to share meals and get to know each other within their communities.

Does the time spent on Judaic Studies take away from what my child needs to learn in General Studies?

No.  Learning takes place throughout the day regardless of the subject matter.  The Judaic Studies program teaches and reinforces the intellectual skills of questioning, analyzing, evaluating and making choices; the very skills needed in General studies classes. The General and Judaic Studies curricula supplement each other; therefore, the high academic achievement of our students at all private local high schools is not surprising. Our students consistently score well above the norm on standardized tests.

Do any of our students have learning issues?

Yes, we have students who attend Schechter with a variety of learning capabilities.   We have learning resource professionals on staff who work closely with our students in push-in and pull-out services.  We utilize MAP testing (measures of academic progress) to monitor the academic achievements of our students.  Where appropriate we add enrichments or support.

We are not a special needs school. If we feel we are unable to meet the needs of a child, we will assist the family in finding a school that can meet the child’s needs.

No one in our family speaks or understands Hebrew; how will this affect my child’s education?

You do not have to know Hebrew for your children to be successful at SSDS.   The Hebrew homework is a review of the material taught to the students in the classroom. Support is also available for your child during and after school.

How are parents involved at SSDS?

SSDS encourages parents to be involved in the school community through the Parent Organization (PO). The PO provides a number of opportunities for parents to volunteer in the school including setting up and serving meals for special holiday celebrations, welcoming new families through our "buddy system," and planning fun family events throughout the school year.

Where do SSDS graduates go to high school?

Graduates attend public and private (secular and Jewish) high schools throughout the Chicagoland area.

How often do students go to Tefillot (Prayer)?

Our students participate in daily tefillot, beginning in our preK program. Younger students take turns leading services and also participate by having aliyot (being called to the Torah), being the Gabbai(organize and lead the service), and leading Tefillah.  This helps our students build confidence and skills. Third graders learn Torah trope and begin reading from the Torah; they in turn then read Torah to the younger students.  Prayer is a time of reflection and connection to our Jewish roots.

Do you have early morning and or afternoon care?

Yes. There is early care and after care at the Early Childhood Center as well as the Northbrook Campus. There is an additional charge for these care arrangements.

Is there a hot lunch program?

Yes, we have a tasty and nutritious certified kosher hot lunch program. There are a variety of lunch plans that you may purchase for your child(ren). We alternate between dairy lunch days and meat lunch days: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are dairy; Tuesdays and Thursdays are meat days.  Students may bring non-dairy/non-meat foods such as tuna, hummus, soy, fruits and vegetables on any day.

Do you have bus service?

Yes. There is bus service to our Northbrook school from 5 pick-up points: Chicago, Evanston, Skokie, Glencoe, Highland Park (East and West) and Buffalo Grove. Different buses pick up/drop-off from the different routes. There is an additional charge for this service. Many of our families also drive in carpools. Pick-up and drop-off is quick, safe and organized.

 

Thank You Schechter

Our son and his friends were sitting on the floor at the JCC waiting for their basketball game to start. They were telling a teammate that they get to practice Hebrew every day. Then the boys started talking about their Torah portions, which they had received a few days earlier. Each boy was SO excited and they all started chanting their portions. It was awesome to see how proud and excited the boys were about their basketball game and their Torah portions! Thank you Schechter.

 

- Dina Shiner

From Generation to Generation

I loved being a Schechter student, and I treasure my Schechter friends to this day. Now, as a parent, I have a deeper understanding of the gift my parents gave to me and my brother and sisters. We want our children to experience what I had as a child -- a strong foundation of knowledge guided by Jewish history, tradition, and values. No other school can do this like Schechter.

 

- Ellen Dorfman Nathan

 

Only At Schechter

Unlike other schools, only at Schechter do general studies and Judaic Studies come together as one. Some people say it's like two worlds where there is no contact between the two worlds. I'm telling you -- there is a connection! We are part of the American culture, but at the same time, we keep our Jewish identity. We have learned from two worlds which appear to us as one. It was all a part of our daily schedule. We learned to be good citizens and also proud Jews. This only happens at Schechter....

 

- A Schechter Student

Our Schechter Community

For my Bat Mitzvah, I've decided to do a chesed project. With inspiration from a friend, I am making bracelets out of buttons called "button bracelets" that I am currently selling for $5 each. The money I am raising will go to my grade for our Israel trip fund. It is my hope that everyone will be able to go on the trip, because to me our Schechter community isn't the same without everyone included.

 

- A Schechter Student

A Love of Jewish Life

When I think about Schechter, I realize that Schechter not only provides a strong foundation of Jewish knowledge, it also fosters a love of Jewish life. As I get older, I realize the huge impact that Schechter has had on my life - who I am as a person and who I am as a Jew. Many of my closest friends are still my Schechter friends. It's great to see so many students today having the chance to experience what I had as a Schechter student.

Josh (Class of 2004) is pictured with one of his favorite teachers, Dr. Lena Kushnir, who is now principal of the Sager Elementary School.

 

- Josh Warshawsky

Our Community at Schechter

Our community here at Schechter is created by our connection to each other and to Judaism. At Schechter, we do not have all the same viewpoints or opinions about how to live life, practice Judaism, or affiliate politically. But community is not about sharing the exact same perspective as everyone else. Community is about having a safe environment in which everyone is able to share his or her own ideas without the fear that they will be judged or ridiculed.

 

- A Schechter Student

When I Think Of Schechter

When I think of Schechter, I think of my home, a place I feel comfortable and secure, a place where I feel accepted and understood, a place where I feel educated, and I place where I feel loved. Nothing can compare to the feeling that Schechter provides.

 

- A Schechter Student

A Strong Academic Foundation

As a Schechter graduate, I wanted my children to have the same intimate, nurturing environment that I had as a child at Schechter, as well as the strong academic foundation, connection to Israel, and love of Jewish life. It's wonderful to see how our children have thrived at Schechter and how well-prepared they are for high school. We are also proud of the people they have become -- their connection to Judaism and their values.

 

- Dr. Arica Feldman Hirsch

A Gift To Families

A Schechter education is more than a gift to our children, it is a gift to our family. The school provides a top of the line education in both general and Jewish studies. Every day students are challenged academically, and the nurturing atmosphere provides them with a sense of security and the confidence to excel.

 

- Susan Harris

Why I Love Schechter

In three words, Schechter is community, learning, and Judaism. Schechter is the type of community that promotes friendship, leadershipship, learning, fun, and most of all the love of being Jewish. Each day when I walk into school, I am greeted. Whether it's a security guard, a parent, a teacher, and sometimes even a student, I know that I'm starting my day in a community way.

 

- A Schechter Student

The Friendships Are Everlasting

The frienships that I have developed individually and as an entire grade have created bonds that are everlasting. Together we have shared life events -- receiving our first siddur, reading Torah, births, deaths, becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and many others. The love and support of my classmates has helped to mold me into the person I am today. Schechter is like a second home to me. All the memories I have made and the lessons I have learned here will stick with me forever.

 

- A Schechter Student

Seems Like Yesterday

It was such a special moment when we witnessed our twins read from the Torah for the first time, along with their third grade classmates. It seems like only yesterday that they all were in kindergarten. It's been wonderful watching them develop these skills and to see their love for reading Torah.

 

- A Schechter Student

 

Community | Kehillah

SSDS is a community of students, families, educators, donors, and volunteer leaders who support
each other through times of joy and sorrow, forging life-long bonds of friendship
based on a shared commitment to each other and to Jewish life and learning.

Responsibility | Achrayut

As Jews, we are all responsible for one another. This sense of responsibility begins with, and extends
beyond, our SSDS community and includes giving tzedakah and improving our world.

Joy | Simcha

A Jewish life is a joyous life. SSDS provides a joyful learning environment for children,
families, and educators. Jewish holidays and life cycle events are an opportunity for everyone
to come together to celebrate and experience the richness of Jewish life.

Israel | Yisrael

Through Hebrew language education and immersion in Israeli culture, SSDS personalizes for its students
the American Jewish connection to Israel, instilling a passionate, lasting commitment to, and a sense of responsibility
for, the State of Israel.

Journey | Masa

SSDS welcomes and partners with parents to encourage and support their children and families
throughout their Schechter journey. We also promote a love of learning in our students, and create
opportunities for children, parents, families, educators, and volunteers to engage in life-long learning and growth.

In the Image of God | Btzelem Elohim

SSDS values the uniqueness and worth of every individual. Our school emphasizes respect, dignity,
inclusiveness, and compassion. We nurture the health, safety, and well-being of every member of our community.

Exemplary | Dugma

SSDS is committed to providing an education that weaves the best of General studies and Judaic
studies in an integrated program that is the benchmark against which Jewish day school programs are measured.

A partner with the Jewish United Fund in serving our community. We appreciate the generous assistance provided by the Bernard Heerey Family Foundation Seventh Grade Scholarship Program for our Schechter families. Solomon Schechter Day School accepts students and parents of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

Administrative Office: 3210 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL 60062 | 847.498.2100
©2014, Solomon Schechter Day School of Metropolitan Chicago