HANNAH STEINFELD, a sixth-grade student at The Hebrew Academy in Marlboro, said she starts every day the same way. “My day consists of waking up, getting ready, eating breakfast, doing schoolwork, having lunch, doing more schoolwork, going outside, then doing homework.” The only noticeable difference in her daily routine is that Hannah, like the other almost 200 students at The Hebrew Academy, is learning from home rather than in-person at school.
The transition to virtual learning at The Hebrew Academy began on March 17 following Gov. Phil Murphy’s March 14 order to close all public and private schools. The entire school, from infants through eighth-grade students, fell into the new normal routine.
“Although our classrooms are empty, our work on behalf of our students continues,” said Yoti Golan, head of school.
The staff and faculty members were critical to the implementation of virtual learning. The school employs many tools to engage the wide span of grades and learning styles, and students are taught live every day.
“While there is no substitute for personal contact both with teachers and fellow students, our amazing and dedicated staff have gone above and beyond to keep educating and to keep families and community involved,” said Maxine Macnow, president of the board of trustees.
Parents are important partners with the teachers in remote learning. In addition to educating, The Hebrew Academy has been building community.
“My favorite part of remote learning has been the sense of community fostered during this time of physical isolation,” said Stacy Gallin, a parent. “Seeing the entire school get together to say a prayer for healing is a powerful experience for our entire family to take part in right now and teaches our children the true meaning of Judaism.”
Yoti Golan said, “During this time, it is so encouraging and inspiring to witness our entire community coming together to support each other and our students in these unprecedented times.”