Shari Weinberger recently joined the Shevet groupsite, an online national platform where Jewish family educators connect and join discussions. Seeing her profile led me to her school’s website, the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island, and from there I landed upon a really great blogging area that they had created – for parents, but visible to the whole world. Seeing it prompted me to ask Shari a few questions – AND tell her how totally cool I thought it was! Here’s what Shari shared in return. An honest and inspiring insight into their journey and philosophy about using technology. (SC)
Our preK team here is pretty fabulous. They have been blogging for a while, but this year we have really stepped everything up by creating a unified platform for the whole school. Our school participated in EdJEWcom last year. We sent a team of 5 people to Jacksonville, and fortunately received some grant funds to make some innovative advances. Additionally we are part of a Darim cohort, being coached by Shira Leibowitz (at the Westchester schechter), who is wonderful.
We DID talk a lot about privacy. Learning a new blogging platform was a lot of work for our teachers and they have been devoting a lot of personal time to their blogging. Our feeling was, that if the blogs were just going to be online newsletters that only our parents were going to be able to see, it wasn’t worth the effort. Our hope is that our blogs will be used and seen by a community greater than our students families; for recruitment, development, and to participate in educational discussions, learning and sharing both locally and globally. Since you took the time to look and comment it means our goal is being realized!!!
“Wow! We so appreciate all the time and effort that you put into this blog and our bi/tri-weekly updates/pics. It makes us feel more apart of his day and leads to many fun conversations at home… Thanks again to all of my son’s teachers.”
We do have every family sign a comprehensive AUP. We have policy in place to never use a child’s last name and to never post exactly when and where our children will be off campus. Of course there have been some glitches, but we work through them, ever looking forward.
We do a lot of recruitment outreach to families of young children, offering free drop in programs for young children – “Thursdays Together” “Giggles in the Garden” and “Shalom Friends.” This is the first recruitment season where we’re a beginning to see the fruits of these programs.
Shari Weinberger is the Teaching Coach and Curriculum Coordinator at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island. See blogger bios for more about Shari.