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SJCS Perspectives

Welcome to the Seattle Jewish Community School Blog

Parents, alumni, volunteers and staff share their thoughts on what makes SJCS exceptional! 


Passover – The Telling of Freedom

March 29, 2018

Pesach (Passover) is a holiday about freedom, because it celebrates the Israelite liberation from slavery in Egypt. We celebrate the holiday at home with a big festive meal, the Seder (Order), that has a particular order of 15 steps. According to our sages these are the rituals that will lead us to understand what freedom is. By using a Haggadah, a booklet of instructions, prayers, blessings, and stories that lays out the proper order for the ritual, we enact one of the most important aspects of the Seder, the recitation of the Exodus story. The Haggadah instructs that “In every generation, every person… Read More »


Science at SJCS is out of this world!

March 16, 2018

5th grade science this trimester was literally out of this world!  Our fifth grade scientists explored the cosmos, from planets to black holes to even constellations!  SJCS science is all about research and discovery integrated with hands-on learning.  Our astronomy studies started with the phases of the moon, using oreos to display each phase.  We then moved toward the planets, learning their names, order from the sun, and identifiable characteristics.  Students built their own solar systems and then individually researched and built a planet of their choosing. The unfortunate death of scientist Stephen Hawking allowed us the opportunity to honor him… Read More »


Creating a Climate of Inclusion

March 7, 2018

At SJCS our staff continues to educate ourselves about how we can best serve the social emotional needs of each of our students and our goal to create a systematic, school-wide approach to inclusion. To support these efforts, we recently held two staff trainings with Tracy Flynn M.Ed. a professional equity and inclusion educator from Welcoming Schools during our faculty meetings. Welcoming Schools, a project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, is a comprehensive program that addresses embracing family diversity, avoiding gender stereotyping, and ending bullying and name-calling. Developed for pre-k and elementary age students, staff and families, it offers an… Read More »


Tu B’Shevat Collages by Sh’tilim

March 2, 2018

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Building Relationships That Drive Learning

December 4, 2017

SJCS is using the Responsive Classroom approach to teachings.  This past year, almost all of teachers and staff participated in the training. We have made Responsive Classroom the foundation of our learning community. Our commitment to Responsive Classroom comes from the shared belief that social curriculum is equal in significance to academic curriculum. The Northeast Foundation for Children promotes the Responsive Classroom’s fundamental principles and practices, and SJCS  follows the seven Guiding Principles: The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum. How children learn is as important as what they learn. The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social… Read More »


Government: A New Teaching Strategy for Developing Critical Thought

November 29, 2017

As we head further into 21st century educational standards, the way students study our state and federal government is changing. Less emphasis is put upon the memorization of facts while critical thinking, conceptual understanding, and a more inclusive look at all the people of history has become paramount to modern education. History is no longer only the history of wealthy men of European descent. In 4th grade, we study government from the ground up.  We kick-off with discussion of the essential structures of local, state and federal governments, the components and the branches of our government, and how people rule… Read More »


Connecting and Collaborating: The Responsibility of Digital Citizenship

November 1, 2017

In our ever-evolving world, kids have more access to technology than ever before. Because so many tasks, both in and out of school, involve technology and the internet, it is imperative that we help children navigate the onslaught of online content and digital tools which can be daunting for even the most tech-savvy adults. Often when parents or educators talk about introducing the digital world to young kids we are focused solely on safety – protecting children from the dangers of cyber-bullying, invasion of privacy, and even exploitation. At SJCS we asked ourselves “…how we can help students feel excited about… Read More »


Answering The Call

September 20, 2017

We celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, beginning tonight. Rosh Hashanah, and the subsequent ten Days of Awe that follow it are a time for renewal, reflection, and new beginnings.  This is a time to consider the possibilities for change, improvement, growth, and increased happiness that we can create for ourselves as human beings. What  distinctly marks Rosh Hashanah is the sound of the Shofar (the Ram’s horn that is blown on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur).  According  to the Talmud sages the sound of the shofar is a cry from us to God, shedding tears for our mistakes,… Read More »


Moving Forward Together

June 28, 2017

Congratulations and mazal tov to all you SJCS kids who are stepping up to new grades and stepping out to new schools. Tonight is the rare occasion when almost every parent in the school is in one place so I’d like to share a few important ideas with you. Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees and for the school, the sole goal of our school is to contribute to the positive growth of your children. Every day our teaching team, Shoshi, and her staff come in to teach the very best we can to nurture your child’s intellect… Read More »


Learning From the Past, Shaping the Future

March 1, 2017

The SJCS library is center for exploration of diversity, from the genres we read, the authors we celebrate, to the in-class discussions that are inspired by the learning. This was quite evident this past February, when the library was transformed to reflect some of the best stories, writers, and change makers of the African-American community. From Harriet Tubman to Henry “Box” Brown, and from Arthur Ashe to Jackie Robinson, each grade-level, as was developmentally appropriate, learned about the challenges and celebrations of African-Americans. Stories of the Underground Railroad sparked conversations about the Civil War and slavery, topics most students knew… Read More »