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Message from the Assistant Head of School – Principal – December 2019

Stacey Smilovitch – Assistant Head of School – Principal

The Languages of Learning

Allow me to take you behind the curtain and share how learning at Akiva comes to life. Excellent academic programming requires strong classroom instruction, meaningful experiences and incredible heart. It’s the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, yet it is coding and robotics, Shakespeare and poetry, exploring French language and culture. It’s delving deep into Jewish history and holidays, all the while filling our buckets with good character: caring, kindness, honesty and responsibility. These are the languages of learning at Akiva.

Fluency at Akiva comes in the form of academic excellence, social, emotional and personal growth. Learning is for life. Children must be explicitly taught… everything! How to ask a question, take risks, be right, be wrong, have an opinion and realize everyone will not share that opinion. It’s understanding what kind interactions look, feel, and sound like. Real growth is in the journey as much as the destination. Our journey is guided by The Five Promises, in every action, reaction and interaction.

Our learning is layered. It includes the extension of our classrooms, our Innovation Lab, a student-driven space supporting our STEAM programming and project-based learning. It involves regularly scheduled time spent in every classroom for proactive social emotional learning. Our students spend time distinguishing the notions of telling vs tattling and identifying big problems and little problems. It sprouts lessons on the power of respectful play and understanding restorative principles.

As I live out my 25th year at Akiva, I can say with sincerity that I am continually inspired by the teaching, learning, kindness and community. These are the languages that live within our walls each day. Head – hand – heart, that’s Akiva.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Chanukah and a holiday time filled with health, happiness, inspiration and gratitude.