Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Your input is critical to our collective success. Please help us, and one another, consider three issues that are currently receiving particular attention at AVI CHAI:


  • What is the best way for schools to engage day school alumni, both to extend the impact of their years of education and to draw on alumni as potential funders?
  • How can the field accelerate the journey of day schools into the digital age, in which virtually all students already have handheld computers as part of their cellphones?
  • How can we all encourage the ongoing development of a sufficient supply of effective and Jewishly-inspiring day school leaders?


We hope that you will share your ideas with us and one another, so that the conversation, building comment upon comment, will provide the field with the guidance necessary to achieve our shared goals.

5 comments:

  1. I once met a Jewish high school headmaster who said the mission of his chool was to "produce Jewish babies." He would know if the work of his Jewish high school was successful if his graduates went on to create homes where educating their children to be Jews was a central value. For such a mission to be realized, the school had to continue to work with their students even after they graduated and were no longer physically enrolled. For such a misison to be realized, working with alumni cannot be considered "extracurricular," it must be part of the school's "core curriculum." If the alumni are considered part of the work of the school, than the school becomes part of the life's work of the alumni. Imagine what this makes possible . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am intrigued by the post about making alumni part of the work of the school. So practically, how does that shape the school's message to its current students? How does a high school effectively stay relevant to alumni, as a source of moral authority? What are models we can look to for high schools of what ever stripe--inside or outside the Jewish world--that do this work well? Finally, are there ways that K-8 Jewish day schools can also work with their alumni?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think instead of shunning Facebook, each school should have a FB page and a FB group for each class. Once a year, there should be an online FB reunion. Teachers and students can be asked to post articles/comments, maybe present an online class every now and then ("for old times sake"). All this will increase the bond between students and school over time. By staying in touch, it will be easier for schools to fundraise from these students as well considering they will still feel personally connected to the school.

    In terms of bringing schools into the digital age, I think we need more awareness on part of those in positions of school leadership as to what the benefits of technology are. Very often principals and the like are clueless in terms of edtech and don't know what to insist from their teachers nor do the teachers know what can be done. Thus, the first step is exposure about what can be done and its importance. Then, teacher training. Start small and build from there. The top however is very important.

    Another thing, the biggest impediment to the use of edtech is not skill but time. Teachers don't have the time (and often the skills) to create resources. If more Jewish student edtech resources were created and made available, teachers would be able to incorporate them more easily.

    Finally, if you want to maintain good teachers and leaders - pay them a living salary. This way they won't be out of education trying to make a living. However, I think you probably knew that already. Still true though. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tzvi, thank you for your thoughtful response. I think you are very much on target when it comes to the alumni outreach suggestion you pose. There are some schools out there who are getting fairly savvy with social media, especially as it pertains to their alumni efforts. There is a lot to learn from them. Does anyone know of schools that might be willing to share their experiences?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tzvi, thank you for your thoughtful response. I think you are very much on target when it comes to the alumni outreach suggestion you pose. There are some schools out there who are getting fairly savvy with social media, especially as it pertains to their alumni efforts. There is a lot to learn from them. Does anyone know of schools that might be willing to share their experiences?

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.