My wife and I are active in our synagogue and our son attends Hebrew school. So when it was time for him to go to kindergarten, we checked out the Hebrew Academy. Class sizes are small, which is great but the instructions seemed rigid. In conversation with the teacher who was giving me a tour I was told that 95% of the families are not practicing Jews. When I mentioned that my wife had converted at a Reformed synagogue she shook her head, tisked, and told us how our son would have to be re-circumcised! We don't believe in 'Poof you're a Jew'. Needless to say, I left. I found the intolerance inane and insufferable.
The negatives:The school has a lot of potential but due to continued money issues, the school is on the decline. Some of the classrooms are not in good shape. It often can not pay teacher on time and therefore, often can not retain teachers for more than a year. Although the school prizes on Judaic studies, the reality is that for the past four or so years, hebrew and judaic studies have been taught by young men and women from Israel who have no professional training in being teachers. There is also no PTA in the school and the Dean discourages parent participation. This is one of the biggest downfalls of the school. The positives: The class sizes are small and many kids feel very comfortable there. The school produces high school graduates that attend some of the top universities in the country. The school has a great English/drama teacher.
Safety, discipline, teachers qualities, principals and deans leadership male this school the best. I spent all my high school years there, for me it was more like a second home, and the teachers were my second parents. Discipline is on very high level, students respect all the taechers, and the students. Best drama club, art, a lot of fund raising, there is no need for parents involvement because the students are doing everything themselves along with their teachers. And have you seen their college attendance, 100% go to best colleges, become doctors, lawyers, you name it. Teachers are the best, they are our friends in all aspects. Highly recommend this school for jewish families. Very safe, clean, in the heart of san francisco.
This is great school with a lot of personal attention to each student due to small class size-about 8 kids in pk-2nd grade.Hot Lunch are provided by school. Teachers are very expierienced and cooperative. This school is for pk-12 grade wich eliminates future problems with high school admission procces.
Small classes, individual attention. Great Drama program and teachers. Advanced Placement classes available.
The level of education is great, especially if you are looking to enrich your child's Jewish heritage, history, and religion. Teachers are amazing, and although the school can be pricey and challenging, it's notorious for making students into scholars.
I am not a parent but a former student. I am in the 11th grade. I left the school before high school. I would like to say that this school is not a good place to learn. When I went to 9th grade I was totally unprepared. I had supposedly taken algebra in 8th grade but I redid it in 9th and I knew almost nothing. The Jewish education there is pretty good but the school is very unprofessional. I'll say it again, if you want your child to get a good education and to be prepared for college go somewhere else. The teachers there don't care about the students and it's just an overall bad school. Academic wise to extracurricular activity wise.
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