SSDS provides a warm, safe and nurturing environment where children are inspired daily. Teachers instill a thirst for learning and creativity using current "best practices" as well as up-to-date technology. Outstanding leadership filters down to staff and students. The duel curriculum encourages children to learn about Judaism, Israel and the world at large. Our family has children enrolled from Pre-K to middle school and we are thrilled with the quality of the entire program.
I will never forget when my, now, second grader visited Schechter in kindergarten. She had the privilege of being in class for the release of the butterflies. Later that day the teacher sent me a picture of her face, full of wonder, releasing a butterfly. I thought to myself - that is engagement. It has continued in this way ever since.
Schechter recently adopted a Reader's and Writer's workshop model in Language arts. This structure allows for differentiated instruction and each child gets exactly what they need. My second grader is reading well above grade level.
Teachers and Administrators think about how to connect each student and their family to the school. Schechter is a school that has a pluralistic feel. Everyone who attends is accommodated so that they feel comfortable. The teachers are always looking at best practices and using them in their lessons.
The three core values at Schechter are Wisdom, Community and having a good heart. All decisions at the school are made with these values in mind. Students also get practice each and everyday with these values. They have lockers in middle school and not one student feels the need to lock their personal belongings.
SSDS of West Hartford graduates students who are bright, inquisitive, feel passionate about the world around them, and excel in high school. They are also committed to their heritage and to improving the world around them.
Certain staff members are very unprofessional and would not meet minimal public school standards in many ways. Administratively, the school does not consistently follow its own procedures and guidelines. As for its commitment to Judaism, It does not remain consistent with conservative Judaism's principles, let alone those of other strands of Judaism. It is good for a prep school, but I would not recommend it for Judaism or for sound professional practices. A big disappointment.
I am a proud alum of Schechter and cannot begin to measure the impact it has had on my life. Unlike any other school, Schechter has a focus on high-level thinking and advanced academic skills that go beyond the classroom, but in daily life. Inquisitive, kind, and curious alumni come from this school. I am still close with many of my classmates and am incredibly impressed of what our small group has accomplished. This is consistent across all grades and years.
From what I understand, the school has gotten even better. In the past two years, a new Math, English, Science, and Hebrew (full immersion, which research shows is incredible for development) have been built based on the most recent and up-to-date research. The school is teaching coding and development, building a maker space, etc.
Pretty incredible stuff. I would send my kids here and I am by no means religious.