Administration, Faculty & Staff

NEMJDS Board of Directors

Letter from the Head of School

Mission, Vision, and Values

General Procedures

  • School Hours/Closings
  • Attendance/Absences
  • Arrival/Dismissal/Early Pick up/Tardy
  • Carpooling/ Safety/Security/School Visitation
  • NEMJDS COVID-19 Policy
  • Physical Distancing, Face Coverings
  • Monitoring and Daily Screenings, Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • Personal and Classroom Hygiene Practices
  • Air Circulation and Ventilation, Physical Space
  • Illness/ Medication/Immunizations/Head Lice
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Student Behavioral Expectations
  • Home/School Communication
  • Dress Code/Lost and Found

Academic Policies and Programs

  • Academics/ Emotional Well Being/Class Pods
  • Special Student Activities/Continuity of Learning
  • Alternate Remote Learning Option (ARLO)/Plan Bet
  • Classroom Changes/Classroom Materials
  • Report Cards, Honor Roll
  • Student Support/Homework
  • Field Trips/Homework Club
  • After School Care/Programs
  • Technology Policy
  • Video Picture Posting Policy
  • Community Service
  • Birthdays

Judaic Practice and Ritual

  • Shabbat/Yom Tov/Tefilah
  • Kashrut/Kosher Symbols
  • Snack/Lunch
  • Tzedakah
  • Counting of the Omer

Family and School Partnership

  • Parent Association/ Volunteerism
  • Family Life Cycle Events/Family Involvement
  • Communication/Special Family Situations

Fundraising

  • Ways to Give Back
  • Birmingham Jewish Federation and Foundation Endowment Funds

Accountability

  • Acceptance of School Handbook

N. E. Miles Jewish Day School Handbook

ADMINISTRATION

Debra Abolafia Head of School dabolafia@nemjds.org
Susan Biedinger Director of Business and HR sbiedinger@nemjds.org
Rebekah Weinberger Director of Advancement rweinberger@nemjds.org

Faculty and Staff

Robin Berger rberger@nemjds.org
Katherine Bromberg kbromberg@nemjds.org
Alia Carter acarter@nemjds.org
Julie Crapia jcrapia@nemjds.org
Rabbi Yossi Friedman yfriedman@nemjds.org
Steven Goldman sgoldman@nemjds.org
Amber Lansdell alansdell@nemjds.org
Annette Lichter alichter@nemjds.org
Sari Menaker smenaker@nemjds.org
Frumie Posner fposner@nemjds.org
Claire Rottembourg-Goldberg crottembourg@nemjds.org
Chen Shterenbach cshterenbach@nemjds.org
Annette Troxell atroxell@nemjds.org 
  • If you have financial or operational questions please contact Susan Biedinger, our Business and Finance Director at sbiedinger@nemjds.org
  • If you have admissions, communications, fundraising, or marketing questions please contact Rebekah Weinberger, our Advancement Director at rweinberger@nemjds.org
  • If you have Lower or Upper School questions regarding Academics or Academic Support, please contact Annette Troxell, our LS and US Academics, and Academic Support Coordinator, and US Humanities teacher at atroxell@nemjds.org
  • If you have Judaic or Hebrew Language questions please contact Sari Menaker, our Judaic Coordinator and Lower School Hebrew Language teacher at smenaker@nemjds.org
  • If you have educational technology questions please contact Alia Carter, our Educational Technology Coordinator and US Math and Science Teacher at acarter@nemjds.org
  • If you have any questions regarding your child’s social emotional wellbeing, or any new or existing behavioral concerns please contact Frumie Posner, our Wellness Support Coordinator and LS Judaic Teacher at fposner@nemjds.org. This is a new position for us at the Day School and we are grateful for the partnership with Collatt Jewish Family Services as Frumie will be working directly with one of their LICSW’s on a weekly basis. Stay tuned for more information about our new endeavor.
  • Finally, I am always available, and encourage you to call me with any questions that you have. Moving forward, I will be the person responsible for responding to COVID-19 questions and concerns. Feel free to email me at dabolafia@nemjds.orgor call/text me at 205-601-8850

NEMJDS Board of Directors 2020-2021

 Executive Committee

President Sam Friedman
Administrative Vice President Brooke Kaplan
Vice President of Education and Personnel Sheri Krell
Vice President of PR and Recruitment Carlie Stein Somerville
Vice President of Ways and Means Barbara Aland
Treasurer Bruce Downs
Secretary Sarah Abroms Kunin
Head of School Debra Abolafia
Immediate Past President Susan Greene

Board

Barbara Brande Florina Newcomb David Romanoff
Brett Chessin  Jessica Nissenbaum Danielle Rosenbaum
Julie Cohen Jamie Odrezin Robbie Rothenberg
Jan Jaffe Lynn Raviv Josh Rutsky
Kendal Jaffe Nadav Raviv Evan Salter
Ilene Kosoff Andrea Shapiro

Ex Officio: Lauren Schwartz, Rabbi Stephen Slater, Rabbi Moshe Rube, Richard Friedman, Sally Friedman, Rabbi Adam Wright, Rabbi Yossi Posner

A Letter from the Head of School

Dear Families,

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our community has demonstrated tremendous strength, resilience, and support for one another. To allow for a safe return to school, we have developed essential protocols which must be followed by every member of our community (kehillah). It is up to each one of us to work together to keep our community healthy and safe. I am pleased to share this School Handbook whose new and updated policies incorporate the latest science and data, guidelines, and best practices in education currently available.

As our partners, you should understand the main principles that are guiding our decision-making processes:

  • Prioritize student, faculty, and staff health and safety
  • Provide face to face learning, instead of remote learning, whenever it is safe to do so
  • Promote protocols and practices to reduce risk of virus transmission by ensuring hygiene and health related policies that are research based, clearly communicated, effectively implemented, and diligently enforced
  • Demonstrate flexibility and fluidity by preparing various scenarios with the ability to move from different models on a weekly or even daily basis
  • Create the best and most normalized educational environment for our children.

This handbook outlines our new (red), and updated policies (purple). We will review our policies and procedures regularly and our protocols and practices will be tweaked as needed. Updated government, state and county guidelines will inform our decisions.

I encourage you to discuss the information in this handbook with your children and other adults in your children’s lives so that everyone is on the same page and we can all do our part in the continuance of NEMJDS’s nurturing learning environment. This year we are asking all families to sign an acceptance of the School Handbook before students will be allowed to attend school. Any student or family found to be knowingly in violation of our policies and procedures may be required to educate by our Alternate Remote Learning Option (ARLO), rather than in person.

As we all know, this is a fluid and changing situation, and we will continue to monitor best practices to keep our kehillah safe. For that reason, this School Handbook, and the policies within may be updated when new information is presented and evaluated.

We remain as committed as ever to providing a meaningful, productive, and joyous learning environment for your children. We appreciate your partnership and cooperation and look forward to welcoming you back on August 19th, 2020.

Thank you for the trust you place in our school as we continue to navigate this current reality together as partners to educate your children.

Warmly,

Debra Abolafia

Head of School

Mission, Vision, and Values

Our Mission

Our Vision

Our Values

The NEMJDS is a community, which integrates Judaic and General Studies empowering students to impact the world with courage and compassion. Our students become highly educated citizens who engage the world through a Jewish lens. Academic Excellence Social Justice Honor and Respect for Self and Others Community of Kindness

School History and Current Associations

Established in 1973 by the Birmingham Jewish Federation, the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School is located on the Montclair Road Jewish Community Campus. The school was born out of the desire of community members to provide an excellent General Studies and Jewish education for their children in an atmosphere of respect for diversity and a lifelong love of learning. The school is named for Dr. Nathaniel Edgar Miles (1910-1995), a friend and philanthropist, who devoted his career and life to children and Jewish education, and whose generosity has greatly benefited our school.

The continued growth and success of our program is credited to our dedicated students, families, faculty and staff, board of directors, and the community at large. The Birmingham Jewish Federation provides financial support annually to NEMJDS, and the Birmingham Jewish Foundation holds the NEMJDS Endowment funds.  The school moved into the current building in 1994.  In 2017, NEMJDS was re-accredited by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission. We are a member of PRIZMAH, the Jewish Community Day School Network.

School Beliefs

  1. Students’ Judaic and secular learning needs are the primary focus of all decisions impacting the work of the school.
  2. Each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs.
  3. Positive relationships and mutual respect between and among students and staff enhance a student’s self-esteem.
  4. Cultural diversity increases students’ understanding of different peoples and cultures.
  5. Teachers, administrators, parents, the board of directors, and the community share the responsibility for advancing the school’s mission and are committed to its continuous improvement.
  6. Our school promotes opportunities to create a community of confident, kind, self-directed, open minded, problems solvers, respectful, lifelong learners.
  7. As a community day school, we seek harmony between American democratic culture and Jewish values integrating both into our curriculum and school life.
  8. We strive to imbue our students with a love for G-d, Torah, and Israel, and teach respect for diverse viewpoints.
  9. Our school provides an environment that facilitates the observance of Jewish traditions and inspires students to lead a moral and ethical life.

 

General Procedures

School Hours

School is open to receive students at 7:30AM. Instruction begins promptly at 8:00AM

School Office Opens (M-F) – 7:30 AM

School Office Closes (M-Th) – 4:00 PM

School Office Closes (F) – 2:45 PM

Classes Begin – 8:00 AM

Dismissal – 3:30 PM

Friday Dismissal 2:35 PM

Unanticipated School Closings and Early Dismissals

In the event of adverse weather or emergency situations, school closings or delayed openings, parents will be notified through the Schoolcast Rapid Alert and Notification System and by text to your cell phone.

Attendance

If your child will be absent or late please contact the school before 8:00 AM.

Daily attendance is necessary to maintain the learning continuum and support student success in school. NEMJDS respects the right of the parent in extraordinary circumstances to keep a student out of school, but at the same time, parents should recognize that it is difficult for students who are absent to catch up on missed work.

The school will take attendance daily regardless of instructional setting via email and or direct contact.

Please use the school calendar to assist in planning medical appointments for your children. To ensure that a student’s school day is not interrupted, please schedule medical or other appointments outside of school hours. 

If you know you will be taking your child out of school for several days, please contact your child’s teacher in advance.

Parents of students with excessive absences will be asked to meet with the Head of School.

Unexcused/Excused Absences

All absences are considered unexcused, except for the following:

  • An Excused Absence is an absence from a regularly scheduled school day for:
  • Illness: the school reserves the right to require a physician’s or other appropriate certification for absences.
  • Funeral
  • Court appearance
  • Appointments which cannot be scheduled outside of school hours
  • Suspension or expulsion
  • Weather preventing attendance

When a student’s unexcused absences exceed seven (7) days in any trimester, the Head of School will contact the family and review the situation to determine if a complaint/petition must be filed with Family Court.

Arrival

PLEASE ENTER THE CAMPUS FROM THE ENTRANCE CLOSEST TO THE SOCCER FIELD AND TURN DOWN THE FIRST BAY OF PARKING SPOTS CLOSEST TO MONTCLAIR ROAD. WHEN YOU GET TO THE END, LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE TRYING TO ENTER THE DAYSCHOOL CARLINE. ONCE WE ALL GET USED TO THE NEW ARRIVAL PROCEDURES WE CAN RE-EVALUATE AND HOPEFULLY BEGIN TO USE THE ENTRANCE CLOSEST TO THE DAYSCHOOL.

  • Cars should remain in single file until exiting the parking lot.
  • The first cars in line will pull up to the end of our drive, beyond the portico.
  • Be aware of students and teachers among the cars before moving.
  • Students should wear their masks upon exiting independently from their car.
  • If your child(ren) cannot exit independently, we ask that you either park and walk them up to the school doors, or get out of your vehicle and assist them
  • Students must exit the car on the school side. 

Dismissal

  • Cars should remain in single file until exiting the parking lot.
  • The first cars in line will pull up to the end of our drive, beyond the portico.
  • Cars should remain in single file until exiting the parking lot.
  • Students will enter their cars independently and from the school side of the vehicle.

Early Pick Up

  • All early pick up notifications should be made to the main office by phone (205) 879-1068. Follow the prompt to reach Susan Biedinger.
  • When the parent/guardian arrives, they should call the school again to let us know that they are outside waiting. At this time, we will call the child to the front office. An employee will walk your child out to your car and have you sign the early release form.

Tardy

  • Instruction begins promptly at 8:00AM. Any student who enters after 7:50 AM is considered tardy.

Carpooling

This year until further notice we ask that ALL families refrain from carpooling.

  • Kindergarten-Grades 3 will enter and leave school through the main lobby door.
  • Grades 4-8 will enter and exit school through the stairwell that leads to carpool from the second floor.
  • All students will open their own doors and enter/exit vehicles without assistance. Day School admin, faculty and staff will be present during carpool, however, they may no longer open doors and help students out of the car. Parents with children who are unable to exit their car unassisted will need to park in the lot and walk their child(ren) to the front of the building.
  • All parents must submit a health screening prior to entering the building including temperature checks by a Day School employee.

We will do our best to make the new process as smooth as possible. Please be patient with carpool during the first few weeks of school. We will continue to review and adjust as needed.

Safety/Security

The safety and security of those on our campus is of the utmost importance to us. One of the most important ways for us to monitor is through our eyes, ears, and common sense.

The LJCC monitors security on the entire Montclair campus.  LJCC Staff remain in close contact with law enforcement authorities in our city to monitor any activity that may impact us. Our locked front door and security cameras are designed with safety in mind.  This year, no visitors will be buzzed in unless they are expected and met by an administrator/faculty member/staff.

The school has crisis management plans. Tornado, fire, lock-down, community alert and bomb threat drills are conducted on a regular basis.

School Visitation

To focus on the safety of our students and employees, and to monitor the effects of the virus in our school, visitors will be limited to those who are critical to operations.

  • Only faculty, staff and students will be permitted in the building.
    • Parents will only be able to enter the building when the need is essential
    • All visitors allowed in the school will be required to complete a health screening before entering the building, and wear a mask
      • The only visitors who will be allowed in the school will be expected, and met by an administration.

We understand that this policy is very disappointing to many, including us, as parent and community member involvement is such a huge part of who we are! We will revisit this policy as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

NEMJDS COVID-19 POLICY

As health officials continue to alter restrictions and guidelines daily, we will work to make the best decisions for our kehillah.  As of August 9, 2020, the school’s COVID-19 policies are as follows:

 1. If any student or employee tests positive for COVID-19:
  • The school must be immediately notified.
  • All students and employees in the individual’s pod must stay home for 14 days from last contact with the individual who tested positive.
  • Testing is strongly recommended for all students and employees within the pod of the student/employee who tested positive.  Prior to testing, students/employees should consult with their medical providers regarding current testing best-practices (for example, testing should not occur immediately after exposure as this may yield falsely negative results).
  • Any student or employee testing positive may return to school only if all the following:
    • At least 24 hours (1 day) have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;
    • There has been an improvement in symptoms;
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and
    • Returning to school has been cleared by the student’s or employee’s medical provider.
2. If a household member of a student or employee or person with whom the student or employee had close contact (i.e., closer than 6 feet without a mask for longer than 15 minutes) tests positive for COVID-19:
  • The school must be immediately notified.
  • The student/employee must stay home and he or she should be tested after consulting with his or her medical provider.
  • If the student/employee (i) does not develop any symptoms and (ii) does not test positive (if tested), the student/employee should remain at home for at least 14 days after the household member’s quarantine period ends or 14 days after last exposure to the close contact.
  • If the student/employee does test positive, see Section 1 above.
  • If the student/employee (i) exhibits symptoms and (ii) is not tested or tests negative, the student/employee should consult with his or her medical provider but, at a minimum, remain at home for at least 14 days after the household member’s quarantine period ends or 14 days after last exposure to the close contact.
3. If a household member of a student or employee or person with whom the student or employee had close contact (i.e., closer than 6 feet without a mask for longer than 15 minutes) with a person with COVID-19:
  • The household member or close contact should be tested based on advice from his or her medical provider.
  • So long as the student/employee has not been in direct contact with a person who tested positive, while the household member or close contact is waiting for test results, the student/employee may continue to attend in-person school, so long as the household member or close contact does not exhibit any symptoms, including, without limitation, fever, shortness of breath, cough, or loss of taste or smell.
  • If the household member or close contact tests positive or exhibits symptoms, the student/employer must be quarantined in accordance with the policies in Section 2 above.
  • If the household member or close contact tests negative and does not exhibit symptoms, the student/employee may continue to attend in-person school.
4. If a student/employee has a family member who attends or works at the school and the family member is exposed in his or her pod:
  • The student/employee may continue to attend school so long as the student/employee or exposed family member does not test positive or exhibit any symptoms, including, without limitation, fever, shortness of breath, cough, or loss of taste or smell. However, for clarification, the family member shall be quarantined from school under Section 1(b) above.
5. Symptoms observed at home or at school (but not limiting any of the other policies set forth above)
  • If any of the following symptoms are observed at home or in school: Fever greater than 100.4, loss of taste or smell, body aches, shortness of breath, vomiting/diarrhea, severe sore throat, new unexplained cough, significant nasal/sinus congestion:
    1. Parents will be called immediately to pick-up student and employee will be sent home.
    2. The student/employee will need to be cleared by his or her doctor and fever free, without using fever-reducing medicine, for more than 24 hours for return to school and the student/employee will need to discuss with his or her doctor whether patient requires testing for COVID.
6. Other general policies and considerations:
  • While a test is pending, the student or employee must remain home until results are received.
  • If a student/employee travels by airplane or other public transportation, the student/employee is required to remain out of school for 14 days.
  • As used in these policies, symptoms mean the CDC recognized COVID-19 symptoms.
  • To the extent multiple policies above apply to any scenario, the most restrictive policy shall apply.

Physical Distancing

Our distancing policy, especially with our younger students, will be an ongoing learning process. While we cannot guarantee that every student will distance appropriately one hundred percent of the time, our teachers, administrators, and staff will do their best to help our students understand and abide by the policy. It is not going to be perfect, but we are committed to trying our best to keep our kehillah safe.

  • Students, faculty, and staff are expected and encouraged to maintain a social distance of 6-ft. both indoors and outdoors, throughout the school day.
  • Faculty will enforce distancing practices.
  • In classrooms, students will be positioned 6’ away from each other.
  • Room/floor markers and signs will be posted throughout the building detailing physical distancing expectations.

Face Coverings

Wearing a mask is one of the most important pillars in keeping our community safe. Wearing face coverings consistently and correctly is an act of Derech Eretz (Respect) and Pikuach Nefesh (Saving a Life). Our mask policy, especially with our younger students, will be an ongoing learning process. While we cannot guarantee that every student will wear a mask one hundred percent of the time, our teachers, administrators, and staff will do their best to help our students understand and abide by the policy. It is not going to be perfect, but we are committed to trying our best to keep our kehillah safe.

  • Masks are required indoors and outdoors.
    • All employees (and any adult entering the building) and students will be required to wear a face covering throughout the school day.
      • When office and administrative staff and teachers are working alone in a private office, or classroom, masks may be removed.
    • The expectation will be that face coverings will always be worn when students are in the school building.
      • There may be a situation where individual students will be permitted to remove masks at the discretion of an administrator, teacher, or staff member.
      • Teachers will allow students to remove masks for brief period when social distancing can be enforced and during certain activities, such as drinking/eating/independent activities performed outside such as reading and writing.
    • Teachers will use their judgment and their knowledge of students’ needs to switch between wearing a mask when working in closer proximity to students and wearing a face shield when it is important for a child to see their mouth.
  • Masks should be put on before a student exits their car in carline.
  • Parents and Guardians should wear masks when dropping off and picking up students and in any interaction with employees of the Day School.
  • Cloth or surgical masks are fine for use in school. Surgical masks are designed to be single use and should be discarded if they get wet or soiled and at the end of a day of use.
    • Face Shields, Bandanas and Gaiters are not allowed for school use as they offer less protection.
    • Masks with plastic filter valves are not be permitted to be worn in school. These one-way valves make masks easier to breathe through but releases unfiltered air when the student exhales.
  • Masks must be provided by the family and should be labeled with the student’s name. All students are required to provide an extra mask to be kept at school The best masks for your children are the ones that fit the best, do not have to be continually readjusted, and they will keep on without issues.

Monitoring and Daily Screening

Prior to entering our building, each person (adult or student) will have a health screening and their temperature taken.

  • Daily screening of students for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will be the responsibility of each family before arriving to school, and any symptoms should be immediately reported to the school.
  • In order to attend school in person on a given day, a student must have a temperature less than 100.4 without the use of fever-reducing medications in the preceding 24 hours, AND have no: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle for body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
    • Families will be required to submit a form each morning by 7:15am before carline answering the wellness screening questions for the coming school day.
    • If a student’s form is not entered prior to drop off, that student will not be permitted to enter the school building until the form is submitted.
  • Each student’s temperature will be taken upon exiting their vehicle and before entering the school.
  • Anyone with a fever or COVID-19 related symptoms during the school day will go to the sick room. Parents will be notified and must pick up their child within an hour from receiving the call.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

We will implement a strict routine for frequent cleaning and continue to follow all guidelines and mandates provided by local officials.

  • NEMJDS daytime maintenance will disinfect high touch surfaces multiple times per day and continue to fully disinfect the school daily including bathrooms and common spaces (indoor and out), using best practices for cleaning protocols.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned each night by our cleaning service.

Personal and Classroom Hygiene Practices

We will require frequent hand washing. We have movable sanitizing stations and will require their use in various scenarios. We will encourage each student to take personal responsibility for doing his or her part.

Air Circulation and Ventilation

  • Classroom doors and windows will be kept open as weather and HVAC system permits.

Physical Space

We have reconfigured spaces both inside and outside to ensure all health and safety guidelines are being followed.

  • Kindergarten and Grades 1-3 General Studies classrooms are double the size of a typical classroom.
  • Our outdoor spaces have been re-envisioned to create shaded outdoor classrooms as our goal is to allow for a s much outdoor class time as possible.
    • Each pod is allotted to a specific time for PE (to be facilitated by Moreh Chen). PE will take place outside or in the gym.
    • Each pod is scheduled to go outside multiple times every day (weather permitting).
      • All students will wash hands immediately before and after recess.
      • Recess times are staggered for classroom pods to stay together.
  • Lunch times are staggered for all grades. Students will eat in the following spaces daily (one pod per space each day):
    • Patio outdoor classroom
    • Lunchroom
    • Outside Sukkah
    • Gym
    • General Studies classroom

Illness

  • We will immediately call a child’s parents and expect them to pick up their child within the hour if they show signs of illness.  Covid 19 symptoms currently include the following: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle for body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
    • Anyone with fever or COVID-19 related symptoms will go to the sick room to wait for their parent to pick them up.  The school will not allow any children exhibiting or complaining of symptoms to remain at school.
    • See NEMJDS COVID-19 Policy for return to school after being sent home with symptoms.
  • If your child has a contagious disease, please notify the school promptly and check with your doctor before sending your child back to school.
  • In case of emergency when parent(s) cannot be reached, it is the policy of the school to follow the instructions on the emergency information portion of the enrollment form.
  • If the information is not sufficient, it is the policy of the school to take the child to the nearest hospital.
  • The “Emergency Contact” name on the enrollment form is a person who has been designated by the parent to take full responsibility for the medical needs of a child when a parent cannot be reached by phone.
  • Keep emergency contacts current and knowledgeable about the responsibility they have been given.

Medication

For medication to be administered at school, you will need to supply all prescription and non-prescription medicine.  The only supply the school will have is band-aids.

  • A written authorization with the doctor’s signature and stamp must accompany prescription medication specifying time and dosage.
  • Medication needs to be submitted to the school office in the original, labeled pharmacy package, with the name of the medication, the proper dosage and the child’s name.
  • All medical forms may be downloaded from our website under Parent Portal.
  • Students may not keep medications, non-prescription or prescription, with them in school at any time.

Immunizations

For a child to be admitted to the Day School, an up to date Immunization form or a Medical Exemption Immunization Form must be completed and returned to the school prior to the first day of school.

Religious Exemption Forms will not be accepted.

***If a vaccine preventable disease occurs in the state of Alabama, students with Religious or Medical Exemption from Immunization may be excluded from school***

Head Lice

The day school has a No Nit policy. If a student is found to have lice/nits, the student’s parents will be called to pick him/her up from schoolThe student must be properly treated for lice and all nits removed. Upon return to school, a school staff member must check the student before being readmitted. If any nits are found, you will be asked to take your child home and complete the nit removal process.

Emergency Procedures

National Emergency

If there is a national emergency the following procedures will be in effect:

  • The faculty and staff will take care of the students for as long as needed.
  • Parent notification is a priority secondary only to the protection of our students. We will use phone and internet to make contact. However, if these are non-functional, we urge you to remember that your child(ren) will be cared for until we are able to contact you and safely return your child(ren) to you.
  • Students will only be released to parents or the individuals listed on the emergency contact form. Please update these forms regularly to ensure that they are current.

 Critical Illness or Injury at School

  • If a student requires emergency treatment, an ambulance will be called, and every effort will be made to contact the student’s parents/guardian and or emergency contacts.  A school staff or faculty member will always be with your child until a parent, guardian or emergency contact arrives.

Students Staying in the Care of Non-Parent/Guardian

During parental absence, please provide the school office with the following information:

  • Dates of your absence.
  • Full name of person(s) responsible for your child(ren).
  • All contact information for the person(s) responsible for your child(ren).
  • Permission for this person(s) to make all decisions (including medical) related to your child(ren).
  • Telephone number(s) and email where you can be reached.
  • Pediatrician’s name and telephone number.

Student Behavioral Expectations

To create a school environment in which all students can learn, it is critical that each individual student behave in a manner that respects school policy and the school community.

An important goal of Torah education is the promotion of Menschlichkeit (developing people who care about others, are moral, respectful, and choose to do the right thing with a loving heart) and the precepts of Derech Eretz (civil, polite and thoughtful behavior). These principles should always govern interaction with one’s peers and teachers.

We expect each student to be a mensch.

  • Maintain a safe climate
  • Ensure respectful care of property
  • Nurture respect for rights and needs of others
  • Strive for academic success
  • Celebrate individual differences
  • Have an awareness that we are all created in the image of Hashem (G-d) and strive to reflect that in being responsible for our behaviors and attitudes

Discipline is a developmental process, with the goal being responsible self-discipline achieved by the student with the guidance of our professional staff and the support of the parents/guardians. One of the most important aspects of education is helping a student learn from his/her mistakes; therefore, the emphasis of our discipline policy is not on punishment but rather on changing inappropriate behavior.

When a student violates the accepted rules of behavior in school, he/she not only loses his/her own opportunity to benefit maximally from the educational process but causes a loss to other students as well.  On many occasions, a conflict resolution model is employed. Students who do not adhere to the school’s policies may lose the privilege of participating in certain school activities, may be suspended or expulsed. Under no circumstances will corporal punishment be used.

Inappropriate behavior is dealt with through classroom management techniques and communication with parents/guardians. The school’s professionals will work with the student and parents/guardians to remediate inappropriate behavior, will recommend outside professional assistance when deemed necessary, and will cooperate with recommended interventions (if any) to the best of their ability.

Home/School Communication

The Day School strives to ensure that students’ academic performance, behavior, and developmental growth are supported fully and challenged appropriately. Research indicates that a strong collaboration between parents/guardians and teachers is an important element of academic success.  In addition, research also indicates that feedback is a critical element of student growth. To this end, the school will use trimester report cards, Gradelink, parent teacher conferences, Back to School/Open House forums and prompt individual feedback to parents to ensure that home and school are aligned, and students are well supported. Email communication via Gradelink, Weekly Announcements, School News, Constant Contact, text messages, and our electronic message board will be used to inform parents/guardians about upcoming events, classroom activities, special projects, etc.

  • It is vital for parents and students to pay attention to email communications and text alerts for school updates, including potential school closings and/or scheduling changes.
  • Please make sure that you are receiving email and text communications. If your contact information has changed or if you are not receiving emails please email rweinberger@nemjds.org.
  • Gradelink, an information management system used by the Day School, allows parents of students in grades 4-8 to access grades, comments, and information pertinent to each child’s classroom. At the start of the year, parents/guardians will be provided with login information, so that you can check on your child’s progress at any time. If you are unsure of how to do this or have forgotten / lost your login information, please call or e-mail Rebekah Weinberger at rweinberger@nemjds.org.  All Gradelink accounts are protected by a secure login. Parents are encouraged to log in regularly using their unique login information.  Upper School students (Grades 6-8) are encouraged to log in at least weekly to monitor their assignments and grades.
  • Parent/teacher conferences will be held during the months of September, January, and May. Additional parent/teacher conferences can be scheduled as requested by parent, teacher, or the school’s administration.
  • Teachers can be reached via their NEMJDS email, which they check both at the beginning and end of the day. Teachers are expected to respond to parents within 24 hours. Teachers will contact parents via phone, text or through Gradelink. All staff, faculty and administrator emails consist of the following format: initial of first name last name @ nemjds.org.

Dress Code

NEMJDS requires its students to dress in a way that promotes a positive learning environment. Students are expected to dress within the spirit as well as within the letter of the code. The dress code applies when students attend both school and all NEMJDS sponsored events throughout the academic year. If a student is inappropriately dressed at school, the parents will be called to bring a change of clothes that adheres to the dress code.

All male students are expected to wear kippot during Judaic and Hebrew classes, religious oriented studies, and activities and during meals. In keeping with the inclusive vision of the day school, female students are welcome to wear a kippah should they choose.

The following dress is prohibited
  • Sloppy, dirty, torn, “cut off”, too big or too small
  • Inappropriately tight shirts
  • Inappropriately short shorts or skirts
  • Exposed undergarments
  • Exposed midriff or tank tops
  • Tops or pants with inappropriate words, phrases, pictures, or symbols
  • Sweatpants or gym shorts*****This year sweatpants and gym shorts will be allowed
  • Leggings without a top that comes to the top of their thighs

Footwear

  • Flip-flops/thong sandals, beach shoes, heels, Crocs, Heelys, and similar shoes are not permitted.
  • All shoes must have a closed back or a back strap and be well fitted.

Lost and Found

To prevent permanent loss, please label your child’s clothing, lunch boxes and other property. Found items will be kept in a box in the lobby. This box will be taken outside during afternoon carline.  Parents can look through this box before dismissal. Items in the lost and found will be kept until winter break, spring break and the last day of school, at which time they will be donated.

Academic Policies and Programs

Academics

The Day School’s administration, faculty and staff work tirelessly to instill in all students a love of learning, a curiosity about their world, a sense of respect and responsibility toward others and an understanding and appreciation of Jewish values. NEMJDS is committed to recognizing all students’ individual learning styles and social and emotional patterns of behavior. In all grades our curriculum incorporates differentiated instruction to help each student meet his or her potential.

Emotional Well Being

We place as much emphasis on our student’s emotional wellbeing as we do on their physical health and safety. We pride ourselves on creating an environment that provides skills and support to build resilience, perspective-taking, empathy, and other essential life skills. Please make sure to fill out the student checklist sent to you prior to the first day of school.

Pod Model (COVID-19)

A class pod is a limited group of students who stay with those in their pod throughout the day as much as possible. If a classroom will house more than one pod of students per day, it will be cleaned in between classes. The pod model and school distancing practices should allow our students to miss far less in person class time if we have a positive case in our kehillah (community), as everyone who was not directly exposed should be able to remain in school.

Special Student Activities

  • Special student activities will be incorporated into the school day.
  • Students will remain in their pods and participate in special gradewide or school wide activities via Zoom/Google Classroom.

Continuity of Learning

  • We will ensue learning will continue throughout the coming school year. Primarily, we will prepare for in-person instruction and will also offer an Alternate Remote Learning Option (ARLO) which will be synchronous via Google Classroom. While physically not in the classroom, students will be expected to participate in multiple sessions throughout the day for various subjects and submit all assignments.
    • Students in ARLO will be held to the same standards for grading, participation, homework, etc. as students participating in our in-school program.
  • If we need to close school and move to our homes, we will implement Plan Bet a hybrid of both synchronous and asynchronous learning via Google Classroom (grades 2-8) and Google Classroom and SeeSaw (grades K-1).
    • What would cause us to move to Plan Bet?
      • If we feel that the safety of our Kehillah was in jeopardy.
      • Inadequate faculty to run full programming due to illness, childcare, or other COVID related issues.
  • Students and parents/guardians/caregivers/ can contact their child’s teacher(s) or Alia Carter acarter@nemjds.org our Educational Technology Coordinator, with questions about technology and Annette Troxell atroxell@nemjds.org our Academic Support Coordinator, with questions about curriculum or instruction.

Classroom Changes

Teachers are reconfiguring classrooms to allow more distance between the students. Based on developmental appropriateness, and class size they will determine the best possible seating arrangement for each pod. Much consideration has gone into the design of these rooms to offer a safer environment and continue to promote academic excellence.

Classroom Materials

  • Students will not share materials (markers, rulers, pencils, etc.) in the classroom. The school will order any additional materials not on the student supply list to ensure that nothing is shared.

Report Cards

Report cards are sent to parents at the end of each trimester. To maintain open communication regarding the student’s situation, parents of students at risk for failure will be contacted well before report cards are distributed. Concerns about a trimester grade should be directed first to the student’s teachers. If the grade issue is not resolved, a conference with the Head of School may be scheduled. Parent-Teacher conferences may be arranged upon request at any time during the year. 

Final report cards will be mailed when all school obligations for the year have been met.

Honor Roll-Grades 4-8 (Amended for this school year)

Students can achieve Honor Roll when an “A” average with only two (2) “B” grades is obtained. Behavior grades/comments are evaluated before determining a student’s achievement of Honor Roll status.

Student Support

The Student Support Specialist works with classroom teachers and parents to:

  1. Provide a professional forum for identification of social, academic, and emotional needs of students.
  2. Document the development of an action plan to address individual student needs.
  3. Recommend referrals for testing, strategies for remediation and strategies for enrichment and extension.
  4. Review and recommend classroom accommodations for students.

A parent, staff member or professional may refer a child by contacting the Student Support Specialist.  Pertinent student information will be collected and presented to the student’s teachers to develop a plan to support the needs of the student. This plan of action will be established and implemented with a timetable for review and adjustment as needed. 

Homework

Homework assignments are given for many different reasons and have a definite purpose as a learning tool. There are three identifiable reasons for homework:

  1. To review and reinforce what has been learned. One of the components of successful learning is review and practice of a lesson. Homework helps to ensure maximum comprehension.
  2. To prepare for future lessons. Often a lesson plan will call for the teacher to give preparatory homework in anticipation of forthcoming lessons.
  3. To measure what has been learned. Homework often serves as the measure of success of a classroom lesson. By giving students work to be done independently at home, the teacher is better able to determine what has been accomplished by their teaching methods and what needs further follow up.

Because we differentiate, homework may be customized for individual students; therefore, not all students may receive the same homework. If your child finds the homework assigned too difficult or spends an unusually long time struggling with an assignment, we request that you contact their teacher.

 It is our policy that there are no written homework assignments on Fridays or over Jewish Holidays for Grades 1-4. Upper School students may have assignments over the weekend or long-term projects that may extend over a period during which some holidays may fall.

Field Trips, Homework Club, LJCC Youth Lounge, and School Sponsored Clubs and Activities

Will be suspended until further notice.

Technology Policy

Technology and its appropriate use have become an integral component of the curriculum at NEMJDS.  Because of its potential for abuse, the use of technology is best regarded as a privilege. Each student and parent, by signing the Handbook Consent Form, agrees to the following school policy:

  1.  Internet availability has been established for educational purposes only.
  2.  Use of the Internet is a privilege that can be revoked by the school’s administration at any time for abusive conduct. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to, altering of system software, placing unlawful information, computer viruses, or harmful programs on or through the computer system in either public or private files or messages or knowingly visiting a site containing inappropriate content.  NEMJDS reserves the right to remove files, limit or deny access, and administer disciplinary action as deemed necessary.
  3.  NEMJDS reserves all rights to any material stored in files and will remove any material that the administration believes to be unlawful, obscene, pornographic, abusive, or otherwise objectionable. Users will not employ the Internet to obtain such materials, and security software is in place to prevent such access.
  4.  Information services and features contained on NEMJDS’s accounts are intended for educational purposes, and any use of these resources for commercial or unauthorized purposes, in any form, is forbidden.
  5.  NEMJDS makes no guarantee that the functions or services provided by or through the school will be error free or without defect. NEMJDS will not be responsible for any damage suffered by the user, including, but not limited to, loss of data or interruptions of service.  NEMJDS will not be responsible for any financial obligations arising from the unauthorized or inappropriate use of the system.
  6.  In consideration for the privilege of using NEMJDS’s computer systems (including Internet and e–mail service), the user hereby releases N.E. Miles Jewish Day School from any and all claims of any nature arising from the use or inability to use the system.
  7.  The user will abide by any such rules and regulations of system usage that may be modified by the administrators of the system. Updates will be made available to the user.
  8. Personal electronic devices are to be used by teacher request / permission only. Otherwise these devices should be switched “off” & placed in the student’s backpack or locker.

Video/Picture Posting

N.E. Miles Jewish Day School events and activities may be captured in photo or video format and uploaded on the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School website, social media sites, and other publicity venues.  Parents/Legal Guardians are required to fill out an N.E. Miles Jewish Day School Media Permission Form at the beginning of the year.

Community Service (TBD)

Students in grades 5-8, participate in the Abroms Center Youth Philanthropy Program to raise funds for and study service organizations. In addition, students in these grades will be eligible for the Karen Entman Nomberg Award for Service and Academic Excellence. 

Birthdays

Individual birthday parties are not celebrated in school.  On scheduled Rosh Chodesh school days, birthdays are acknowledged by singing and with a special treat at lunch. We strongly encourage families not to schedule parties on Shabbat, erev chag (eve of Jewish holiday), or on Jewish holidays. 

***Please pay attention when scheduling parties on Friday afternoons or Saturday evenings to make sure they do not conflict with Shabbat.  We encourage families to include all class members in birthday parties.

Judaic Practice and Ritual: The “J” in NEMJDS

The N. E. Miles Jewish Day School is a Community Day School, serving all strands of Judaism. Our Day School families’ religious affiliations and practices are varied and respected for everyone’s beliefs.

Shabbat and Yom Tov (Holy Days)

School business by lay or professional personnel is not conducted on Shabbat or Yom Tov.

  • Although we cannot gather in our ILC for Kabbalat Shabbat students will continue to celebrate a version of Kabbalat Shabbat in their pods.

Tefilah (Morning Prayer)

NEMJDS is committed to ensuring that Tefilah education is an essential component of the student’s day.

Kashrut (Jewish Dietary Laws)

School policy is that Kashrut laws are to be strictly observed at the Day School and at any party or function sponsored by the Day School. No food, sweets or drinks may be distributed at school without product approval by the school’s appointed mashgiach (Kashrut supervisor).  No preparation of food may take place in the Day School kitchen without the presence of a mashgiach. 

Examples of Acceptable Kosher Symbols

Snack and Lunch

  • All lunches and snacks brought to school must be either dairy or pareve (neither meat nor dairy).
  • Any food that is to be served in classrooms or other school functions must be bought commercially; bear a recognized kashrut certification on its label; be commercially sealed with the original seal intact and checked by our mashgiach.
  • Students are encouraged to bring fresh vegetables, fruits, and dairy or pareve proteins for snacks.
  • Lunches are available through an outside kosher certified vendor supervised by our mashgiach. The lunch menu will be posted on the school’s website under the Parent Portal, and order forms are sent home monthly.
  • For reasons of both health and kashrut, students may not share food.

Tzedakah

An important aspect of character training is the teaching of tzedakah (charity).  Every day at Tefilah, each student is asked give Tzedakah.  These monies are, in turn, distributed to various charitable causes – local, national, and international, Jewish, and non-Jewish – and the students are involved in the process of choosing these organizations and institutions.  In addition, the school sponsors certain programs throughout the year, which enable the students to raise money for charitable causes.

Counting of the Omer

The period between the 2nd Day of Passover and Shavuot is an important period of semi-mourning, “the counting of the Omer”. While Jewish customs surrounding the counting of the Omer vary greatly, for some traditional families there are certain prohibitions during this period.

Family and School Partnership

Parent Association

The N.E. Miles Jewish Day School Parent’s Association affords all families the opportunity to be actively involved with the school.  Parents, stepparents, and grandparents are all welcome to join.  Parent/Guardian involvement is necessary for the enrichment of our ongoing programs and meeting essential fundraising goals.  Meetings, projects, and committees are active throughout the year.  In addition to directing its own various committees, the PA is represented on the Board of Directors.  Please contact Lauren Curnutt, the PA President, at laurencurnutt@gmail.com get involved.

Volunteerism

Currently, the school has no required number of volunteer hours for a family. However, each family is expected to participate a much as possible in order to enhance our program. There are many opportunities for volunteering, however, with COVID-19 restrictions we are not sure what opportunities will be offered this 2020-2021 school year.

Family Life Cycle Events/Family Involvement

The NEMJDS is a small, nurturing community. The professionals at the school, along with your fellow parents, would love to share your family’s joys as well as their sorrows. In the event of a simcha, celebration, death, or sickness in your family, please contact the school office.

Unfortunately, family’s members will not be able to join us for in-school functions this 2020-2021 school year. 

Weekly Communication and Emails

School News, Weekly Announcements, and informational emails/texts about school programs and events will be sent to the email addresses provided on your registration forms. School policy states that all religious, educational, promotional and community notice material must be approved by the Head of School prior to distribution.

Special Family Situations

If there is a special family situation, such as a divorce, separation, or a blended family, we ask that you help us by providing the school with information so that we may comply with legal requirements.  It is the policy of the school to follow the instructions of the custodial parent regarding access to all official records and reports about the child(ren).  Permission to share information must be given in writing.  Exceptions to this policy are undertaken only when necessary to comply with applicable law and/or when ordered by a court of law.

Fundraising

Fundraising

Approximately 75% of our school’s operating budget comes from tuition, BJF allocations, and grants. The rest of our expenses are covered by the fundraising efforts of the school. There are many ways that families can participate in these efforts.

  • Our Annual Campaign is a significant part of our operating budget. Parents and extended family are strongly encouraged to participate by giving a meaningful gift (of any amount) to the campaign.
  • Our Gala (TBD) is our major fundraising event of the school year. It is a fun evening that brings our school community and larger community together for dinner and an auction. Without volunteer participation in the planning, execution, and attendance, the success of this event is not possible.
  • Parent Association Fundraisers: While a portion of the proceeds go to the school’s operating budget, additional funds raised are used by the PA to purchase special items for the school, to sponsor receptions during school events, and for many other valuable program and climate enhancing purposes. **Children in elementary grades are prohibited from door-to-door fund raising activities sponsored by the school or by a school-related organization without an adult, per the Standards of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Middle Schools.**
  • Publix Partners program returns a portion of all your purchases to our school. Sign up for a Publix.com account. Then log into your accountand select a school in your account settings (Our school name is N E Miles Jewish Day School). Simply enter your phone number at checkout. Eligible purchases at Publix will help earn money for your school
  • Box Tops for Education Earning cash for your school just got easier and all you need is your smartphone. When you download the NEW and improved Box Tops app, you will be able to scan your receipt, instantly identify Box Tops products and automatically add cash to your school’s earnings online.
  • General Commemorative Contribution cards are available (Contact Susan Biedinger) for a minimum gift of $10. Contributions are acknowledged as requested by the donor and may be designated to one of a variety of funds that support the school.

Birmingham Jewish Federation

The N.E. Miles Jewish Day School is a beneficiary of the Birmingham Jewish Federation.  The financial assistance and strong support they provide continue to be important factors in the growth and development of our school.

N.E. Miles Jewish Day School Foundation Funds

The Birmingham Jewish Foundation administers the endowment of the Day School.  These funds are critical to our success as we promote an educational environment marked by excellence.  Please consider opening your own Endowment Fund or contributing to one of the established funds through the Birmingham Jewish Foundation in honor of special occasions, to wish someone continued good health, or to acknowledge life cycle events. For more information, please contact the Birmingham Jewish Foundation.

Acceptance of School Handbook

Every adult member of my household has read and understands the School Handbook, and I have reviewed all applicable policies with my child(ren) who will be attending the school.  On behalf of myself, every other adult member of my household and my child(ren) who will be attending the school, we agree to comply with all policies set forth in the School Handbook.

Additionally, I acknowledge and agree that (i) a knowing violation of the policies set forth in the School Handbook may result in my child(ren) being required to only participate in school virtually, not physically, (ii) attending in-person school is a personal decision to be made by each family and is not without risk, and for that reason we are initially offering a virtual option, (iii) to the fullest extent permitted by law, the school disclaims any and all liability to the student(s), household members of the student(s) and others resulting from COVID-19, including, without limitation, exposure to or infection of COVID-19 as a result of school activities, (iv) to the fullest extent permitted by law, the undersigned, for himself or herself and for all household members, hereby waives, releases and discharges, the school from any and all liability to the student(s), household members of the student(s) and others resulting from COVID-19, including, without limitation, exposure to or infection of COVID-19 as a result of school activities, and (v) the policies set forth in the School Handbook may be changed at any time at the discretion of the Head of School.

We are excited to have our school community back together, and we thank you in advance for doing your part to keep our kehillah safe.