The original model of the national Schechter movement promised “high academic achievement and social responsibility, in a culture of joyous spiritual engagement, caring and community.” This model continues to exist at SSLI. We believe that it is possible to provide excellence in general and Judaic studies, while offering opportunities in art and physical education. We do this by carefully crafting our schedules, and rotating our courses efficiently. The result is a seamless, integrated curriculum that has been providing excellent education for over five decades.
By all standards, our school offers an education at least equivalent to the finest schools on Long Island. Our entire General Studies curriculum meets the standards set by the New York State Department of Education. Our Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade State Test results in both English Language Arts and Math consistently fall in the same ranges as the finest schools on Long Island. In addition, we continue to demonstrate high levels of achievement as measured by the Eighth Grade English Language Arts and Math tests. Our graduates are routinely recruited by and accepted into the finest colleges and universities including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Brown, etc.
In addition to the outstanding General Studies education provided to our students, our school also provides a comprehensive Judaic Studies program. Through this program, our students master the elements of becoming committed and Hebrew-literate Jews while developing a lifelong love for learning and for the Jewish tradition.
The basic elements of all learning are addressed in both our General and Judaic Studies curricula. These elements include developing ability in language arts, critical thinking skills, increasing independence and exploration as a learner, and the ability to work with others in groups and teams. Our teachers at every grade level challenge the children in each instructional division of the school day. Thus, our children “learn how to learn” throughout the school day.
Moreover, there is the integration of all curricula throughout the day. For example, our children study the scientific change of seasons while they simultaneously study Jewish and secular autumn holidays. They study the city of Jerusalem and Global Jewish history as part of the school’s Social Studies program. Students train to apply reading and writing skills to both English and Hebrew texts, including the Torah.
Our school is dedicated to offering a demanding and intellectually rewarding dual-language academic program, while constantly examining our program for developmental readiness. Our students work hard during the school day, and it is our hope and intention that the work they do is supported and encouraged in their homes.
Transportation to and from our school is arranged through your local public school district’s Transportation Office. Your request for transportation to and from our school must be made to your public school district’s Transportation Office by April 1st. Be aware that to be eligible for transportation, your Kindergarten-age child must meet your district’s birthday cut-off date.
While children may be eligible to enter in any grade, most families start their Schechter journey when their children are in Kindergarten. It is in the Kindergarten experience that the foundation for success in our school is built as children begin to master the elements of learning, including the basics of English and Hebrew language arts. In addition, our Kindergarten program lays the groundwork for the lifelong process of Jewish learning and celebration.
Children without any prior Hebrew language skills, are welcome to apply to Schechter for transfer in any grade. We will work with families to engage tutors to support children in their transition to Schechter.
At Schechter High School of Long Island (Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Grade), our primary concern in the admission process is for each child to feel successful in the school environment. To this end, we seek to enroll students who are academically solid and capable of participating in a dual curriculum program; exemplary in character, and committed to a Jewish lifestyle. Students who commence their Jewish Day School Education in the Ninth – Twelfth Grades have separate tracking for Hebrew language.
Just as the Jewish community is composed of a wide range of Jewish practice and observance, so our school is proud to welcome Jewish families at every level of observance. While home observances vary widely, our school is affiliated with the Conservative Movement and embraces an egalitarian approach to the practice of Jewish living. We are fully committed to the mitzvot and to the observance of Shabbat and kashrut as hallmarks of the Jewish home, and we strongly and actively encourage our families to belong to a synagogue and to make Jewish observance, tradition, and celebration an important part of home life for all members of the family.
Our school policies are reflective of the work that we do. For example, with regard to observance, the school requires that birthday parties held outside of school and Bar/Bat Mitzvah parties not be held on Shabbat or on a Jewish holiday, and that all food served at the party be kosher. With regard to training our students in the proper path of derech eretz (common and mutual courtesy and respect), our school further requires that all children in the class be invited to parties.
Socialization and the ability to interact well with peers is not only a fundamental skill that must be cultivated throughout a child’s journey to young adulthood, but it is a cornerstone of Jewish teaching. While it is true that our school accepts and educates children from a wide geographic radius, the social environment and opportunities that our school offers encourage frequent social activity both during and after the school day and on weekends. Because our school supports and promotes many programs throughout the year that are deliberately designed to foster a sense of chevra (community), You and your child are sure to make many friends and to enjoy the rich social life that being a member of our extended Schechter family provides.