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Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia Parent Student Handbook by jolinmilioncherie


                TORAH ACADEMY:
           Not just a school…A KEHILLA!

               5772/2011-12 SCHOOL YEAR

                         FAMILY HANDBOOK

                         Rabbi Shmuel Jablon, Menahel (Principal)

Rabbi Naftoli Eisemann                        Dr. Joyce Kail        Mrs. Kara Feldman
Sgan Menahel (Assistant Principal, Judaics)   Assistant Principal   Early Childhood Director

                                          742 Argyle Road
                                      Wynnewood, PA 19096
                            Phone: (610) 642-7870 Fax: (610) 642-2265

 revised Shevat, 5772…February, 2012


School Mission Statement                                                      3
2010-11/5771 School Calendar                                                  4
Our Theme                                                                     6
Important Procedures                                                          7
   School Hours                                                               7
   Admissions                                                                 7
   Financial Assistance                                                       8
   Attendance and Academics                                                   8
   Report Cards                                                               10
   Homework                                                                   10
   Parent-School Partnership: Team Meetings and Meeting Students Needs        11
   Arrival and Dismissal                                                      14
   Eligibility for Teams/Activities                                           14
   Dismissal Information                                                      16
   School Closings                                                            17
Food and Health at T.A.                                                       17
   Kashrut                                                                    17
   Allergies                                                                  17
   Healthy Food and Physical Activity                                         18
   Health Procedures                                                          19
   Safety and Security                                                        21
School Climate                                                                22
   Parties                                                                    22
   Dress Code                                                                 22
   Lost and Found                                                             23
   Electronics                                                                23
   Communication is Key                                                       25
   Behavioral Expectations                                                    26
   Confidentiality                                                            28
   Parent- Teacher Organization                                               28

                                         SPECIAL NOTE:

Though some of this information has remained the same from past years, a great deal is new or has
been updated. We respectfully request that you (and older children) read this new Family Handbook
in its entirety. Please note that this handbook is not a contract. The administration and/or Board of
Directors of Torah Academy reserves the right to change policies and procedures without notice. The
most updated copy will be posted at . Thank you for partnering with
us in the education of your children.

                                        School Mission Statement

The Torah Academy of Greater Philadelphia educates boys and girls from nursery through grade eight in
its Lower School division and high school girls in its Girls High School division.

 With a curriculum rooted in Torah and general studies characterized by academic excellence and
providing skill proficiency in all areas, TA provides a dynamic Jewish education that fosters intellectual
as well as spiritual understanding and love of Torah through a commitment to its mitzvos and values. An
emphasis on middos tovos infuses all aspects of school life.

Torah Academy will make every reasonable effort to provide tuition assistance to those families who
demonstrate financial hardship.

By creating a climate of active intellectual inquiry in both Judaic and general studies, Torah Academy:

                              encourages exploration and understanding of the world.
                              emphasizes the responsibility of each Jew toward G-d and all people.
                              instills in its students Ahavas Yisrael--love of Israel and the Jewish people-
                                -as embracing the Land and State of Israel, and fellow Jews.
                              inculcates in its students the ideals of the American democratic heritage of
                                freedom, justice and human dignity.
                              views each child as an individual and provides a stimulating education for
                                students with different levels of academic ability and learning styles.
                              partners with parents to nurture each student to develop as an entire person.
                              enables and encourages students, through critical thinking, skill proficiency
                                and substantive knowledge, to discover and excel in fields in which they
                                can lead meaningful lives.
                              prepares its students with the skills to pursue their Judaic and general
                                studies at the next level of learning and throughout life.

In sum, Torah Academy provides the foundation for its students to mature as Torah-observant Jews and
role models who are contributing members in Jewish and general society.

                                    5772/ 2011-12 School Calendar…Grades 3Y-8
New Faculty Orientation                                         Monday, August 22
Faculty In-Service Week                                         Tuesday, August 23-Friday, August 26
Required Lice Checks for Students                               Wednesday, August 24-Thursday, August 25
First Day of School for Students                K-8             Monday, August 29
3y-4Y meet and Greet (10-11:30)
First Day of School for 3Y-4Y Program                            Tuesday, August 30
Labor Day- No School                                            Monday, September 5
Back to School Night                                            Wednesday, September 7
ECP Ice Cream Social at T.A.                                    Sunday, September 11 (1-2:30)
Erev Rosh haShannah- no school                                  Wednesday, September 28
Rosh haShannah- no school                                       Thursday, September 29-Friday, September 30
Erev Yom Kippur- no school                                      Friday, October 7
Sukkot Break                                                    Wed. October 12-Sunday Oct. 23
Faculty Meeting                                                 Tuesday, October 25 (4:45-6:15 p.m.)
First “Early Friday” 1:30 Dismissal                             Friday, October 28
1 Day of Sunday Program                                         Sunday, October 30
Election Day/Parent-Teacher Conferences- no school for students Tuesday, November 8
Picture Day                                                     Wednesday, November 9
Imathination: MobileEd Math Assembly, Grades 1-5 Friday, November 11
Parent Workshop w/ Chabad featuring Dr. Novick Wednesday, November 16
Kittah Bet Messibat Chumash                                     Sunday, November 20 (10 a.m.)
Thanksgiving Vacation                                           Thurs, November 24- Friday, November 25
Kohelet Fellowship Adult Learning Program                       Monday, December 5 (8 p.m.)
End of 1st Trimester                                            Thursday, December 8
Faculty Work Day- no school for students                        Friday, December 9
4Y Chanukkah Play                                               Monday, December 19, 9:15 a.m.
Morah Miriam’s Kindergarten Chanukkah Play                      Tuesday, December 20, 9:15 a.m.
3Y Chanukkah Workshop                                           Wednesday, December 21, 9:15 a.m.
Morah Shanna’s Kindergarten Chanukkah Play                      Thursday, December 22, 9:15 a.m.
Chanukkah Extended Weekend-no school                            Friday, December 23-Sunday, December 25
Winter Vacation                                                 Sunday, December 25-Sunday, January 1
Fast of Tevet- 1:30 dismissal                                   Thursday, January 5
ERB Standardized Testing Week (Grades 3-8) and Monday, January 9-Friday, January 13
Middle School Judaic Studies Achievement Testing
1st Grade Messibat haSiddur                                     Sunday, January 15
Picture Re-Take Day                                             Wednesday, January 18
Living Abraham Lincoln: MobileEd Assembly                       Thursday, January 19 (2 p.m.)
Extended Weekend- no school                                     Friday, January 20- Monday, January 23
Teacher In-Service Day- no school for students                  Tuesday, January 24
Parent- Child Middle School Book Club                           Wednesday, February 1
Faculty Meeting                                                 Tuesday, February 7 (4:45-6:15 p.m.)
Tu Bishvat- “Healthy Food Day”                                  Wednesday, February 8
Kohelet Fellowship Adult Learning Program                       Monday, February 13 (8 p.m.)
Ivrit Book Week                                                 Monday, February 13-Friday, February 17
Presidents Day- No School                                        Monday, February 20
Science Fair                                                    Tuesday, February 21

Annual Scholarship Dinner                                     Sunday, February 26
Parent-Teacher Conferences                                    Monday, Feb. 27 /Wed., Feb. 29 (6-9 p.m.)
Last Day of Sunday Program                                    Sunday, March 4
End of 2nd Trimester                                          Tuesday, March 6
Taanit Esther- - faculty work day- no school for students     Wednesday, March 7
Purim- no school                                              Thursday, March 8
Shushan Purim-special programs                                Friday, March 9
Last “Early Friday” 1:30 Dismissal-Students                   Friday, March 16
Faculty In-Service 1:45-3:30
8th Grade Pre-Pesach Car Wash (hosted by the boys)            Sunday, April 1
Matzah Factory Day                                            Tuesday, April 3
8th Grade Pre-Pesach Spaghetti Dinner (hosted by the girls)   Wednesday, April 4
Pesach Vacation                                               Thursday, April 5-Sunday, April 15
Yom HaShoah                                                   Thursday, April 19
Faculty Meeting                                               Monday, April 23 (4:45-6:15 p.m.)
Yom HaZikaron (special program)                               Wednesday, April 25
Yom HaAtzmaut (special programs)                              Thursday, April 26
Lag B’ Omer (special activities)                              Thursday, May 10
6th/7th Grade Girls Play                                      Monday, May 14 (evening)
Yom Yerushalayim (special programs & Torah Fair)              Monday, May 21
No School For Students/ Faculty In-Service (9-12:30)          Friday, May 25
Shavuot – No School                                           Sunday, May 27-Monday, May 28
Memorial Day
Ivrit Achievement Tests                                       Tuesday, May 29-Thursday, May 31
Reading & Math Olympics Awards Presentation                   Friday, June 1 (9:30 a.m.)
2nd Grade Oceanography Presentations                          Friday, June 1 (10:30 a.m.)
T.A. Family Sun and Fun Day                                   Sunday, June 3
Art Show                                                      Monday, June 4
Middle School Boys Open Microphone Program                    Monday, June 4
8th Grade Boys Class Trip                                     Tuesday, June 5-Wednesday June 6
8th Grade Girls Class Trip                                .   Wednesday, June 6-Thursday June 7
Mrs. Laytin’s 1st Grade Reading Play                          Thursday, June 7 (1:30 p.m.)
Mrs. Rosenthal’s 1st Grade Reading Play                       Friday, June 8 (9:30 a.m.)
3Y Closing Program                                            Monday, June 11 (10:15)
4Y Closing Program                                            Tuesday, June 12 (10:15)
Kindergarten Graduation                                       Wednesday, June 13 (10:15)
Last Day of School- noon dismissal                            Thursday, June 14
8th Grade Graduation (7 p.m.)
Friday, June 15                                               Faculty Records Day

3Y-4Y Nursery: 8:30-1:00 or 3:50 Kindergarten- Grade 5: 8:25-3:50 Grades 6-8 : 8:25-4:40
Fridays: October 28-March 9: 1:30 Dismissal…Other Fridays: 3:50 Dismissal

As of 11 Av, 5771/ August 11, 2011

Dates subject to change.

  Torah Academy: Not Just a School… A KEHILLA
             In OUR KEHILLA (community)…
Everyone is focused on the same goals.
In our Kehilla our goals are observance and love of Torah, middot tovot, academic
excellence, Ahavat Yisrael and strengthening our T.A. Kehilla!

Everyone cares for each and every member.
In our Kehilla we value the unique contributions of everyone and practice Chesed with
those both near and far. We teach that since everyone is different, everyone needs and
also contributes different things.

Everyone is focused on the spiritual, academic, physical and social-emotional needs
of each and every child.
In our Kehilla we are child-centered. What is best for the children- both as a group and as
individuals- always comes first.

Everyone is proud that they are part of something bigger than themselves.
In our Kehilla we stress pride in and responsibility for our school. We teach that we may
not always get what we want, we but we will get what we need.

We are all connected – wherever we may be and especially in Eretz Yisrael.
In our Kehilla we teach that there are no limits to our love and commitment for one
another (past, present and future) and especially for Eretz Yisrael.

            All of this makes T.A. not simply a school…
                      It makes us a KEHILLA!

IMPORTANT PROCEDURES                                       ADMISSIONS PROCESS
                                                           Torah Academy welcomes applications for admission
                                                           for new and transfer students at all grade levels. We
SCHOOL HOURS                                               welcome all Jewish children whose families desire an
CLASSES:                                                   excellent Torah and General Studies education.
3Y Pre-Nursery: 8:30 am to 1:00 pm or 3:50 pm              Students undergoing conversion are accepted in
4Y Nursery: 8:30 am to 1:00 pm or 3:50 pm                  accordance with the policies of the rabbinical advisory
K – 5: 8:25 am to 3:50 pm                                  committee.
6-8: 8:25 am to 4:40 pm
                                                           Applications for admission to Torah Academy are
It is critical for children to be picked up on time.       obtained from the educational office or our web site.
Parents who are more than 10 minutes late will be          The following steps are then followed.
charged $1 per minute.                                         1) An ‘Application for Admission Form’-
                                                                   accompanied by a non-refundable $50
                                                                   application fee (per child)- is submitted.
Minyan for boys Grades 5-8 takes place daily in                2) Parents sign a “records release form” so that
Rabbi Schwersensi’s new classroom. Girls in                        we may request school records to be directly
Grades 5-8 join the minyan on Mondays and                          sent from all prior schools (for children
Fridays. Tuesdays through Thursdays they have                      entering grade 1 or above).
tefillot in the library.                                       3) Parents are interviewed by the Menahel
                                                                   (Principal) and any other relevant member of
On Fridays October through March and fast days,                    the administration.
dismissal is at 1:30 pm for all classes. Specific              4) Students applying for grade 2 and over will
early dismissals are listed in the school calendar.                also spend the day visiting T.A. and being
Please see the section on early dismissals for more                interviewed by faculty and administrators.
information on early dismissal procedures.                         Additional screening may be conducted during
                                                                   the visit.
Between Simchat Torah and Purim, school is also            Torah Academy reserves the right to ask for additional
in session on Sunday mornings for boys in grades           testing or evaluation (e.g. from an educational
5-8. Sunday school is optional for boys in Grade           psychologist) prior to granting admission.
4 and Girls Grades 4-8. Minyan begins at 8:30,             Based upon the school’s assessment of its ability to
followed by breakfast. Dismissal takes place at            serve the student well, a child’s application for
11:30 a.m. Please check the school calendar for            admission may be accepted, receive provisional
more information.                                          acceptance or be denied. Applicant families will be
                                                           notified in writing. All financial arrangements must be
                                                           made with the T.A. Business Office in order to enroll
EDUCATION OFFICE:                                          and attend school. Enrollment contracts- as well as
The educational office is open from 8:00 am to             medical, transportation and emergency forms- will be
5:30 pm on regular days. The office telephone              sent a later date.
number is 610-642-7870. After hours, you may                                         *****
leave a message on school voice mail. E-mail is a          Special notes for Early Childhood Classes:
recommended way to send messages to school.                The cut-off dates for Early Childhood classes are:
                                                           Pre-Nursery (3Y) - Three years old by August 31 of
Office: 610-642-7870 Office Fax: 610-642-2265
                                                           the school year
 Menahel’s e-mail:                                         Nursery (4Y) - Four years old by August 31 of the                             school year
Office E-Mail:                                             Kindergarten (5Y) - Five years old by August 31 of                          the school year
                                                           In some cases, the Menahel and Early Childhood
                                                           Director may provisionally accept a child born in

September. However, an evaluation by an educational         ARRIVAL
psychologist may be required at parent expense.             Students arrive at school by carpool or bus.
                                                            Carpool drivers are asked to pull into the
Children must be completely toilet trained to attend        driveway near the field, and to circle the driveway
Torah Academy.                                              until the door faces Wynnewood Road. Please do
                                                            NOT park your car in the carpool line or drive
Financial Assistance
Financial aid in the form of scholarship and/or             way area. Drivers who wish to escort their
tuition deferrals is available for students in grades       children into the building may do so after parking
K-8.     The application process includes the               in the lot. Parents with children in the Early
completion (by parent or guardian) of a                     Childhood Program may leave their child with the
confidential form that is sent to an independent            ECP staff person at the door of the circular
review board and a detailed survey that is returned         driveway (facing Wynnewood Road). Following
to the school. Applications for tuition assistance          these procedures will contribute to everyone’s
are available in the business office, and are treated       safety.
with the utmost discretion and confidentiality.
Applicants will be notified in writing when the             PLANNED ABSENCES
process is complete.                                        We recognize that sometimes students will have
                                                            planned absences for family events, Shabbatonim
                                                            or other educational opportunities. Please notify
                                                            your child’s teachers, the educational office and
                                                            the Menahel well in advance. Students are
Students benefit when they come to school                   expected to make arrangements with their
regularly. Please model concern for school                  teachers as to which assignments they will need to
attendance by scheduling routine appointments on            complete (and when they will need to complete
early dismissal days or when school is closed. In           them). This is particularly important with long
the event your child must be absent, a written              term assignments that may be during or just after
explanation signed by the parent is due. To                 the period of the planned absence.
arrange for missed work to be sent home, please
                                                            Make Up Work
notify the educational office by 10:00 am on the
morning of the absence. We cannot guarantee                 Please try your best to schedule appointments and
homework after this hour. Even if you have called           vacations around the school calendar. Students
the school, you must still provide an absence note          can no more "make up" school than they can
for the teacher’s record.                                   "make up" vacation. There is far too much
                                                            happening to be able to be replaced by a mere
DAILY ADMISSION                                             packet of worksheets. If you know your child will
Students are due in at 8:25 am in their first period        be away from school, please tell your child’s
class. Students who arrive after 8:45 should come           teachers in advance. They will make every effort
to the education office to sign in for the day. The         to give them a reading assignment and/or a
student will receive a late slip to give to the             journal writing assignment. Work packets will
teacher.                                                    rarely be sent home. If you need to pick up your
                                                            child early from school, please inform your child's
Parents are asked not to walk their children to the         teachers as soon as possible
classroom. Your child will be sent to the
                                                            ILLNESS AND ACCIDENTS
classroom from the education office.
                                                            Although regular attendance is imperative, it is
                                                            just as important to keep children home when they
                                                            display symptoms of sore throat, fever, chest

cough, vomiting, diarrhea, earache, or other signs            Strep is suspected, but results of a throat
of illness. This is both for their own protection,             culture have not been received
and for the health of all the pupils in the school.           Positive throat culture for strep throat.
Children who develop such symptoms during                      Student may return to school after 3 doses of
school may be sent home. If a child is to be                   antibiotic treatment if the student’s condition
excused from physical education activities or                  is improved with no fever, fatigue, etc.
recess, or must remain indoors, a note signed by
the parent must be presented to the office.                   Symptoms of acute illness such as persistent
                                                               cough, runny nose with body aches
Please notify the office immediately if your child
contracts a communicable disease, such as                     Presence of lice or nits (unless a doctor
chicken pox, or the highly contagious head lice,               certifies they are dead and the child is not
so that necessary medical advice can be made                   contagious) in hair
available to the parent body.                                 Pus-like drainage from the eyes
Each child is required to have on file in the school          Severe headache, severe earache, severe or
office a current Emergency and Medical                         persistent abdominal pain
Authorization Form which lists people to contact
                                                              Rash suspected to be contagious
in case of emergency and allows us to deal with
an urgent situation. Please send this form to the             Wheezing/coughing episode in an asthmatic
office as soon as possible. In the event your child            which is not relieved by prescribed
becomes ill at school, and it is deemed necessary              medication
that s/he be sent home, the school will contact you           Injuries which require medical attention
or those listed by you on the Emergency Form and
                                                              Severe emotional concerns
request that your child be taken home.
                                                           Sometimes children need to go home when they
Required lice checks will be performed prior to
                                                           get sick during the day. They will also need to go
the opening of schools and after every major
                                                           home if they have any condition which may be
                                                           contagious to others. Please be sure your
Guidelines for Keeping Students Home                       emergency records are up to date so that we may
                                                           contact you if there is a problem. For the health
Nobody likes their children to miss school…and
                                                           and safety (both physical and emotional) of all of
being supportive neighbors, nobody likes to cause
                                                           our children and staff, it is crucial that if contacted
other people's children to miss school. Please be
                                                           by the school to pick up your child, you do so as
considerate of the entire school community by
                                                           soon as possible. In case of emergency, and
keeping your child home when they are ill. The
                                                           parents cannot be reached, it is our procedure to
following guidelines have been developed to
                                                           take the child to the nearest hospital. We will
assist the school staff when making decisions
                                                           contact your personal physician whenever
regarding sending students home from school for
                                                           possible, and attempt to reach you as soon as
health concerns. Students are to be excluded from
school for the following reasons:
                                                           It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to
   Vomiting/diarrhea in school or report of
                                                           make arrangements for child care in the event
    repeated/recurrent vomiting at home after
                                                           a child develops signs of communicable disease
    dinner the night before
                                                           or other illness/injury that prevent the child
   Temperature of 100.4 or higher in school or            from functioning in class. Therefore, if a student
    at home within the last 24 hours without               is ill or injured and needs to leave school, the
    anti-fever medication                                  parent is to make the necessary arrangements to

provide care for their child outside the school            not meet TA’s academic and behavioral standards,
setting.                                                   the school will guide parents to outside resources
                                                           that will help foster improvement. If for some
What NOT to Bring to School:                               reason these efforts do not bring the desired
Expensive and/or irreplaceable possessions                 results, an evaluation of the standing will be
should not be brought to school. The school does           made.
not accept responsibility for items which are              On occasion parents may request that their child
brought to school. In addition, weapons of any             be retained.     The administration will work
kind- as well as household tools, toy weapons              together with the parents to determine if this is in
and knives- are not permitted at school.                   the best academic and social/emotional interest of
                                                           the child.
Parents of students in grades K-8 will receive             Grade eight students will graduate if:
report cards on a trimester basis. Report cards               1. they have earned enough credits
are available via Ends of                  2. they have completed a service learning
trimesters are noted on the school calendar.                     project successfully
                                                              3. they have attendance rate of 90% or better;
The Marking Guidelines for Grades 1-5 are:                    4. there are no major conduct concerns;
1: below grade level                                          5. there is consistent completion of
2: below grade level but making progress                         homework assignments.
3: at grade level                                             6. they have earned a 90% or better on a test
4: above grade level                                             of Yediot Klaliyot (basic Jewish
5: far above grade level                                         knowledge), a copy of which is available
                                                                 on our web site (Students may take the test
The Marking Guidelines for Grades 6-8 are:                       as often as needed).
97-100: A+ 93-96: A 90-92 A-
87-89: B+ 83-86: B 80-82 B-                                HOMEWORK
77-79: C+ 73-76: C 70-72 C-                                We hope that all of our children will not just love
60-69: D    0-59: F                                        school, but that they will love learning! Our
                                                           curriculum, under constant review, is designed to
Grade averages below 60 will be given an                   be engaging and challenging in every way. An
incomplete and students are expected to exert              important part of this is homework. Homework is
effort by a clear deadline to complete the work,           never intended to be "busy work" or "drill and
retake a test, etc. to achieve a passing grade.            kill." It is intended either to reinforce what the
Incompletes change to an "F” following the                 children have learned in school or to help them
deadline.                                                  prepare for a future lesson or project.
Students who do not pass a particular class may-           All of our children, beginning in grade one,
at the discretion of the administration- be                should expect to do homework nightly (Sunday
permitted to advance to the next year on academic          through Thursday). This homework, which may
probation and/or be required to take a summer              include reading and/or written work in both Judaic
course or independent study class in order to              and General Studies, should take no more than the
achieve a passing grade.                                   following average lengths of time:
Promotion to the next grade is based on                    Grades 1-2 30-45 minutes
performance. The school reserves the right to              Grades 3-4 40-50 minutes
withhold a promotion if a child’s needs will not be        Grades 5-6 60-90 minutes
best met at the next grade level. If a student does        Grades 7-8 120-150 minutes


         Teachers                        Student                        Parents

Homework should be a            Students are responsible
                                                             Parents should check parent
review of work done, an         for writing down
active reading exercise,        assignments and with
previewing coming work,         bringing home any
                                                             or student folder to help
working on projects or          materials needed to
                                                             focus students work
reviewing for tests/quizzes.    complete.
                                Students should ask their
                                                             Parents should provide a
                                teacher if they do not
Homework is not for                                          quiet, well-lit place for the
                                understand the assignment
parents.                                                     child with the materials
                                or feel they cannot
                                                             needed for their child
                                complete it.
Homework should be a            Students should stop doingParents should realize that
"doable" task. This may         homework if they exceeded one goal of homework is to
necessitate "differentiating"   Torah Academy's time limitteach responsibility,
the homework for some           and ask their parents to  planning, and time/materials
students.                       send the teacher a note.  management
                                                          Parents should stop a child
                             Student should report to the from continuing homework
Homework and
                             teacher if he/she            if it exceeds the time frame
projects/tests should be
                             experienced difficulty       and/or if the assignment
coordinated between all
                             completing homework, or if appears to be stressful and
teachers so that assignments
                             there was an excessive       send a note to the teacher. If
are not all due back at the
                             number of tests per          this happens regularly
same time.
                             day/week.                    modifications may be
                             Student should attempt to
Homework is to be done in complete homework on            Parents should communicate
a reasonable amount of time their own to the best of      with the teacher if there are
consistent with Torah        their ability without having ongoing issues related to
Academy policies,            parents or others do the     homework.
                             task for them.
Homework should be
                             Students should return all
carefully reviewed by                                     Parents should not do
                             homework/assignments to
teachers and returned with                                homework for a child, but
                             their teacher in a timely
meaningful feedback, or                                   should support, guide, and
                             manner. If they need an
provide a means of class                                  encourage.
                             extension they should ask.
                             Students should understand
Teachers should clearly                                    Parents whose children have
                             that completing homework
inform students as to how                                 continuing concerns should
                             regularly and responsibly
homework counts in their                                  ask for a team meeting with
                             will increase success and
grade in their class.                                     their child’s teachers.

ACHIEVEMENT TESTS:                                         to ensure that the person will be present. The
Achievement tests are administered annually in             meeting will last no more than 40 minutes. If
grades 3-8. We administer the Educational                  issues require further discussion, another meeting
Records Bureau CTP test. Testing will be given             will be planned.
in February so that results are received early
enough to assist in any academic planning that             Torah Academy has formed a Grade Level Team
may be necessary.                                          (GLT) to be pro-active to examine and propose
                                                           interventions for a student who is experiencing
PARENT-SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP: TEAM                            academic, behavioral or emotional difficulties in
MEETINGS AND MEETING STUDENTS’                             his/her general education classroom. This team
NEEDS                                                      usually consists of the student’s teacher, an
Torah Academy values and encourages                        administrator, the school counselor and support
involvement from our parents as we work to meet            personnel from the school. The student and
the needs of every student. As part of the                 parent(s) also comprise part of the GLT team.
planning process, parents, teachers and
administrators will constantly be involved in              GLT meetings allow parents and school staff the
assessing student achievement. Teachers are                opportunity to share concerns and develop a joint
generally happy to schedule an individual                  instructional plan when a student begins to
conference with parents at any time during the             struggle in school or if they require enrichment to
school year at a parent’s request. There are also          meet their needs. These instructional plans will
parent-teacher conferences twice yearly.                   vary based on the individual educational needs of
Likewise, the teacher may ask a parent to come in          the student and will include specific strategies.
for a conference if there is a special concern, or         GLT meetings will also take place to monitor the
news about their child.                                    student’s progress and ensure the utilization of the
                                                           instructional plan and its effectiveness.
A parent or teacher may request a formal or
informal meeting with a member of the                      If the GLT instructional plans are not successful, a
administration to discuss overall progress and             recommendation for more intense instruction or a
concerns. The purpose of this meeting is to                possible evaluation may be recommended.
discuss the student’s progress and to develop an
individual plan to increase success in the school          To help us better service each student we ask the
setting.                                                   parent to be pro-active and attend the GLT
                                                           meeting with an open mind and provide detailed
Following, or in lieu of, this meeting, the school         information about your student. Please be sure to
or parent can request a Grade Level Team (GLT)             provide us with any outside testing or reports
Meeting. These meetings take place in the middle           regarding your child. We need all available
of the school day (Each grade level is assigned a          information to assist your child. Please ask
specific time when meetings occur. If that time is         questions when you are uncertain about
not possible for a parent, we will make every              recommendations or information being discussed.
effort to accommodate a different time during the          We also recommend that you talk to your child to
school day. However, this may take additional              see if he or she has any special concerns or
time to arrange. ). The student’s academic and             questions that he or she would like you to discuss
non-academic teachers, the school counselor and a          or clarify with the teacher.
member of the administration will participate in
the meeting (or submit written reports). A parent          Please note that if you need forms or evaluations
can also request that a specific teacher attend the        filled out for your children for outside providers
conference and the school will make every effort           (such as the school district, doctors, counselors,

etc.) these forms should be given to the Assistant              being assigned to the class that best meets
Principal. They will be sent directly by our office             their ability.
to the outside provider or evaluator, not returned              When possible within the school schedule, the
directly to parents.                                            school will occasionally offer “subject matter
                                                                acceleration” (progressing more quickly
For more information please contact Rabbi Jablon                through the curriculum in a particular subject)
or Dr. Kail.                                                    to students who qualify as gifted and talented
                                                                in a particular subject matter. Therefore, they
                                                                may spend some of their day in a class with
“GIFTED AND TALENTED PROGRAM”                                   older children, or with a teacher who is able to
Torah Academy’s core academic program is                        teach that particular subject on their level.
intensive and enriched. However, we recognize
that there are some students who require even                T.A. does not “diagnose” giftedness. Children are
more to be properly challenged. To meet the                  identified as eligible for available programs
needs of these students, Torah Academy will –                through the results of their standardized testing.
whenever possible – provide a range of services,             Specifically, the students will demonstrate
including some “pull out” accelerated                        achievement at the 95th percentile or higher in
programming and/or accelerated class sections in             reading comprehension and/or math concepts/total
selected academic areas. This will be above and              math. Parents may also submit testing conducted
beyond the normal “challenge” work provided                  by a licensed psychologist reflecting an IQ of 133
within the classroom. It will include both teacher           (plus or minus the 3 point error of measurement)
directed and independent learning activities                 and/or achievement tests reflecting achievement at
(including homework). It will focus on high level            the 95th percentile or higher in reading
critical thinking, reading and/or math                       comprehension and/or math concepts/total math.
comprehension, and research/communication
skills. It is intended for students working                  As with all other special programs, participation is
significantly above their grade level in a particular        only with parental consent and eligibility is
area.                                                        constantly under review. Students are expected to
                                                             maintain a “B” average to remain in the program.
   In Grades 1-2 this enrichment is provided by
   the classroom teacher who consults with the               In some instances, a student’s needs can best be
   Gifted and Talented Specialist.                           met by whole grade acceleration, i.e. “skipping”.
   In Grades 3-6, the enrichment is provided                 At Torah Academy, we use the Iowa Scale of
   either by the Gifted and Talented Specialist or           Acceleration in order to determine whether a child
   by the classroom teacher in consultation with             is good candidate for acceleration. This process
   the specialist, based on the needs of the                 may be initiated at the request of parents and/or
   students. The specialist is scheduled to meet             educators. The first part of the scale requires
   regularly with the teachers and assist in the             parents to submit IQ and achievement testing
   creation and identification of new materials in           conducted by a licensed psychologist at the
   order to do the best possible job to meet the             parent’s expense. The second part, conducted on
   needs of the learners.                                    the condition that the first part demonstrates the
   In our Middle School (Grades 6-8) we offer                necessary criteria, is a holistic look at the many
   multiple sections in Talmud and math, as well             factors that make up the individual student. Once
   as Hebrew language classes divided by ability,            the complete scale is concluded, parents may be
   based on the needs of the students. Thus,                 offered whole grade acceleration for their child, at
   many students identified as “gifted and                   the discretion of the administration. In the
   talented” are able to have their needs met by             possible situation that the administration advises

acceleration as the only way to adequately meet              b. In some cases, a parent may be required to
the child’s needs, the parents will be so advised               accompany his/her child on a trip if there are
though will still ultimately be able to make the                concerns about behavior, medical conditions
decision.                                                       or other matters.
                                                             c. The School cannot be responsible for any loss
As with all parts of our program, the “Gifted and               of personal property suffered by a student
Talented Program” will undergo regular review                   while on a school trip.
throughout the school year by the educational                d. The student will be subject to the supervision
administration.                                                 and control of the chaperones that have
                                                                jurisdiction on the trip at all times.
For more information please contact Mrs. Lisa                e. If children are transported via car,
Dardashti, our Gifted and Talented Education                    Pennsylvania State Laws regarding booster
Specialist.                                                     seats must be observed. Children under 8
                                                                years old must have a booster seat unless they
Torah Academy gratefully acknowledges the                       are over 80 pounds and/or over 4 feet nine
support of the Kohelet Foundation who has made                  inches tall. It is recommended that children
this program possible.                                          over 8 but not the listed height and weight
                                                                should have booster seats.            Parents are
                                                                responsible for providing the booster seats for
ASSEMBLIES:                                                     field trips.
Weekly assemblies (Kehilla Meeting in Grades 1-              f. Other regulations may be enacted for specific
3 and Shira Ve’Zimra- separately for boys and                   trips.
girls- in Grades 4-8) are a part of the curriculum           g. If a trip is scheduled to return after 3:50 PM, a
designed to expose and provide students with                    parent/guardian must agree to pick up the
educational as well as entertaining experiences.                student or designate, in writing, an adult who
Students will enter Shabbat with singing and                    will.
Divrei Torah. Often, Divrei Torah and skits will             h. Any failure of a student to follow trip
be delivered by classmates. Students are expected               regulations will result in disciplinary action.
to be courteous and well-mannered to the                     i. All school policies must be obeyed when on a
audience and the performers. Respect for each                   school trip.
other is the major rule.
                                                             ELIGIBILITY FOR TEAMS/ACTIVITIES
SCHOOL TRIPS:                                                In order to remain eligible for representing Torah
Field trips complement the school curriculum and             Academy on teams or to participate in activities,
will occur periodically throughout the year.                 students must maintain at least a C- average and
Parents will be notified well in advance that the            good behavioral record in each and every class.
field trip will be taking place. One permission              In the case of sports teams, our Athletic Director
slip, which covers all trips during the academic             will check eligibility before each game. Students
year, will be on file in the school office so that it        who fall below this standards will not be
will not be necessary for a permission slip to be            permitted to participate (other than as an observer)
signed before each trip. The attire of parents who           without special permission of the Menahel until
are invited to come on school outings should                 the standard is met.
adhere to the school’s standards.
a. Students will at all times conduct themselves             ACADEMIC HONESTY AND PLAGIARISM:
   in a manner which will bring credit to Torah              Students are expected to always be honest,
   Academy and Klal Yisrael.                                 including in academic issues. Copying from other
                                                             children or turning in someone else’s work as

their own, talking or sharing materials during              olds who live in Lower Merion. Additional
quizzes/tests, etc. are all examples of cheating.           information is available in the Business Office.

Students may never copy directly from printed
material or from the Internet and then submit it to         SCHOOL BUS CONDUCT
a teacher as their own work. Information                    The rules in this section apply whether children
printed from computer searches or from CD- Rom              ride on school district or T.A.- rented busses.
references may not be turned in “word-for-word”
as a student’s report. Your child should check              Children are expected to practice safe and
with his/her teacher before the report’s due date           courteous bus behavior. The privilege of riding
concerning footnotes, bibliographies, sources, etc.         the bus may be revoked for children who do not
Depending on the severity of the situation and the          behave properly.
age of the child, consequences for academic
dishonesty may include (but are not limited to): a          Boarding and riding your bus:
“zero” on the assignment, need to re-do an                    Board your bus in an orderly manner.
assignment,         mandatory       parent-teacher-           Remain seated at all times.
administrator conference, failing a class,                    Avoid loud conversations.
suspension.                                                   Keep the aisle and emergency exits clear of
                                                                personal belongings.
ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL                                         Head and hands are to be inside at all times.
                                                              Nothing may be thrown from the bus.
                                                              Avoid defacing, damaging, or tampering with
BUS TRANSPORTATION:                                             any of the bus equipment.
Many public school districts in which TA students
live, provide round-trip transportation free of             At home and at your bus stops:
charge. This type of district transportation is              When you leave home, go directly to your
currently available for the following:                          assigned bus stop.
  Students in grades 1 – 8 who are residents of             Arrive at the bus stop five minutes before
     Philadelphia.                                              your bus is scheduled to be there. Drivers do
  Students in grades K – 8 who live in portions                not wait.
     of Montgomery and Delaware Counties.                    Wait in a safe area away from traffic.
  Students in grades K - 8 who live in                      When crossing the street to board the bus,
     Cheltenham Township.                                       wait until the bus has stopped and the red
Requests for district transportation are included in            lights are flashing. When you are sure that
the registration packet.                                        traffic is clear in both directions, cross at
                                                                least ten feet in front of the bus.
Prior to the first day of school, families eligible          At the end of the school day, get off the bus
for district bus service will be notified in writing            at your designated stop. We cannot allow
by the district with bus stop information.                      students to get off at other stops other than
Questions and change requests should be directed                their home.
to the local public school district transportation           Go directly home – Do not approach
office. Torah Academy has no control over the                   strangers.
designation of school bus stops or routes.
                                                            Please note that Torah Academy neither owns the
TORAH ACADEMY TRANSPORTATION                                bus nor employs the bus drivers (or other
Pending sufficient registration, the school                 employees). However, on both school district and
provides fee based transportation to 3 and 4 year           T.A.-hired busses we are expected to provide

support for issues of behavior (including, but not          DAILY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES:
limited to, suspending the privilege of riding the           Dismissal for Early Childhood students at 1
bus). Students who receive a written conduct                  pm will take place at the door in the circular
report from a bus driver for engaging in unsafe               driveway facing Wynnewood Road. If you
behavior will be suspended from riding the bus                arrive after 1:05, please park your car and
for one week. Students who receive a written                  buzz to be let into the building. You child will
conduct report for engaging in inappropriate                  be at the security desk.
behavior will be suspended from riding the bus               When the entire school dismisses at 1:30 pm
for two days. Repeat offences will receive longer             such as on early Fridays during the winter, the
suspensions and potential suspension from school.             Early Childhood dismissal area will be in the
                                                              kindergarten room (with the exit door facing
EARLY DISMISSALS (school wide AND                             the fields). Students in grades 1 – 8 will be
individual):                                                  called to this dismissal area as their cars arrive
Scheduled early dismissals are announced in                   to pick them up.
advance in the school calendar sent to you this              Dismissal area for carpool at 3:50 pm will be
summer and in the TA weekly eNewsletter.                      in the Kindergarten room (with the exit door
Parents must make the necessary arrangements for              facing the fields). Bus riders will wait in
child care. Sometimes emergency early dismissal               classrooms until buses are called.
days are necessary. Parents should take advantage
of early dismissals days or when schools are                         Please be punctual for dismissal.
closed by scheduling doctors, dentists, and other           A form will be sent home requesting carpool
appointments.                                               information and those authorized to pick up your
                                                            children. Each family will receive two carpool
In certain situations a student may need to be              placards. A placard should be visible in the
signed out before the end of the day. Parents will          windshield of the car that is coming to school to
request that the child be released from class at the        retrieve students. Cars without placards will be
security desk. Your child will not be released until        directed to wait until personnel can deal with
a parent or legal guardian appears at the security          them.
desk. Children need to be signed out of school by           For their own safety, children will not be allowed
a parent or legal guardian (or by another adult to          to leave with anyone other than their regular
whom you’ve given written permission) if they               carpool driver unless the teacher and the
are leaving before dismissal. For their safety,             educational office are notified of the change by
children are not sent to waiting cars. Please give          the parent in writing.
yourself enough time to follow these procedures.
                                                             Children who leave school before regular pick
Children who were signed out but then return to             up times:
the school during the school day need to be signed          Safety procedures require that children who are
in by their parent at the security desk.                    dismissed early are to be signed out of school by
                                                            the person who picks them up. A sign out sheet is
Parents should also notify the school in the case of        located in the education office. Students cannot
unanticipated early dismissals by faxing or e-              be picked up from their classrooms. Please do not
mailing the school with the child’s name, time of           ask us to have your child wait in an unsupervised
dismissal and name of the adult escort picking              area.
child up. This communication is due by 3:10 pm
on the day of the early dismissal.                          Our goal is for every child to make it home safely.
                                                            To assist us in this regard, please do not make
                                                            unnecessary changes to the dismissal routine.

We require that changes be made according to the            Number is 1107. You should also sign up for text
following procedures.                                       messaging at so you
                                                            will be notified of closings and delays quickly.
1. Changes are made in writing. Parents should
   send notes to the school with their child, fax            Lower Merion Residents please note:
   them to the school office at 610-642-2265 or             In addition to the TA closing number of 1107,
   e-mail them to the educational office at least           parents need to know the Lower Merion school
   one      hour     before      dismissal     to           district closing/delay number, which is 302.                         Snow closing/delay information is also available
                                                            on the KYW website.
2. For younger children, the note should be
   pinned to their clothing. For all dismissal              When Lower Merion schools announce a one or
   changes, parents should call the educational             two hour delay in opening, buses for students will
   office to verify that the information about the          be delayed accordingly.
   change has been received. When calling the
   office, please make sure to speak with one of            In the event that the school operates on a regular
   our office staff. We cannot guarantee that               time schedule and the district operates on a
   voice mail messages are always received in               delayed schedule, students may be brought to
   time.                                                    school by their parents, or they may wait for the
                                                            district bus to pick them up. However, as school
3. As a general rule, only changes in writing will          will operate as normal, we do recommend
   be carried out. Only in extreme and urgent               bringing children on time.
   circumstances, will changes by phone be                  When an unanticipated snowstorm or emergency
   accepted.                                                necessitates the mid-day closing of school, parents
                                                            will be contacted at the daytime phone number
4. Dismissal data is collected until 50 minutes             listed on the family emergency card.
   before dismissal. Dismissal changes that come
   in after 3:00 pm can not be honored. On early            Please call the school for the Philadelphia and
   dismissal days, changes are accepted until               Cheltenham closing/delay numbers.
   12:10 pm for a 1:00 pm dismissal.                        FOOD AND HEALTH AT T.A.

5. Assistance after the designated time for                 KASHRUT
   dismissal changes is available only in extreme           In order to maintain a uniform standard of
   situations.                                              Kashrut, we ask that families adhere to the
                                                            following guidelines.
                                                              Food sent to school should bear one of the
6. It is critical for children to picked up on time.
   There will be a charge of $1 per minute                       following certifications:
   assessed for pick up more than 10 minutes


When school must be canceled due to inclement
weather, an announcement will be broadcast on
radio station KYW 1060 AM. The radio station
announces schools by number rather than by                     Please inquire from the Menahel about other
name. Torah Academy’s Emergency Closing                         certifications and he will work with the

    rabbinic advisory committee to clarify the             For younger children (age 7 and under):
    matter.                                                We recommend that you do not send the following
   So that all students may participate, Cholov           items in your child’s lunch. Although your child may
    Yisrael dairy products are to be served at             handle these foods well at home, they are considered a
    events that include the class.                         choking hazard in the larger, classroom setting.
   Homemade food may not be distributed at                     Grapes
    school.                                                     Caramels
   Utensils may not be brought from home for                   Raisins
                                                                Gushers
    public use at school.
                                                                Popcorn
   Pre-cut fruit, if not under rabbinic
                                                                Fruit roll ups
    supervision, should not be served to the class.
                                                                Hard candy
   Please do not bring in for whole class use
                                                                Nuts or seeds
    strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, figs,
                                                                Laffy Taffy Squeeze bottle drinks
    dates, cauliflower, broccoli or lettuce as they             Olives
    are too difficult to check for bugs in the                  Raw carrots
    limited amount of time we have available.
                                                           ALLERGIES IN THE CLASSROOM
                                                           Torah Academy will make every effort to
Lunch should be sent to school each day. Please
                                                           accommodate children with food allergies. After
see our allergies sections below for important
                                                           consultation with our medical consultants and the
                                                           Lower Merion School District, the following
                                                           policy is now in effect.
In addition to time for lunch, students have
opportunities to eat snacks sent from home.
                                                           1) Parents of children with allergies need to
Lunches sent from home could be dairy, meat or
                                                           provide the school with written documentation
pareve. If you are sending a meat lunch, please
                                                           from their doctor that details the allergy, the
include a special napkin or placemat to place
                                                           extent of the allergy (whether it's only by
under the meat platter.
                                                           ingestion or even by contact, and if the student's
In preparing lunch, please keep in mind that there
                                                           life may be in danger) as well as an action plan in
are no facilities for refrigeration or heating.
                                                           case of an allergic reaction.
Drinks in glass containers should not be brought
to school.    Care should be taken that pareve
                                                           2) In classrooms with children with life
snacks should be sent after a meat lunch.
                                                           threatening allergies to peanuts, nuts or eggs, the
                                                           classroom will be a "peanut/tree nut free zone"
We recommend keeping sweets to a minimum. In
                                                           and/or "egg free zone" (e.g. raw or cooked plain
addition, chewing gym is not permitted at any
                                                           egg, although other products with eggs included
time at T.A.
                                                           as an ingredient- such as baked goods- would not
                                                           be forbidden). Nobody will be allowed to bring
Cholov Yisroel milk is provided to children with
                                                           products containing the designated product(s) into
dairy or pareve lunches.        Early Childhood
                                                           the classroom (unless they are closed in their book
classes also receive a snack in the morning and in
                                                           bag). Other allergies will be handled on a case by
the afternoon.      Please notify your child’s
                                                           case basis, at the discretion of the administration
teachers of any food allergies or restrictions in
                                                           3) In Grades 3-8, where children eat in their
                                                           lunchroom, a table or portion of the table will be
Parents will be notified when lunch will be sold
                                                           designated as a relevant allergy table. In some
by the PTO or other groups.
                                                           cases we may use individual desks where children

with allergies shall sit in order to avoid exposure.         candy, cookies, soda, sports drinks or other
 In these cases we will make every effort to wipe            sweets. These items will also not be sold to
down tables in advance. Please note that with                students at school.
permission of the doctor and parents, children can
sit at their class' regular table.                            2) Our Early Childhood Program will be
                                                             providing healthy options, such as fruits or
4) We ask parents of children with allergies to              vegetables for at least one of the two daily snacks.
sign a waiver acknowledging that Torah                        In baking projects, the teachers will do their best
Academy, its faculty and staff, are not responsible          to use the healthiest possible ingredients that are
for any medical problems (including allergic                 also reasonably economical.
reactions) that result from their child being in a
main stream school. Although we will make                    3) Children bringing treats for the class either for
every effort to accommodate the needs of the                 their birthday or for Shabbat Imma/Abba should
children, there is no way that Torah Academy can             not bring candy bags for the class and are
guarantee that the school, a classroom or any                encouraged to bring healthy treats (Please consult
other area is truly free of any allergen of any kind.        the Kashrut policy for additional information as
                                                             to fruits/vegetables that may be brought for whole
We understand that some aspects of this policy               class use.). However, they are still invited to
may be inconvenient for children who do not have             provide birthday cake, cookies or cupcakes for the
allergies. Therefore, we have developed a policy             class.
that is narrowly tailored to meet the needs of
children with health risks while having minimal              4) We will promote healthy living habits within
necessary impact on those who do not. Please                 our school program. The Health and Wellness
help us accommodate the health needs of the                  subcommittee be working on a "Healthy Food
children in our Kehilla.                                     Day" in honor of Tu B'shvat.

                                                             5) In addition to special treats for holiday parties
HEALTHY FOOD AND PHYSICAL                                    and other special events, the school will be
ACTIVITY                                                     providing healthy food options as well.
Torah Academy aims to provide a comprehensive
educational approach, by teaching our students               6) While children may still bring anything their
 necessary lifelong tools to continually grow as             parents permit for their own personal lunch and
spiritual individuals as well as promote their               snack, we encourage the Torah Academy
health and well-being. Under the direction of                community to join us in teaching the mitzvah of
Kenny Myers, we have developed a formal                      guarding our health to our students, and we hope
physical education curriculum (available on our              that the renewed emphasis on this mitzvah will
web site). In consultation with both our staff and           provide a safer and more wholesome environment
the Health and Wellness subcommittee of the                  for all of our students.
Lower School Education Committee, we are
focusing on the mitzvah of "you shall guard your             HEALTH RELATED PROCEDURES:
lives" and paying special attention to encouraging           The goals of Health Services are to detect specific
healthy eating at Torah Academy. To this end, we             health problems at an early stage and to facilitate
have established the following guidelines to                 their resolution. Programs include growth, vision,
promote healthy eating habits in our students:               hearing, scoliosis, dental screenings, and physical
                                                             examinations of all pupils upon admission and
1) With rare exceptions, faculty and staff will not          again in sixth grade. The Lower Merion district
give students prizes or incentives that involve              school nurse visits Torah Academy each week to

conduct health screenings and to update students’              3.   Number of days medication will be taken
medical forms. State law mandates that medical                       by student
forms for each student be updated annually and                  4. Any special circumstances or side effects.
filed at school. Annual screening tests for vision              5. The form also requires a physician’s
and hearing are conducted at school, as well as                      signature.
screening for scoliosis at the appropriate age. As           All medication taken by the student will be
a representative of the state Health Department,             monitored by a staff member. The staff will
the nurse may require that a child not attend                ensure that the medication is stored and secured;
school if their records/immunizations are not up             therefore, all medication must be brought to the
to date as required by law.                                  office. No medication is to be stored in the
If your child complains of illness or injury at              classroom. Doses are to be scheduled during the
home, please do not send him/her to school                   student’s break times.
expecting the nurse to administer to his/her needs.
                                                             Please note that Torah Academy offers this
Chronic medical conditions such as asthma,                   service as a convenience to parents. Torah
diabetes, and behavior disorders must be reported            Academy and its staff cannot be held liable for
to the administration and the nurse. Please notify           loss of medication, forgetting to administer
us and send in doctor’s instructions if your child is        medication, side effects to medication or
injured, hospitalized or seen at an Emergency                accidental improper administering of medication.
Room. When medically recommended, students
with such conditions may receive long-term                   Sick Policy
medications in school provided their parents                 School policy requires that a child be fever free
comply with the School Health Services policy.               for 24 hours before returning to school after an
Short-term medications are not normally                      illness. This is to allow the child ample time to
dispensed in school. The parent must fill out the            recover and to prevent spread of illness to other
necessary forms if a medication needs to be taken            students.
at any time during the year even if this is only in
sporadic situations.                                          Treatment of School Related Injuries
                                                                 The office staff takes care of minor injuries
Parents must submit Health Insurance information                 (scrapes, insect bites, bruises, bumps etc.)
(provider and policy numbers) to the nurse                       with cold compresses, ice, antibiotic
indicating coverage. The nurse will assist in                    ointment, or band-aids as the need arises.
getting coverage for uninsured children. Contact                 Parents will be notified about minor injuries
her for help. The nurse can also assist in getting               at the discretion of the Administration.
coverage for eye exams if your medical insurance                 Parents may be called to ask permission for
does not cover them.          Please do not give                 administration of acetaminophen.
students medicine to carry around with them. The                 When confronted with an injury that needs
medicine could be lost, stolen or misused by their               further attention, our staff will make every
peers.                                                           effort to address the child’s needs and make
If your child takes medicine, parents are required               contact with parents. In an emergency, the
to provide the signed LMSD form (a copy is on                    child will be taken to the nearest hospital.
our website) to the educational office, which                    It is the responsibility of parents to
authorizes medicine to be dispensed at school.                   update school medical information
This note includes the following information:                    (allergic     reaction      to     medication,
   1. Purpose of medication                                      inoculation etc.).       A form with this
   2. Time of daily administration                               information has been provided for each

SMOKING                                                      Parents who wish to visit classes in session are
Smoking is forbidden on the campus (indoors and              asked to schedule an appointment with the
out) of Torah Academy.                                       Menahel.

SAFETY AND SECURITY                                          Lunches, projects, homework, and the like that are
                                                             delivered to the school should be left at the
                                                             reception desk. Written messages for children
SECURITY AT T.A.:                                            may also be left at the reception desk.
The Torah Academy School staff takes every
possible precaution to ensure the safety of every            Children, other than those applying for admission
student. Exterior doors are locked during the                to Torah Academy, may not visit T.A. during the
school day. After 8:35 AM, the entrance to the               school day.
building is only through the main door. No one is
permitted access to any part of the building                 TELEPHONES
without permission from the office and the                   The telephone in the main office may only be
issuance of a visitor’s pass. Any parent or visitor          used by students for urgent matters. Messages
who does not have a pass will be referred to the             may only be relayed to students for urgent
office. School staff is assigned to supervise                matters. After school arrangements should be
students in the yard. All students are counseled by          made between parents and students outside of
staff members in ways to avoid contact with                  school hours.
                                                             CELL PHONES
All students are required to be supervised by an             Cell phone usage by students is not permitted
adult at all times.                                          during school hours. In case of an emergency,
                                                             students should go to the educational office. The
At no time may a student leave campus without a              staff will confiscate cell phones improperly used.
supervising adult. At no time may students be in             They will remain in the office until a parent
“restricted” areas of the building (e.g. roof, boiler        comes to claim them.
room, etc.) where their safety- or the safety of
others- would be in jeopardy. Violation of these             CUSTODY AND OTHER LEGAL PAPERS:
rules may result in a suspension from school.                A copy of relevant, current legal papers should be
                                                             brought to the office where they will be safely
VISITORS                                                     filed. Legally, it is assumed that both parents
Torah Academy welcomes parents to visit the                  listed on the record card and school application in
school. For safety reasons, parents and visitors             the office have custody of the student.
are not permitted to go directly to the classrooms.
Please report to the reception desk upon entering            Legal papers, not verbal information, are required
the building, where our staff will assist you. A             by the school in special situations. Legal papers
stick-on tag will be issued. It must be worn while           are binding in the event of any custody case.
you are in the school. With the exception of                 Notify the principal of unique situations. The
prearranged report card conferences on the                   most current papers on file are binding, so be sure
designated days, no one may go to any area of the            the most current ones are on file at school.
school building without the express permission of
the Menahel or his designee.                                 FIRE DRILLS
                                                             Fire drills are held regularly at Torah Academy.
Parents may not visit their child’s classroom                Each drill is an important practice so that
unannounced. This disrupts the classroom routine.            everyone is prepared in the event of an actual

emergency. Students are to conduct themselves in             reasonable suspicion that a child is being abused
a silent and orderly way during a drill and treat            or endangered are required to report this without
each drill as if it were an actual evacuation due to         delay to the proper legal authorities.
a real fire or other emergency. Students who are
disruptive during fire drills may be suspended for
one day.                                                     OUTSIDE RESOURCES

FIRE DRILL PROCEDURES:                                       Intermediate Unit
1. When the fire bell rings, all students line up            Private schools in Montgomery County have
   immediately and follow the teacher’s                      access to a range of health – related services under
   instructions.                                             the auspices of the Montgomery County
2. Follow the drill procedures which are posted              Intermediate Unit (I.U.).         Referrals to the
   in each room.                                             professionals of the Intermediate Unit for
3. Students on an errand, in the bathroom, or not            evaluation of a student are at the discretion of the
   with a class should join the nearest class                administration, in consultation with parents and
   exiting the building and remain with that class           teachers. A parent who is interested in obtaining
   until the drill is over.                                  these services for their child, should contact the
4. Every student must remain silent throughout               Assistant Principal.
   the entire drill.
5. No one should enter the school until the “all             Parent Advocate
   clear” bell is sounded.                                   This year, we are pleased to have the services of
                                                             Mrs. Orit Seif as our Parent Advocate. Parents
VIDEOS/PICTURES OF STUDENTS                                  who need support accessing services outside of
There may be situations at school or on school-              T.A., particularly those to which children may be
related activities that students are part of pictures        legally entitled (such as from school districts,
that are taken. These pictures may be used in                counties of the intermediate unit), will be able to
school publicity and/or on our web site (without             contact Mrs. Seif for her assistance. These
names). If a parent/caregiver objects to their child         services could include testing, dual enrollment,
being in such pictures, they must notify the school          early intervention support, behavioral support
office within one week of the new school year.               services, shadows, etc.       Some of these are
You have already signed permission for this as               particularly helpful during transition periods. She
part of your enrollment materials.                           will be able to “walk parents through the system,”
                                                             as well as advocate on their behalf if necessary.
CARE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY:                                     We hope that families will take advantage of this
Students are responsible for the proper care of              assistance.
school property. Students are responsible for the
care, maintenance and timely return of all
textbooks and for proper care of the T.A. building,          SCHOOL CLIMATE
furnishings, etc. Students and/or their parents will
be assessed penalties for lost or damaged                    PARTIES:
textbooks and/or property.                                   Birthdays are exciting events and offer children
                                                             the opportunity to celebrate with their peers.
REPORTING OF ABUSE                                           Parents of Early Childhood students are
In accordance with the law of the Commonwealth               encouraged to celebrate the child’s birthday with
of Pennsylvania, it is the policy of Torah                   the class. Parents bring in a special treat (no soda,
Academy of Greater Philadelphia that- as                     please). Inexpensive, age appropriate “goodie
mandated reporters- staff members who have a                 bags” are permitted (though not required), as long

as they conform to the school’s Kashrut policies.           While every effort is made to be sensitive and not
Please consult with the classroom teacher in                cause unnecessary embarrassment, it is very
advance when planning such a party. A gift to the           uncomfortable for the staff as well as the student
classroom in honor of the child’s birthday such as          to discuss an infraction of the dress code or
a book, tape, or toy makes the day very special.            personal grooming. It is much appreciated when
                                                            the necessary foresight is exercised in order to
Beginning in first grade, children do not have              avoid hurt feelings and embarrassment.
class parties.    However, they may make
arrangements with their teacher to bring a special
treat to school.                                            For students in the Early Childhood Program
In no case will parents be able to sponsor                  (3Y through Kindergarten):
expensive programs or trips (other than                     Suitable clothing is essential for your child to feel
anonymously) for birthdays as this would result in          completely free and happy during the day.
uncomfortable economic pressure in the school.              Teachers recommend light comfortable clothes,
The decision as to whether something is                     closed shoes so children can run and jump and
appropriate will be made by the appropriate                 clothes that can get messy. Please remove
administrator.                                              drawstrings from jacket and sweatshirt hoods as
                                                            they can be hazardous. Boys should wear tzitzit
It is our hope that when having out of school               and a kippah. Mondays through Thursdays your
birthday parties, either all members of the child’s         child should come in "work clothes". They
class (or just a few “special friends”) will be             should not be worrying about keeping spotless .
included in the celebration. In order to avoid hurt         On Fridays, however, if your child is the Shabbos
feelings, invitations will only be allowed to be            Abba or Ema, they may wear special clothes.
distributed in school if every child in the class is
invited.                                                    As all children must be completely toilet trained,
                                                            “pull ups” are not acceptable.
The Torah Academy dress code is part of our                 For students in Grades 1-8, the dress code is as
building a community of young Torah students. It            follows.:
is designed to have students dress in a modest,             Boys:
non-competitive, safe and comfortable manner. It            In addition to Kippot and Tzitizit, boys wear:
is also designed to be economical for parents. All               Collared, button down dress shirts, button
of these values are an important part of Torah                      down “sport” shirts or turtleneck shirts.
observance and a halachic school community.                         Buttons are to be closed. Shirts are free of
                                                                    writing, logos, pictures or drawings.
The underlying and deeper lessons of personal
tzniut (modesty) are taught in Torah Academy as
                                                                  Sweatshirts or sweaters over dress code
developmentally and age appropriate. We do not
                                                                   approved shirts are permitted. These must
view the role of Torah Academy as the halachic
                                                                   be either solid colored or the official TA
decisor for any family, but we do have the
                                                                   sweatshirts that will be sold.
responsibility to maintain an environment which
                                                                  T-shirts (including T.A. shirts) are NOT
is as accommodating to our entire kehilla as
                                                                   permitted unless special permission is
possible. The school’s technical standards of
tzniut were established by the community rabbis
                                                                  Shirts should be long enough so that the
with the goal of being as considerate as possible
                                                                   entire stomach and back are covered even
to a diverse community.
                                                                   when hands are raised.

    Solid colored, straight leg dress or                        Make up and/or excessive jewelry is not
     corduroy pants (not sweats or denim).                        permitted.
     Baggy pants are not acceptable.
    Footwear includes socks with shoes or                 Because our dress code promotes a community
     sneakers (Sneakers are required for gym.).            that values modesty, safety, comfort and lack of
     Sandals or “crocs” are not permitted due to           competition, it is in force at all school activities.
     safety issues.                                        In addition, the administration reserves the right
    Baseball-style hats are permitted outside             to determine if a student is dressing within both
     only.                                                 the “letter” and the “spirit” of the dress code.
    Jewelry and/or shoulder length or unkempt
     hair is not permitted.                                As with all school rules, the faculty and
                                                           administration will enforce these rules in an age
Girls:                                                     appropriate, loving, caring, fair and consistent
Girls wear:                                                manner.
  Collared, button down dress shirts, button
      down “sport” shirts or turtleneck shirts.            Depending on the nature and frequency of a
      Buttons are to be closed. Shirts are free of         violation, as well as the age of the student, a
      writing, logos, pictures or drawings. Shirts         student may be excluded from class and/or school
      and blouses should cover the collar bone. Low        activities until they change into school-provided
      and scooped out necklines are not                    “extra clothes” (which then must be laundered and
      permitted. T-shirts (including T.A. shirts)          returned to school the next day) or until a parent
      are NOT permitted unless special                     brings him/her clothing that is within the school’s
      permission is given.                                 dress code.
  Beginning in 4 grade sleeves are at least
      up to the elbows. Shirts may not be “tight           This dress code will be continually reevaluated by
      fitting” or “see through.”          One-color        the administrative team, with input from the
      sleevies are permitted so that sleeves are           Rabbinic Advisory Committee and Education
      of sufficient length.                                Committee, to determine if it is assisting us in
  Shirts should be long enough so that the                meeting our goals of modesty, safety, comfort and
      entire stomach and back are covered even             affordability. If it is not, serious consideration
      when hands are raised.                               will be given to a stricter policy in the future.
  Sweatshirts or sweaters over dress code                 Therefore, it is in everyone's best interest for
      approved shirts are permitted. These must            students to adhere to the spirit and letter of this
      be either solid colored or the official TA           dress code.
      sweatshirts that will be sold.
  Skirts are solid colored (not denim), free              LOCKERS:
                                                             Lockers are provided for middle school
      of writing, logos, pictures or drawings.
  Skirts are at least up to the knees at all
                                                              students in grades six, seven and eight.
                                                             Lockers are to be kept neat and orderly and
      times. Skirts may not be “tight fitting.”
      They are to be single color. “Slits” may                may be checked periodically.
                                                             Locks may not be attached to the lockers.
      not reach the knee.
                                                             Teachers and administrators may open
  Footwear includes socks with shoes or
      sneakers (Sneakers are required for gym.).              lockers to inspect, deliver items, etc.
                                                             Expensive and/or irreplaceable possessions
      Sandals or “crocs” are not permitted due to
      safety issues.                                          should not be brought to school. The school
  Baseball-style hats are permitted outside
                                                              does not accept responsibility for items which
      only.                                                   are brought to school. In addition, weapons

    of any kind- as well as toy weapons- are not           Parent – Teacher Communication
    permitted at school.
                                                              Timely communication between parents and
ELECTRONICS                                                    teachers is an important part of the
Students may not have any electronics (including               educational process. School personnel often
cell phones) during the school day. The only                   communicate with parents by sending emails
exceptions are:                                                home or by telephone. Contact may be made
                                                               with a teacher by sending an email or by
1- devices pre-approved for educational use.                   leaving a message in the office. The message
2- phones turned off and left in book bags for                 will be delivered so that the teacher may
emergency use                                                  contact parents at a convenient time.
3- games left in book bags that parents allow                 Report cards are issued three times during the
children to use on the bus                                     year for students in grades K – 8.
                                                              Parent-teacher conferences in all grades are
T.A. cannot take any responsibility for the safety             scheduled twice yearly.
of these items.                                                 Early Childhood reports will be issued in
Please note that even in the above cases, devices
may NOT be 3G, 4G or Internet enabled. Many                In addition to conferences that are scheduled,
new phones, e-Readers, IPhones, IPads, etc. have           parents are encouraged to initiate communication
the ability to connect to unfiltered Internet from         with teachers of their children. We ask you to
anywhere. These devices are not permitted at               make contact with your child’s teacher at the first
Torah Academy or on the bus.                               sign of a problem. This will enable us to best
                                                           meet each child’s needs

Any electronics used in violation of these policies        T.A. Text Alerts
will be taken away until a parent comes to claim           Torah Academy will issue text mail alerts through
them.                                                      the system (which is
                                                           also where teachers post homework assignments).
LOST AND FOUND:                                            Please go to to sign up
Each year the school collects a large number of            for your personal account. You will be able to
clothing items in our lost and found. Items that           select T.A. and then select what kind of alerts you
are marked with children’s names can be claimed            would like to receive. You may want to be alerted
from the bins located in the main office.                  every time a teacher posts homework. But you
Unclaimed items will be discarded or donated to            will also have the option to just select
charity.                                                   transportation (like bus delay), school closing and
                                                           emergency alerts.
                                                           BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS:
Ba’Kehilla: Our eNewsletter
A bulletin with Divrei Torah for the Shabbat               In order to provide a program of quality
table, announcements of school activities,                 education, a well ordered, respectful, and friendly
upcoming events and community news is e-                   atmosphere must exist in the classroom and
mailed (or, for families without email, sent home          throughout the school. The cooperation of
each Friday with one child in each family).                students, parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, the
Please check your inbox on Thursday afternoon or           administration, and the community is needed.
ask your child for it!                                     Mutual respect is essential.

                                                             2) Everyone has the responsibility to do their
Parents and students will note that specific                 best to resolve conflicts by talking through
classroom rules are not included in this code. It is         appropriate dialogue. The adults can
for each individual classroom teacher to establish           help.
and reinforce his/her own classroom rules,                   3) Everyone has the responsibility to be kind and
rewards, and consequences.                                   considerate towards others.
                                                             4) Everyone has the responsibility to participate
Allow us to reassure you that the manner in which            respectfully in class, and to follow the instructions
expected behaviors, rewards, and consequences                of the adults in school.
are stated for different classes must vary                   5) Everyone has the responsibility to be honest
according to a student’s level of understanding. It          and to talk respectfully to others (both adults and
is expected, however, that as the tone and spirit of         children).
general school expected behaviors are set forth,             6) Everyone has the responsibility to act in a safe
parents and students will realize that the entire            manner at all times.
school staff is committed to reinforcing positive            7) Everyone has the responsibility to clean up
behavior, applying sanctions for inappropriate               after themselves and not damage the property of
behaviors, and doing so in a consistent and fair             others or our building property – either individual
manner. In addition, we respect the                          or communal.
confidentiality of all concerned.                            8) Everyone has the responsibility to learn from
                                                             their mistakes and plan for a new start.
Torah Academy students are expected to conduct
themselves in accordance with the precept                    As with all school rules, the faculty and
“Derech Eretz Kadmah La Torah”: “Torah study                 administration will enforce these rules in an age
is predicated upon honorable behavior.” Our                  appropriate, loving, caring, fair and consistent
students deserve a spirit in school that is free from        manner.
any distractions that take away from the ability of
others to learn. Our view of appropriate student             When a student interferes with the rights of others
behavior includes a sense of orderliness that                or does not live up to his/her responsibilities, it is
pervades the entire school day.                              necessary for him/her to receive a logical
                                                             consequence for his/her actions. Depending on
Rights and Responsibilities In Our                           the age of the child, the nature and/or frequency
                                                             of the behavior, and the impact of the behavior(s)
School Kehilla:
                                                             on the other children in the class and school, these
                                                             may include (but are not limited to):
In our school:
1) Everyone has the right to be safe (their bodies,
                                                             1. Reminders from a teacher or administrator
their property and their feelings).
                                                             2. Teacher makes a phone call home
2) Everyone has the right to be respected.
                                                             3. Email referral to administration (with copy to
3) Everyone has the right to be treated fairly.
                                                             parent), consequences could include: missing
4) Everyone has the right to learn.
                                                             mid-day recess, referral to counselor, behavior
5) Everyone has the right to a clean and neat
                                                             modification through daily report, written
                                                             apology note, essay discussing how to better his/
                                                             her behavior, and/or paying for property
The rights that we all enjoy result in all of us
                                                             damaged. Any of these interventions will be
having specific responsibilities:
                                                             imposed at the administrator’s discretion.
1) Everyone has the responsibility to be in the
                                                             Administrator’s intervention will always include
right place at the right time, and to be with an
                                                             email notification to parent.

4. Team meeting with parents, the Menahel,                  responsibility to engage in safe behaviors, please
Assistant Principal or S’gan Menahel.                       note the following…
5. In the case where the behavior continues the
school will initiate another parent-administrator           (1) Supervision:
conference, where we may impose mandatory                   All students are to be under the supervision of a
psychological evaluation and/or counseling as a             faculty or staff member at all times.
condition of continued enrollment at T.A.                   At no time may a student leave campus without a
6. Should behavioral issues persist and/or for              supervising adult. At no time may students be in
particularly severe cases of misbehavior (such as           “restricted” areas of the building (e.g. roof, boiler
violence, threats of violence), we reserve the right        room, etc.) where their safety- or the safety of
to impose stronger interventions that may include:          others- would be in jeopardy. Violation of these
in-house suspension, exclusion from after school            rules may result in a suspension from school.
activities, one to three day suspension or
indefinite suspension until a problem is                    (2) Bullying
remediated. This will typically include a meeting           Torah Academy takes bullying and/or harassment
with administrators and- at the school’s and/or             allegations seriously. If and when an allegation of
family’s discretion- the family Rabbi and outside           bullying occurs, we are careful and thoughtful as
counselors or therapists- to determine if T.A.              to how we proceed. We always do a thorough
remains the appropriate placement for the child             investigation (including meeting with those
and, if so, what outside counseling or other                involved and potential witnesses) since
interventions, may be required in order to remain           accusations of bullying have gravity and can be
at T.A.                                                     harmful to victims, bystanders and alleged bullies.
7. Permanent expulsion. Because we view                     After such an investigation, students who
expulsion as akin to dinei nefashot                         repeatedly initiate behavior that makes others
(matters of life and death), a student will not be          physically or emotionally unsafe, will be subject
permanently expelled without an                             to the disciplinary interventions listed above.
administrator first meeting with a member of the            Sometimes there are one-time incidents which
Rabbinic Advisory Committee and                             seem like bullying but may instead be fights or
the chair of the Education Committee to                     peer conflicts. Sometimes younger children’s
discuss the case and review the child’s                     behavior may appear to be bullying when it is, in
file. A parent will be notified prior to                    fact, not since bullying is always purposeful. But
expulsion being considered so that they                     interpreting these behaviors is part of the
may determine whether or not they wish to                   investigative process.
voluntarily withdraw their child.
Please be aware that though consequences are                Bullying or harassment is defined as a pattern of
being implemented, we respect the confidentiality           words or actions that occur over time and cause
of all children and families involved and do not            another student to have their emotional or
inform others of these consequences.                        physical safety placed at risk. Students
                                                            who display such behavior are subject to
Please note that these rules and potential                  disciplinary action, including (as noted above)
consequences apply at all times on TA’s campus,             immediate suspension, indefinite suspension or
both for TA programs and programs that are the              permanent expulsion from school.
responsibility of organizations/individuals using
our facility.                                               Bullying is evidenced when a student is exposed,
                                                            repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on
Safety Issues:                                              the part of one or more students. This behavior
As part of the right to a safe school and the

may be in the forms of physical, verbal or
nonverbal actions.                                         (6) Auditorium
                                                           a. Entry and exit to and from the auditorium will
                                                               be conducted in an orderly, quiet manner.
Examples of Direct Bullying:                               b. Students are expected to sit in assigned seats
Physical - hitting, kicking, shoving, spitting                 except if directed otherwise by teacher,
Verbal - taunting, teasing, racial slurs, verbal               paraprofessional or principal.
sexual harassment                                          c. Courtesy and respect will be demonstrated
Non-Verbal - threatening, obscene gestures                     during assembly presentations.

Examples of Indirect Bullying:                             (7) School yards
Physical - getting another person to assault               a. Ball games should take place in one part of the
someone                                                        yard with set boundaries. All games are to be
Verbal - spreading rumors                                      played in a safe and fair manner.
Non-Verbal - deliberate exclusion from a group or          b. Students are expected to pay attention to the
activity                                                       bell/whistle indicating the end of the playtime.

(3)Fire Drills and Evacuations                             CONFIDENTIALITY:
Students are to remain quiet and follow all                Torah Academy views confidentiality as critically
instructions during fire drills and other building         important. Our faculty and staff will not discuss
evacuations. Failure to do this may lead to a one          children in public venues with parents, nor will
day suspension.                                            they discuss children with anyone else other than
                                                           their parents or teachers.
(4) Hallways/Stairways                                     It is very important for parents and students to
1. Students are expected to walk to the right side         assist     us    in    maintaining       everyone’s
of the hallway at all times.                               confidentiality. Please do not discuss confidential
2. Students are required to have a hall pass at all        matters in a public venue. In addition, it is very
times when leaving the classroom.                          important that the school, its personnel, board and
3. Students are expected to walk, NOT RUN , in             students are never discussed on internet sites such
the hallways and on the stairs.                            as Facebook, My Space, etc. Violating this
4. Loud conversation or noise is not acceptable in         expectation may result in no longer being able to
the hallways or stairwells.                                be part of the Torah Academy Kehilla.
 (5) Lunchroom                                             Thank you for assisting us in protecting your
a. Depending on their grade, students eat lunch            children’s privacy.
    in the lunchroom, a central classroom or their
    own classroom.                                         PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION
b. Students are expected to speak in a quiet,              The Parent-Teacher Organization is designed to
    polite manner during lunchtime.                        provide special activities for the students and
c. All trash is to be placed in the trash cans.            faculty. Proceeds of numerous PTO activities
    Tables and the surrounding floor areas are to          during the year fund these programs.
    be left clean and neat.
d. Birkat haMazon is recited together with the             Please support the efforts of the PTO, which
    teachers on duty.                                      directly benefit our students.
e. Entry and exit to and from the lunchroom will
    be conducted in an orderly manner. No
    running, pushing, or loud voices.

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