Dean's Letter Shelach

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Dear Parents,

Although last week’s newsletter was supposed to be the final one, Mrs. Frazier mentioned that she has many pictures from this week. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a letter to accompany the pictures?

People investing in real estate often want to know the best area to invest in. The famous answer is: “Location, location, location.” If parents are considering a variety of schools, which qualities should be used to help them evaluate? My answer would be: “Relationship, relationship, relationship,” as I always say, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

This concept is highlighted in this week’s parshah, Shelach. The Meraglim, who began as great Jewish leaders, fail in their mission once they are far away from home. Without the constant relationship with Moshe and guidance from him, they fall prey to their personal fears or desire for honor.

On Wednesday, the eighth grade enjoyed their virtual video graduation, which featured my divrei brochoh and graduate speeches from student council presidents Sarah Kivman and Moshe Yudkowsky. Mrs. Weiner then shared special traits of each graduate, accompanied by pictures of them over the years at school since pre-K. Rabbi Yudkowsky and Dr. Hack shared a short message from each graduate with their own custom-designed poster. The graduation was well scripted and videoed – but that was not what impacted our students. Each graduate received a diploma, school gift, balloon bouquet, and more. The day before, preschool and kindergarten held end-of-year programs led by their teachers and school. With kindergarten teachers Morah J and Morah Schreiber, and pre-K teachers Morah J, Morah Beth, and Morah Shevy, a festive drive-by celebration took place, where students were finally able to say goodbye to their teachers and administrators face-to-face. The smiling faces of the children when they got their special treat bag showed their love. The decorated cars and horns blowing made it an even more enjoyable program.

The parental response to these unusual arrangements was an overwhelming thanks: “My wife and I wanted to express our gratitude for the thoughtful eighth-grade graduation balloons, gift, laminated pictures with expressions about our son, and the yearbook! He absolutely loved the surprise and it really meant a lot to him after a tough past few months. It was a nice touch by the school, and we appreciate the time and effort put into helping to make graduation memorable.”

Over the past few months, the administration, teachers, IT staff, office staff, and parent and community volunteers rose to the challenge of a school shutdown. The letters and phone calls of thanks all support my hypothesis that the most important ingredient in education is “relationship, relationship, relationship.”

Best wishes for an enjoyable summer vacation!

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman
Dean