By Michelle Boyle, JCDS 6th grade Humanities teacher, Esh Advisor, and JCDS parent

Let me start by saying that the community here at JCDS is absolutely wonderful. It is warm and welcoming to all types of families, and not only in terms of religion but also in how the school reaches out and supports non-traditional families. There is a sense among parents, teachers, administrators, and students that we are all learning and growing together, and every day I think to myself that JCDS feels so much more to me than just a school or a job. I have taught in many different settings and visited many different schools both as an educator and a parent, and I’m truly in awe of all the teaching, learning, reflecting, and community-building that happens at JCDS every single day. 

As parents, Michael and I couldn’t be happier. Norah is continually engaged and inspired. She loves going to school, and in fact, when she was sick for three days a couple of weeks ago, she cried because she wasn’t able to go. She loves what she is learning, how she is learning it, and who she is learning it with. Every day she brings home new ideas and questions and an exhilarating mix of pride, confidence, and enthusiasm. She’s also very happy socially. She loves interacting with so many kids of different ages–reading buddies from the 3rd grade, middle school buddies during T’fillah electives, lower school/middle school friends during the after-school program–and talks about many of the kids as being her siblings and the school as her family. The school does a fantastic job of fostering and nurturing relationships between younger and older kids, and this has been especially meaningful to us since Norah is an only child.

As an educator, I am encouraged to be creative and to take risks. I am given a lot of support to help ensure that every child, whether struggling or gifted, can be successful. The students in my classes are hungry to learn and bring forth ideas and information that, honestly, I didn’t realize that eleven-year-olds were even capable of. It is a testament to all of the teachers who come before me–and of course to all the love, nurturing, exposure, etc. that these kids receive at home! My colleagues are amazing–talented, smart, hard-working, creative, thoughtful, kind, and I love working with and learning from them.

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