Students at the Center

Posted on 09/29/2023 @ 06:00 AM

Tags: Jewish Schools & Educational Services

“Keeping Students at the Center” is the driving philosophy of CAJE’s Day School Professional Development (PD) work (unlike the cartoon above). 


When designing PD, we ask partner schools:

  • What do your students need to succeed?
  • What do your teachers need to know in order to support your students’ needs?
  • What do your school leaders need in order to ensure success for all?


When it comes to creating PD, we know that one size does NOT fit all, which is why CAJE leverages resources to offer both community-wide and one-to-one support.


This year, in partnership with The Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC), supported by The Mayberg Foundation, CAJE continues our work with the acclaimed company BetterLesson to provide customized coaching to Judaic Studies and General Studies teachers and leaders in Miami Jewish Day Schools. 


Over 50 teachers and instructional leaders from 7 schools: Gordon SchoolHebrew Academy (RASG)Innovative School of Temple Beth SholomPardes Day SchoolRambam Day SchoolScheck Hillel Community School and Yeshiva Toras Chaim are participating in this program, which began this month with an opening workshop “Launching Formative Assessment and Differentiation” at our CAJE offices. 

During this workshop, teachers explored a variety of strategies and tools to assess student learning and then how to use assessment data to differentiate content, process, and product.


Teachers also created a plan for how to incorporate the strategies and tools they learned into their classroom practice. With those plans, each participating teacher will meet with their BetterLesson Coach every two weeks with a focus on implementing these strategies. 


As research has proven time and again, the implementation of teacher professional development into classroom practice increases dramatically with coaching support (see chart below).  

In addition, instructional leaders are essential in creating the structures and conditions for teachers and students to succeed, which is why leaders in each participating school are also receiving coaching.


What participants in the Launching Formative Assessment and Differentiation workshop had to say:


So many great ideas that are actionable!


I love the strategies used for differentiation that we learned…There were so many things that I am extremely excited to share with my team.


Differentiation is a powerful tool. I learned strategies that can help me assess my students and also how to engage students at their own level.

Lots of new resources to implement in the planning of the lessons. Learning from other teachers and other contexts that are very rich to me and let me think of my lessons in a new way.


CAJE will continue to provide cutting-edge, research-based professional development to our Day Schools so that teachers and administrators are able to reach their fullest potential and keep our students at the center of the learning.