Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Jewish Academy goes remote


March 27, 2020

A JAO student attends class via her computer at home.

Jewish Academy of Orlando (JAO) transitioned to remote learning on Wednesday, March 18, missing only one day of school as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. After much faculty preparation and lesson-planning, JAO students will now begin a blended-learning plan.

"We are very fortunate to have the dedication of our talented faculty and resources to adapt to these unprecedented times," stated Alan Rusonik, head of school.

Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods. Students will be able to participate in all aspects of the school's curriculum.  

Each morning begins with an adaptation of the normally student-produced WJAO daily news, followed by class meetings. Not only do the students gather with their general studies classes (English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science), they meet with their math, Hebrew/Judaics, and specials classes, including PE, art, music, counseling/guidance and Library).  

Michael Hughes, director of Technology and Innovation stated, "It was important for our community to deliver a schedule that would offer flexibility to our families and allow for the continuity of our educational program. We developed a curriculum and at-home materials that utilize Google Meet and other easy to use technologies to support our teacher, students and parents."  

No school, no problem.  The parents are thrilled.  

"I am so grateful for the opportunity my daughter has at JAO. Even without being at school she is able to interact with her teachers and stay in touch with her classmates," said Natalie Weinman, JAO parent. "It is amazing how the faculty was able to work together to continue to provide an excellent academic experience without missing a beat."

Rusonik added, "Unfortunately, we are living in extraordinary times, which requires extraordinary measures. While the changes will not replace the classroom experience with our talented faculty, we are grateful to be able to transition into this new delivery of our educational program."

Jewish Academy of Orlando serves central Florida students of all faiths from transitional  kindergarten through fifth grade. The school delivers a whole-child education fostering academic excellence and character education rooted in Jewish values. Jewish Academy of Orlando is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools.  

To learn more about Jewish Academy of Orlando, please visit: jewishacademyorlando.org or follow the school on Facebook facebook.com/JewishAcademyOrlando.


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