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

Parent survey helps Jewish Academy improve remote learning


April 17, 2020

One Jewish Academy kindergartner can hold her Teddy bear and go to school via remote learning.

Jewish Academy of Orlando continues to make improvements on remote learning based on parent survey results. The school began remote learning only a day after schools across the state nation were closed for weeks or more. The administration conducted a parent survey to determine areas of success and improvement toward its remote learning offering.  

Alan Rusonik, head of school stated, "We are grateful to all of our families for their participation in our remote learning survey. We had a tremendous response rate of over 50 percent of families."

The survey indicated that 80 percent agree or completely agree that Remote Learning at JAO is going well. Rusonik added, "We know we can do even better and we are continuing to make changes to improve the learning and communication experience."

JAO parents identified five areas of support they foresaw needing in the coming months: Academics, Financial, Community, Spiritual, and Parenting. The school is already taking steps to address these areas:

• Academic-The school's faculty is continuously reviewing and making improvements to its academic offering. A new school schedule will begin after Passover break. This schedule is designed to better serve JAO students academically by providing longer face-to-face instruction from teachers and needed structure for the students and families.  

• Financial-The COVID-19 crisis has had a significant financial impact on some of the school's families. The school has three financial aid programs that the school's families can utilize upon qualification. Information about the programs can be found on the school's website http://jewishacademyorlando.org/admissions/ The third program, TAP, is a new offering that expands the school's aid to even more new families. The school is working with those individuals who have expressed concerns and is doing its best to address their needs.  

• Community-The school continues to participate in its daily WJAO news program in the morning as well as its weekly Kabbalat Shabbat and Monday Morning Minyan. In addition, the school celebrated its first Remote Passover Model Seder.

• Spiritual-In addition to the school's Monday Morning Minyan, Kabbalat Shabbat, Passover Model Seder, last week, JAO also began to recite the "Mishaberach Prayer" (a prayer for healing) every morning.

• Parenting-Each Thursday, the school offers "Coffee and Conversation" to the community. The community is invited to attend Parenting Skills by Brenda Chappell and Parsha and Parenting by Head of School Alan Rusonik. These sessions will reconvene after Passover. The school's counselor, Danielle Glover, is available for consultation for school's children.

Rusonik added, "While we are grateful for the overwhelming positive feedback, we will not rest on our laurels.  Rather, we will continue to make our academic offering and remote learning experience the best that it can be." 

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/ 

To learn more about Remote Learning at Jewish Academy of Orlando, please visit: https://www.jewishacademyorlando.org/remotelearning.


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