Teacherâ€™ s Handbook Cheder Menachem - Elementary School Kingston, PA
5 9 Pa r r y S t . | w w w . c h e d e r m e n a c h e m . o r g
Welcome to Cheder Menachem’s team of 5778! We are happy to have each and every one of you on board. Cheder Menachem is founded on the fundamental principle of ‘Chanoch L’naar Al Pi Darko’, educate a child according to HIS the child’s - way. To this end Cheder Menachem seeks to create an environment where each student is given the space for his strengths to shine and for his weaknesses to be addressed. We also seek to educate the whole child, allowing Torah to become his way of life. We see each of you as leaders and educators and we trust that you will do your best to reach every child, to be a good role model to the students, and to make the Cheder a place where our mission is achieved daily. In the next pages you will find a framework of policies, routines, guidelines, ideas and systems in place. All of them were created to allow you to shine your strengths and special abilities each and every day. Please read them all carefully and make sure to help us make our Cheder so unique and successful.
We should all have a great year that consists of many great days!
Mrs Dini Aizenman Educational Director
Mrs Rachel Lea Perlman Learning Director
The Cheder Menachem
AB C ‘S
For Teachers & Staff
Teachers should always document and analyze results of assessments to help guide and form the instruction so as to meet each individual’s particular needs. This will ensure that teachers are always aware of which students are mastering the skills and which students need further reinforcement. Assessment format will be discussed and agreed upon with the directors.
B Books, Workbooks & Supplies
School books belong to the school. Children must be taught to respect and encouraged to use books properly and not abuse them. •
At the start of the year, ensure that all students have all the required books for the entire year.
Children are responsible to pay for damaged books that belong to the school.
Teachers should provide children with a list of required supplies and make sure that students have all their school supplies at the beginning of the school year (and throughout the year).
An attractive environment helps fashion a positive attitude
toward school and encourages proper behavior. In order to enhance and maintain the overall appearance of our Cheder and to convey to all parents and visitors the current projects and learning which are taking place in our school, the teachers are requested to see to it that the bulletin boards are used and covered properly. •
Bulletin boards should be maintained and updated at least once a month to enhance the decor of the classroom.
Teachers should try as much as possible to display classroom student work and artifacts of learning going on in the class.
Bulletin boards are to be ready for students on the first day of school to welcome them.
C Teachers’ cell phones must be put away while in class. In case of an emergency, you can and will be contacted via the office. It is self-understood that if cell phones are put away, texting or emailing during class time is inexcusable. Teachers are requested to refrain from using cell phones while on play area duty as well, except in emergencies. Having students use your cell phone, even not during class time, is inappropriate.
The director should be notified in advance of all class parties being held. Generally, class parties should be kept
to a minimum and should be held for special occasions only. (e.g. Siyum) A message should be sent informing parents of plans. Students may not organize any class parties without first clearing it with a principal or teacher. Birthday parties: refer to parent handbook.
Teacher should come to school prepped and ready for the students and class. All personal issues should stay outside of the class as much as possible. During class time a teacher needs to be present and involved with each and every student. Davening time and work time are NOT preparation time for the teacher. The students need your attention. Please use Davening time for Kodesh tasks only.
Classrooms should be left clean and organized. All supplies and learning materials should be put away. Before leaving a classroom for a recess, students should remove all garbage from the floor and surfaces. Please have the teacherâ€™s desk organized and prepared for the next teacher.
One of the responsibilities of the Directors is to provide positive guidance for staff members and to assist them in their work.
Classes will be visited periodically to observe methods being used, responses of children and progress being shown, with an eye toward offering support and feedback. Occasionally, visitors to our Cheder or potential new students will be brought into the classrooms to observe. Please see to it that the children rise to greet whoever it may be in a respectful manner.
Effective classroom teachers spend lots of their time in the first few weeks of the year teaching classroom routines and procedures, because routines and procedures are the key to a well-managed, organized classroom.
Classroom Procedures & Routines
Research shows that most behavior problems result from lack of classroom routines and procedures. Moreover, the numbers of interruptions to academic instruction are reduced and the class flows more smoothly when routines and procedures are in place. Every classroom should have a set of routines and procedures that are consistent and enforced; there will be some procedures that are adopted school wide.
All supplies that the students bring in to start the year will be kept organized in the classroom. As replenishment is needed, the teacher will notify the parents.
Classrooms, School Building & Grounds
It is important to emphasize the children’s responsibility in keeping the school clean and undamaged, to instill a sense of pride in our school and students. Classroom floors should not be littered even during the working day. Make sure that the students pick up and clean up after themselves. If something is dropped on the floor and is immediately picked up, the classroom will be clean and pleasant at all times. The same holds true for the hallways and any other part of the school grounds. Upon entering a classroom, take note of the physical appearance of the room. If the room has not been properly cleaned, report this to the office and indicate the problem areas. Please arrange a designated spot in your classroom for the children’s backpacks/belongings. Classrooms must be left neat before lunch and at the end of the day. Before dismissal the teacher and children’s desks and floors should be cleaned, the windows closed and lights turned off. The maintenance man will remove everything left on the desks. Allow 5 minutes before dismissal time to take care of the above. Any damage which requires repair should be reported to the office. Desktops should be clean and free of pen marks. The inside should be cleared of food daily and organized at least once a week.
If a teacher gets a complaint from a parent or anyone else, he/she should file a ‘complaint form’ and give it to the
office. This will allow the directors to deal with complaints and issues that come up effectively. Remember this form can be a great tool for you NOT to answer! If the complaint doesnâ€™t belong to you/your class/ your action - simply fill out the form and submit to the office. Complaint forms will be available in the office.
D The door to the Directorsâ€™ office is always open. This is seen as being essential to the success of the school. Weekly meetings will be scheduled outside of class time with the educational director and the curriculum director to ensure communication and exchange of ideas.
For any policy regarding student behavior to be successful and yield a well-disciplined school, it must be universally applied by all faculty members. If there is consistency in the standards of acceptable behavior; if students know what is expected of them and what they may expect if they deviate from what is expected, then we can expect a welldisciplined student body. To that end, and to assure proper and uniform follow-up, the following will be instituted.
Directors/ Teachers Communication
It is generally accepted that the first and foremost place for a student to be disciplined is the classroom. When a teacher sends a child to the office for disciplining, it is an acknowledgment of an inability to deal with the problem. All means of discipline and setting boundaries, should
be in ways that ultimately build a positive relationship between the student and the teacher, and instills the skills of self-control. 1. Prevention: anticipate problems before they arise. 2. Seek the cause of the problem and try to alleviate it. 3. Never humiliate a pupil in front of the class or other adults. 4. Check if seating is causing a problem. 5. Be positive in your approach to rules and regulations. For example, “In this class we do so and so” and not “Do not do so and so”. 6. Keep rules to a minimum, but enforce the rules you make. 7. Never discipline a whole class for the infractions of an individual or a few students. 8. Never argue with a student. Let him state his case but do not lower yourself to petty bickering. Keep calm and keep your voice under control. 9. Never make threats that you cannot or do not intend to carry out. 10. Do not scold, ridicule or use insulting sarcastic remarks. Never raise your voice it suggests a growing loss of control. 11. Nearly all cases can be handled adequately by a private, person-to-person talk.
12. The following types of consequences are never to
take place: A. Corporal punishment in any form B. Public humiliation C. Collective punishments D. Copying of repetitive lines E. Sending a child to a place where he will not be supervised F. Deprivation of lunch or deprivation of entire recess 13. If a child must be removed from the class, he should be sent or brought to the office. The secretary should be informed when he comes and when he should be sent back to class. 14. Whether sending a student to the office or to another class, the teacher should send along a note and work for the student to do. School polices and behavior management report will be available in the office, and will be discussed before the beginning of the year.
Dismissal begins on Monday - Thursday at 3:55 p.m. and on Friday at 12:55.
Children should be prepared to leave, with all their belongings put away, by dismissal time. Students must be supervised at all times. Teachers may not leave school premises unless all their students left.
Dress Code for Staff
All teachers must dress in accordance with the laws of Tznius. The following are the requirements that Cheder administration expects from our staff while school is in session in the areas of Tznius. Women: •
Sleeves must cover elbow.
Skirt must cover the knee whether standing or sitting.
Legs must be properly covered with stockings/ tights. Leggings are not appropriate.
The neck (below and including the collarbone) must be covered.
Shirts & Blouses – Non tight fitting.
Dresses – Non tight fitting, no slits, no denim skirts.
Hair covering – No tichels.
Accessories – No bold, oversized or flashy.
Suit jackets and black hat
White button-down Shirt. NO t-shirts allowed
No baseball caps.
Teachers are assigned various duties; arrival, breakfast, dismissal, lunch or recess duties.
Teachers must be punctual to all their duties.
When unable to attend to duty, it is the responsibility of the teacher to find a replacement.
When a substitute is there for your class, he or she must be informed of all your duties.
While on duty, it is the responsibility of the teacher to be alert to what is taking place in the play area and to the needs of the students on the play area. Teachers should space themselves in the play area so that the area is “covered” by teachers.
While on duty, a teacher should not be engrossed in conversation with colleagues or on the cell phone.
At the end of recess, the teachers on duty are responsible to ensure students are called out of the play area in a timely manner.
E The Cheder faculty makes up a complete body; no part is complete without the other. In order for us to succeed we must work together, therefore it is necessary for every faculty member to be aware of all school rules. Please familiarize yourself with the Parent/Student Handbook and enforce the rules, even if a child is not in your class, in a way that matches the Cheder discipline.
Enforcement of School Rules
F Fire Drills
Fire drills will be hold every two mounts, all details will be given to the staff in advance.
In case of an accident in the building or on the Cheder grounds:
Do not move the child, make him comfortable.
Notify the secretary by messenger or by calling the office. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CLASS UNSUPERVISED!
In case of a minor injury, send the child to the office with another child.
In case of an emergency, which requires the teacher to leave the class, notify the office or another teacher.
When a child from another class is hurt in your presence, notify his teacher after you have helped him.
The teacher of the child’s class should be made aware of any incidents that may occur while he is not on duty (i.e. recess) so that he can explain to the parents.
Parents should be notified in the event that their child was hurt and/or required medical attention.
The teacher on duty must fill out and sign a
report form and file it with the office immediately (forms can be obtained in the office). This form is needed for insurance purposes. â€˘
For minor injuries please send home an â€œouch reportâ€?, or a note.
Every Friday, an assembly will be held at 12:30. During this time, classes will present something they have worked on. There will be a schedule in the office of when your class will present and the expectation of the presentation.
H Upon exiting class for any reason: lunch, washing, recess, etc., children should be walked out in an orderly line led by their teacher.
No running or loud talking is permitted in the hallways. All teachers are responsible for enforcing this with all students. Teachers should not send students in the hallway unless they are being supervised and no more than one student in the hallway at a time. No more than one child at a time is permitted to go to the restroom or to take a drink. Each child must carry a hallway pass.
Children sent to the office must have a note from their teacher. These routines and procedures should be practiced and discussed with the students regularly.
Children complaining of ill health should be sent to the office. The secretary will not see a student without a note signed by the teacher. The office will call home and decide together with the parent if the student is to leave school or not. Teachers should report any symptom of illness to the office immediately; they may not administer any medicine internally, however, a full supply of first aid items will be kept in the office for external use. There is a policy in place for a student to return back to school after an illness.
Morning and afternoon teachers of each grade should arrange a homework schedule together (collaboration) to prevent overburdening of home assignments on any one night. Please try to limit the total time spent each night to:
Kindergarten - 10 minutes
1st - 2nd grade - 15 minutes
3rd - 4th grade - 20 minutes
5th - 6th grade - 30 minutes
7th - 8th grade - 40 minutes
Homework assignments do not need to be uniform for the entire class. Homework should only be given on week days. For the weekends it should only be Parsha/holiday related. Homework should be checked, corrected and returned in a consistent organized manner. Homework results should be marked in the register book and included in the report cards. The homework sheet should include clear instructions for what the student is expected to do. Reading homework should be given daily in first and second grade and on a regular basis in other grades as well. Homework should be able to be done by the student on his or her own.
L The measure of success of any teaching experience is the degree of preparedness a teacher brings to the classroom.
Each teacher must submit a weekly lesson plan before Monday morning to the director. A lesson plan format will be discussed and agreed upon with the directors.
It is understood that good food habits, table manners and
social behavior should be encouraged by the teacher in the classroom and in the lunch room. The morning teacher will bring students to the lunch room at 12:15. The teacher will remain with their class throughout lunch; assisting with serving, seated with student, monitor behavior/manners. Please do not leave before 12:45. Afternoon teachers should arrive in the lunch room no later than 12:30 and join the class. On Friday lunch will start at 12:00. When a child constantly declines his food or does not come with sufficient food, the teacher should make a note of it and notify the parents. Children are not allowed to leave their places without permission from the teacher. After benching, the afternoon teachers should escort the children to the play area. Teachers should maintain that the students remain quiet and in order.
M Maternity Leave
Please notify your director and the school office three months before taking maternity leave. Please prepare class routines and all information that will enable the substitute to take over teaching the class. It is encouraged to meet with your substitute prior to taking leave to discuss the class. Maternity leave is for eight weeks. Your position will be kept
for this duration. If an extension is needed, ten weeks will be approved.
O The office can help teachers a lot. Make sure to be clear about what you need and for when, remember to be patient for things that take time.
You should submit your copying /printing to Mary Lee as follows: All tasks that will be submitted to the office (via email or in the box) until 1:00 PM will be ready for the follow morning. All tasks that will be submitted to the office (via email or in the box) until 4:00 PM will be ready for the follow afternoon. Teacher will be able to use the office during their break time but NOT in their preparation time (8:30-8:45 for morning teachers, and 12:15-12:30 for afternoon teachers)
P Regular communication with our partners â€“ the parents of our students is greatly encouraged. This serves as a means of building a relationship & trust in addition to parents being aware of the goings on in their childâ€™s classroom, academically, behaviorally and in general.
Parent/ Teacher Communitcation
Every week parents should receive a newsletter / report of what was learned in the class throughout the week. Be
sure this is presentable and include a remark about each child in the class. The format of this newsletter will be discussed and agreed upon by the directors Teachers should make regular Nachas calls to parents at least once a month. Please be sure to build a positive communication with the parents. If a parent calls a Rebbi or teacher and leaves a message, the call should be returned within 24 hours. A record of calls made to parents should be kept, especially if and when the call is in regards to a studentâ€™s academic or behavioral needs, and/or recommendations. A copy of this record should be submitted to the office for student records. All emails should CC the directors/office directly on top. Negative behavior or unhappy news should not be communicated by email, only by phone. Teachers should not be communicating with parent via text, aside from short info messages (reminder, good time to call, Psukim learned, etc.). Every teacher should create a WhatsApp group with all parents of the class, fathers as well. Make sure to use the group to build a positive relationship with the parents.
Formal parent-teacher conferences are held 3 times annually. Refer to the school calendar for exact dates and times.
A parent orientation-Back to school night is held toward the beginning of each school year. Refer to school calendar. Teacher participation in the sessions listed above is mandatory.
R Teachers who have an assigned recess duty are obligated to be at the play area and vigilantly on duty at the set recess times. This is part of the paid workday and is not a time for office work, and telephone calls. We have arranged the duty schedule in a manner that every Rebbi or teacher has a break, or more than one break, during the day to take care of those matters.
Even when there are a number of teachers assigned to recess duty, each teacher assigned is to be at the play area on time and throughout the entire recess period. Teachers on duty should not be congregated in one area rather they should be evenly dispersed throughout the play area to ensure the physical safety of the students. A teacher should not dismiss his/her class early to recess. If a teacher would like to give their class extra recess the teacher should discuss it prior with the Educational Director and must accompany their class and supervise them until the teachers that are on duty arrive. Teachers on duty should make sure to be at the play area on time. It is very important to see that the games begin fairly and properly. This will ensure smooth games with little or no conflicts.
Teachers should make sure to call students off the play area on time when recess is over. Games should be orderly, safe and supervised at all times. The teacher must be aware of all interpersonal conflicts. Children may not exclude any child from joining the game. If you see children in the hallways during recess please send them to the play area even if they are not in your class. Children should not be roaming the hallways during their recess. The time spent by students in the play area is also another opportunity for Chinuch. It is here where the lessons of Ahavas Yisroel and Menchlichkeit can be taught in a most practical manner. The Cheder appreciates its teachers being involved with their studentsâ€™ recess time as much as possible. The class teacher should be informed of any issue that came up during by the on duty teacher, in a manner appropriate with our philosophy.
Each teacher is required to maintain complete records of all students. Records should be kept of each assignment and test, lateness or absence. These records will be the basis of studentsâ€™ semester grades.
Report cards should be handed in to the office and ready by the specified dates, a week before the day that it needs to go out to the parents. All report card sections should be filled out, including days
tardy and absent. If you think a child may receive a failing grade, the parent should be contacted at least 3 weeks prior to the end of the period to discuss measures that can be taken to improve the childâ€™s performance. The directors must always be notified in advance in such cases. The style of the report card will be discussed and agreed upon by the directors.
S If there is unusually inclement weather necessitating the closing or delayed opening of Cheder an announcement will be sent out via WhatsApp and email by 7:00 am.
School Cancellation or Delayed Opening
If there is a mid-day emergency that necessitates the early closing of school, afternoon teachers will be contacted by the Cheder Office.
CHILDREN MAY NEVER BE LEFT UNSUPERVISED No child is allowed to be off the campus premises.
School Grounds Safety
Any child found to be off campus should be reported to the office immediately. If a teacher wants to take his/her class of campus, it has to be cleared with the principal. Parents must sign out children if they are being taken home
early. Students should not be dismissed to and from recess on their own. Teachers must remain with the students at all times.
Morning and afternoon snacks are scheduled in a specific time and place. All snacks must be Pas Yisroel and Cholov Yisroel. Gum chewing in school is forbidden.
Special Programs & Speakers
All special programs must be developed jointly with the directors In the event a visitor is asked to the classroom, the directorâ€™s approval must be obtained and he/she informed of the date and time of the visit. School programs are in the calendar. Please be aware of when programs are scheduled and be sure to participate. Each teacher is required to take responsible for creating one program during the year, more details will provides by the office.
Paid sick and personal days are outlined in your contract. Days off beyond the aforementioned allowance are deducted from the next paycheck. You should notify the Cheder office as soon as possible in all cases of absences or lateness in the event of an emergency. After school hours, call Mary Lee or text her. In any case, the office should be informed, if at all possible,
during the preceding evening, but no later than 7:00 a.m., of any impending absence. For a planned absence, it is the teacher’s responsibility to arrange a substitute that is approved by the director. It is the responsibility of the teachers to arrange for lessons for substitutes. Substitute lessons and schedule should be similar to your daily routine. Content covered by a substitute teacher should be followed up with support assignments and activities. Children must not be allowed to feel as though they wasted a day. Every teacher should have two lessons complete and ready to use in the office in the event of an emergency. Punctuality is essential to efficient school administration and serves as a life lesson to students. We are confident that we can depend upon your professional responsibility in meeting your class on time and avoiding any potential deduction of pay and unpleasantness. You will be required to “clock in” and “clock out”. Morning teachers must be in at 8:30a.m. and cannot leave before 1:00p.m. Afternoon teachers must be in at 12:15p.m. and cannot leave before 4:00p.m.
Daily attendance should be taken in each class and recorded in addition to a copy that will be sent to the office. Students are required to bring notes for coming late or being absent. Teachers should also mark down lateness.
Attendance and lateness should be recorded on the report cards.
After two consecutive absences the teachers should call the parents, and in case of an extended absence, maintain contact with parents and encourage classmates to call and send letters.
Student Services & Tutoring
If you feel your student needs additional help, inform the curriculum director. No teacher should suggest the need for tutorial services to parents unless it is first discussed with the principal. Whenever a teacher feels tutoring is necessary, the principal should be apprised as soon as possible.
Supplies will be ordered on a monthly basis. Please inform the office if you notice something is running low or might be needed. If a teacher needs something specific, please fill out a purchase and request form and take it to the office. Please allow 3 days for approval.
Candy, sweets and soda should not be given out as prizes or used as incentives. Treats or nosh can be given out for special events or to celebrate a siyum but not candies, taffies, soda etc.
T Teachers should have a folder in their class at all times. This folder will be used for substitutes as well as for quick reference to what is being done in each class. The folder should be updated periodically.
The folder should include: 1. Class list 2. Classroom seating plan 3. Daily schedule - With subject timing 4. A generic assignment that can be used by a substitute for a full lesson.
Staff meetings will be held during the regular school day.
Staff meetings are scheduled for once a month on Tuesdays from 12:15-1:00. Morning teachers will bring their classes to lunch and leave them with parent volunteers; afternoon teachers will make sure to be available at 12:15. Co-teachers are requiring to meet together at least once a month and to update each other on any special program or change of routine. In-service days will be held periodically for teachers. There will be no students in school on those days. Morning and afternoon teachers will be required to attend for the full day of in-service.
Participation at all meetings is mandatory for all faculty members.
Although technology is a good tool to be used in school, we need to make sure not to over use it. Please discuss any class usage of technology with the directors.
Trips & Outings
If for any reason a class must leave the school grounds, the teacher should get permission from the office well in advance. If traveling on a trip please notify the office and director at least 3 days in advance. Teachers should arrange â€œPermission Slipsâ€? to be signed by parents. The office should be notified before the trip and during the trip for any lateness or change of schedule. Teachers should make an effort to take students on educational trips. Teachers must accompany the students on the trip. Students must wear the Cheder dress code while on a trip. Teachers should notify their Co-teacher before planning a trip. A trip itinerary should be filled out prior to any outing clearly listing contact information and chaperon information. This must be filled out with the office prior to departing on any trip.
V The Principal must approve any videos and DVDâ€™s shown to the students, even Jewish or educational. Please allow two days for approval.
Visitors are not permitted in a classroom without permission from the office. Teachers will be notified if a visitor is scheduled to visit their classroom.
Children want to follow, be a leader!