SFAC Update: The October Meeting

     SFAC meetings are an important aspect of Ramaz. The goal of these group discussions between student representatives and faculty is to modify many policies Ramaz holds and to make the student experience as enjoyable as possible. Class presidents from each grade present issues on behalf of their class and work together with the administration to find solutions. 

     Ramaz held its first SFAC meeting of the year on October 15. Some issues that were addressed include the duration of tefilla, the new testing policy, guidelines for campaigning during GO elections, and how chesed will function this year at Ramaz. As someone who attended every SFAC meeting last year and will continue to do this year, I believe many of the topics covered are relevant and necessary to be discussed. Even though these issues are not always resolved, it is still important to make the faculty and administration aware of problems affecting students. The following is a list of topics discussed at the first SFAC meeting this year in greater detail.


There has been a number of problems with the way Tefilla works at Ramaz. First of all, it’s a much shorter period overall, so many prayers have to be skipped. Additionally, some school assemblies cut into davening time, so students might have to daven beforehand, which takes away the point of having a Tefilla period during Zoom school. Therefore, the administration has to make sure that school assemblies don’t overlap with Tefilla. The administration is going to try  not to have assemblies cutting into davening time from now on, and there should be clear expectations and instructions of when students should daven at home.

Testing Policy: 

The testing protocol has changed: in order to encourage the most students to be physically in school for class, tests are only administered in-person. No one is allowed to take a test on Zoom unless they are attending classes online for the entire semester. The school has modeled the testing policy in a manner that is very inconvenient for a student who is sick and must miss a day of school, as makeups are often administered two weeks after the original test date. The administration understands that it’s difficult to have a test almost every day coming into school because it’s supposed to be enjoyable rather than stressful. This is why the administration has agreed to consider moving some tests to Zoom, and they are working on how it can function; they really don’t want to take away precious in-school learning time. 

GO elections campaigning:

There are many rules regarding campaigning during GO elections that need to be changed. The suggestion that arose from the SFAC meeting is that posters should be allowed, as long as they are reviewed by Rabbi Dov before being released. Ultimately, if campaigning methods are checked over by a member of the administration, then students should be allowed to campaign with whatever they want. A follow-up committee will be working on ideas to change the campaigning rules in the student handbook.

New Food Policy:

Many students feel (specifically the senior class) that they should have the privileges to leave school building to get lunch. The administration is taking everything stage by stage so they said that they will wait to see what happens since they don’t want large numbers of students crowding in stores. Since it’s difficult and annoying for students to pack lunch every day, the parent council is allowing students to order lunch from certain restaurants on a list. Students can pick up lunch outside in the street and then eat at a table in the street. Additionally, since there is no breakfast, the administration should provide something easy such as muffins in the morning for students to eat. A follow-up committee is working on this and the goal is to make it as safe as possible.

Chesed at Ramaz:

There is a new Chesed policy at Ramaz. There will be a central Chesed committee in charge of making a calendar for all of the different Chesed events in school. They are also shifting the Sophomore Chesed hour requirements since the administration believes that Chesed is an activity the whole school should be involved in. Lastly, COVID requires everyone to think out of the box, so to make sure Chesed runs appropriately, there will be student representatives in each grade to be a part of the committee.

     There is a lot the GO and class presidents want to accomplish, and the only way to do this is to bring these ideas up at SFAC meetings. Things actually do get accomplished during the SFAC meetings: the administration brought back lockers, vending machines, and hoodies. These are crucial things for students to have. This not only ensures that things do get done, but there are still fun opportunities that we can have this year because they are proposed at SFAC meetings.