These are the SFACts: March SFAC Meeting


Teachers and student representatives discussed current policies in Ramaz at the most recent SFAC meeting. This included a discussion about why music class is valuable and a tentative schedule for next year was debuted!

Mr. Henkin (the 11th and 12th grade music teacher) explained that his music curriculum is a balance between writing original songs and learning music history. Following Mr. Henkin, Mr. Elisha (the 9th and 10th grade music teacher) explained that his music curriculum is multifaceted yet focuses on creative process and formal design. 

Students noted that they do not understand why music classes are very serious and demanding. Mr. Henkin responded that becoming a critical listener has a real life application, and students will most likely spend more time listening to music than applying lessons they learn in other classes. Additionally, a student observed that many students do not have a passion for music and asked why all students are required to take music. Mr. Elisha responded that music is embedded in everything people do and, therefore, it is essential for everyone to study music. 

The meeting included a presentation from Mr. Blumenthal. He described that Ms. Krupka and he have been working to create a schedule for next year. The new schedule does not have rotating days and will have a Monday-Friday schedule (like this year). The new schedule allows for school to start later, which will give students more time to get to school. School will be held from 8:30 to 5:05 on Mondays through Thursdays. Classes will be 40 minutes every day (including Friday’s), and tefillah will remain after first period. Tests will only be given on Mondays and Thursdays during an allotted test period. When students do not have two tests in a week, the allotted test period will be used for assemblies or programing.

The schedule is tentative, and the administration was looking for feedback from students. Students indicated that the rotating schedule was exciting because they had a different combination of classes each day. Other students commented that the ending time is too late and that they would rather school start earlier and end earlier. Another grievance was having tefillah after first period; many students enjoy starting their school day with tefillah and then going to their classes. One student recognized that if tests are on Mondays, many students will have tests the day after the SAT/ACT. 

As Ms. Benus warned Rabbi Stochel that the meeting would end in 34 seconds, Rabbi Stochel wished everyone a good night and said that he loves listening to everyone’s comments.