February Faculty Meeting Report


Nicole Hirschkorn '22

New faculty members starting in the 2021-2022 school year.

Rebecca Silber ’23

On Wednesday evening after school, all teachers and administrators reported to room 603 for the first faculty meeting of the second semester. Ms Krupka started off the meeting with a couple of “thank you’s” — including one directed towards Ezra Gershman, who took over detention (which was filled with over 20 students that evening) in order to ensure that all faculty members could attend the meeting.

Reflection on Winter Finals 2022

The first topic introduced during the faculty meeting was midterms, and the discussion was led by Dr. Rotenberg. He had began by mentioning the fact that this year, the auditorium and the gym were used as testing rooms for entire grades, making it easier for students who would otherwise need to check for their testing room each day, and for teachers as well, who would otherwise have to circulate multiple different classrooms in order to answer students’ questions. The gym had worked out well, as Dr. Rotenberg explained, yet the auditorium experienced some issues: the desks were tightly spaced in order to make room for the lunch room, and it was dark. To follow, Dr. Rotenberg listed a few suggestions pertaining to the organization and preparation of finals in the future: 1) the duration of the exams should be added to the seating charts so that the proctors are aware, 2) Proctors should make a game plan so that they don’t end up scrambling around, giving tests to the wrong students, etc., and 3) the proctor schedule should be posted in addition to individual emails, since the many emails can be hard to keep track of.

The discussion was then opened to the entire faculty, in which one teacher explained how she would have liked to write down what time each student left the exam, in order to see how long her exam really takes to complete, and in order to see whether or not extra time students actually uses their full extra time.

The New Orleans service mission

Mrs. Deeni Hass and Rabbi Dov Pianko presented about their experience in New Orleans during intercession. Freshman, sophomore, and junior students volunteered to help out the communities in New Orleans — they completely broke down an old, damaged house in order for a new one to be built, they spent shabbat in an out of town Orthodox community and partook in their minyan; they also visited a small community of war veterans who suffer long term effects, and they built tables and chairs outside a supermarket, located in the poorest neighborhood in New Orleans. Overall, Mrs. Hass and Rabbi Dov agreed that the students were beyond moved by such a unique, hands-on experience, in which they were exposed to Jews and non-Jews alike. Such exposure is a vital part of our culture, as Rabbi Dov explained, and it is so important to give students these opportunities to participate in chesed, for what they do when they return from these trips can have lasting effects on themselves and on the community.

New dress code policy

Ms. Krupka announced that ten students served a one hour in school suspension due to dress code violation that evening. According to the newly enforced dress code policy, crewnecks and sweatpants are no longer to be worn by students — if a student is found without a collar, he should be brought up to the 6th floor by an administrator. There, Alexandra Schreiber will take the student’s name, and the student’s parent is emailed, cc’ing his or her grade dean. Next time that student is caught violating the dress code, his or her suspension will last two hours.

Exam length

Ms. Krupka concluded the meeting with the topic of exam length: how does a teacher know if their test is too long or too short? During midterms, Ms. Krupka’s students were still taking her exam when time ran out, and asked for 10 more minutes — was the exam truly too long, or were the students just dwelling on the essay section?

Ms Benus explained that in order to decide whether or not her test is an appropriate length, she sees how long it takes herself to complete the exam. Ms. Webb suggested that in order to avoid time issues, teachers should prepare their students for the material, and get them familiar with their question style. Ms. Gedwiser explained that she determines whether or not her exam was too long based on when the first student finishes. At the end of the meeting, Ms. Krupka distributed guidelines on how to ensure that an exam is of appropriate length.