Long Island Chabad School Implements ‘Waronker Model’

The Jewish Academy of Suffolk County is creating an exciting and innovative new chapter in education for the local Jewish Community, under the guidance of renowned Crown Heights educator Shimon Waronker, which was featured in Newsday today.

From Newsday:

Shimon Waronker, who has sought to transform education in several New York City public schools with a combination of private school practices and his own techniques, is bringing his self-styled “revolution” to a small academy in Suffolk County.

As the new head of school for The Jewish Academy in Commack, Waronker plans to eliminate the traditional model of teachers talking to rows of students and fully implement his program with the start of the 2016-17 school year.

His method includes a focus on team teaching in open classrooms where educators share a large space with several classes of students, as well as techniques that foster discussion — such as the “Harkness table,” the time-tested approach at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire advanced by philanthropist Edward Harkness in the 1930s.

He also keeps students with the same teacher for several years, as Waldorf schools do, and designates master teachers to mentor less-experienced colleagues, as well as increasing salaries and instituting merit pay.

Click here to continue reading at Newsday.

4 Comments

  • 2. Anonymous wrote:

    Bimchilas kvodom… They have a nice school.. and I’m sure waronker is helpful in that.. however it’s more of a private school model.. not a Jewish studies school…
    I hope he can help them with that as well

  • 3. Pedant wrote:

    One does not criticize the golden child.

    It’s a program that requires a very large budget; the pilot program was accorded an astronomical allotment and had its pick of staff, because it paid well and had ‘room for growth.’ I can guess that there was some selectivity in the student body, too, but don’t know that for sure.

    The method was developed in academia, though what passes for academic support for these types of methods is surprisingly puerile (or so was my thinking when I read the original white paper for this proposal), found favor in the eyes of the Government and was well funded (Government style) and presumably met some degree of success in the field (I had not followed the progress of the pilot school since its celebrated founding), but secular education in poor-people-land is so bad that it just doesn’t take much to outperform the standard, especially in light of the un-scalable degree of resources the program was allocated. As was obvious at the outset, from the math, this program did not pilot any sort of mass change in the way things are done in American education (let’s just agree to call it that, k).

    But to the point of Jewish studies, these new age methods, limineihem, conveniently enough, tend to ‘prove’ their worth with very young kids (where the learning goals are lower by definition and also malleable to a degree that they just aren’t as the kids get older), and, perhaps, more critically, they all tend to ‘prove’ their worth in trials employing unrealistic levels of resources, which makes them, in the best light, what in other other industries call, solutions that don’t scale.

    But aside from all that, no, we absolutely haven’t a seen a crop of students learning gemorah, rashi toisphois coming from any of these new age moisoids, which means we are dealing with experiments at best.
    All this would suggest an approach of caution, if not suspicion, but, since the frum educational system is our favorite whipping boy, we all like to suspend our disbelief and hold onto the dream that our ‘betters’ will solve golus scientifically.
    Hatzlocha!

  • 4. HA wrote:

    what he did in New Haven is turning into such a mess. i really do not understand what people see in him….

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