Frequently Asked Questions - Rockland Jewish Academy
Why even open another Jewish Day School in Rockland County?
The importance of having excellent Jewish day school education available to the Jewish community at large cannot be understated. This community day school ensures both the vibrancy and the continuity of Jewish life in Rockland County. Rockland Jewish Academy (RJA) is a pluralistic, independent school providing stellar academics and Jewish values to our families right here in Rockland. RJA academics are under the direct supervision of Dr. Elliot Spiegel, Headmaster of Solomon Schechter School of Westchester (SW). Dr. Spiegel is Educational Director for RJA.
What grades are offered at Rockland Jewish Academy?
RJA is a pre-K 3 through Grade 5 school.
What are the school hours?
Pre-K 3 and 4 start at 9:30 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m.; extended day are offered in partnership with the Rockland County JCC. Grades K through 5 start at 8:15 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Early drop off as early as 7:30 AM and late pickup as late as 6:00 PM are also available for all ages.
Are there nursery and after school programs?
RJA Early Childhood classes (age 3 and 4) offer a early childhood Jewish education option for parents in need of day care hours. There are separate classes for ages 3 and 4. Nursery school classes run from 9:30 - 2:30 but an extended day (AM & PM) option is available and additional afterschool programming is being planned in partnership with the JCC. Early drop off as early as 7:30 AM and late pickup as late as 6:00 PM offers parents unprecedented flexibility to meet their scheduling needs. order to accommodate working parents. Please contact us to discuss options for your child.
Is this school a part of the JCC?
No, RJA is an independent school. RJA is a tenant of the Rockland Jewish Community Campus, along with the JCC, the Jewish Federation of Rockland County and many other organizations.
Where is RJA located on the Jewish Campus?
RJA has renovated a separate wing of the Jewish Campus. This wing is adjacent to the JCC, and those facilities, such as the gym, are available for use by faculty and students. Alarmed doors and a security guard provide secure access.
Is the new space available for tours?
Yes, please contact Admissions Director Judy Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (845) 627-0010.
How does transportation work?
Districts provide busing as they do for other private schools in Rockland County. A bus is available from Orange County.
Is lunch provided?
The JCC has a kosher caterer, Fit Café, on the premises, and we use their services, ensuring complete kashrut observance and compliance.
What is the policy be regarding a nut-free environment?
RJA has a nut aware policy, restricting peanuts and tree nuts in the school’s building. In addition any food provided by the caterer adheres to this policy. However, the Jewish Campus is not nut-free.
Is there a nurse?
Yes, RJA has a school nurse.
What after school programming is provided?
RJA partners with the JCC to provide a variety of after school activities.
Are boys required to wear kippot?
How does the school observe t’fillot (praying)?
Daily prayers take place in all grades, on age-appropriate levels, ensuring that students gain both skills and spiritual meaning. A variety of community area rabbis lead prayers every day.
Who is the Principal and how is the school staffed?
Dr. Spiegel, as Educational Director, has hired teaching staff for the school. RJA's teachers are of the highest caliber, and echo the standards reflected in the current faculty at Schechter Westchester; professionals who are engaged, dedicated, learners, and can infuse the education of children with the love of learning and Judaism.
What’s the academic program?
The academic program at RJA in many ways echos that of Schechter Westchester. Like all private schools, RJA adheres to the NY State standards, but also exceeds them. General and Judaic studies are integrated throughout the day, and utilize state-of-the-art materials and enriched curricula that emulate Schechter Westchester. RJA teachers are included in Schechter Westchester’s Lower School professional development programs.
• Does the school have “specials”? The school also has as part of its programming, specials such as physical education, music and art, and as the school evolves, when appropriate, other programs will also take shape.
• What is the student/teacher ratio? We model the staffing of Schechter Westchester’s Lower School. Each class has a lead general studies teacher with a Judaic studies teacher coming in to teach Hebrew and other Jewish topics.
• What is the split between time spent in general versus Judaic subjects? As in many day schools, the split is 60% general, 40% Judaic studies.
Is there tuition assistance?
Yes there is tuition assistance. Registration for families requesting tuition assistance will not be binding until and unless a tuition package is offered that is acceptable to both parties.
Is there a building fund?
No, there will not.
How is the school being funded?
Like all schools, we have received grants and interest-free loans.
Who can attend RJA?
Rockland Jewish Academy seeks to serve Jewish children from across the broad spectrum of the Jewish experience. We will consider all children whose families are eligible for membership in any of our community's synagogues as viable candidates for consideration. RJA will accept children who are mission appropriate and whom we believe we can serve well. Family marital status, denomination, affiliation and finances are not factors in admissions decision-making.
Why is RJA successful when other day schools are struggling across the country?
RJA is in the unique position to be under the educational supervision of one of the country’s foremost Jewish day school headmasters. Dr. Spiegel has a proven track record of tremendous success, especially with Solomon Schechter School of Westchester. Under his leadership over the past 30 years, Schechter Westchester has grown into one of the most highly regarded and successful day schools in the country. In combination with this, RJA is housed in a new state-of-the-art facility, located in the heart of the Rockland Jewish community, on the Rockland Jewish Community Campus.
In addition, as a community day school, RJA is not affiliated with any one Jewish denomination, but appeals to all. The community day school model has proved successful across the country. The number of community day schools have grown 15% in the past 10 years. With the support and involvement of the Rockland, Orange and northern NJ communities, RJA has become a Jewish day school of excellence.
RJA features a unique and enriched curriculum, featuring an "intentional Teaching" approach in Early Childhood, a "Balanced Literacy" methodology in reading and the Singapore Math methodology. Find out more.
How can I find out more?
Email us at email@example.com or call Judy Klein at (845) 627-0010.