Policies & Procedures
The BETC School Committee sets policy, and provides feedback and guidance to the Director of Education on how the school is run. Each meeting we engage in lively and thoughtful debates to review and/or update current policies and procedures, and create new policies and procedures when needed. The School Committee meets once a month and helps out at Religious School events as needed.
Please refer to the Parent Handbook for further information and expectations on the following topics.
Regular attendance is vital to the process of Jewish education. Our educational goals and our goal of creating a cohesive community can only be accomplished through consistent participation in the program. Parents play a major role in ensuring that students attend regularly, are prepared for class and keep up with any necessary make-up work. Our best chance of success depends on students’ ability to view religious school as a serious and worthwhile commitment. Your support in creating this attitude is crucial and greatly appreciated.
We realize that students have demanding schedules. While teachers limit the amount of homework, some work time out of class is necessary. This is particularly true for the acquisition of Hebrew language skills. Hebrew School students are expected to practice reading for 10 minutes each night. When homework is given in Sunday School, teachers are encouraged to give creative assignments that involve parents -- with the goal of enhancing family connections through Jewish learning. Please check with your child regarding assignments and help to see that they are completed. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Homework will not be assigned during school vacation weeks (December, February, and April).
It is our hope that communication between teachers and parents will be ongoing. We encourage our teachers to be in touch with you, both about the class and about your child, through email, regular mail, and by phone. Teachers will keep you up-to-date about what is happening in the classroom with regular emails or newsletters. Please look for them! In addition, we will mail out a written progress report two times during the year - at the conclusion of first semester and and the end of the school year.
BETC SCHOOL FOOD AND ALLERGY POLICY
At Beth El Temple Center Religious School, we recognize that food is an important and enriching part of our Jewish tradition and can play an exciting role in creative teaching. We try to honor this positive role of food in our curriculum and community celebrations, while maintaining as our top priority the need to keep safe our students with food allergies and intolerances.
Due to the fact that Beth El Temple Center is currently serving several students with known food allergies, many of which are potentially life threatening, we strictly adhere to the following food policy:
- Aside from regular snack provided by the school, food may be offered in the K-9 classroom in conjunction with curriculum, or used selectively for celebrations and rewards. Teachers must have the advance approval of the Director of Education in order to serve food. If your son or daughter has a known food allergy, which you have indicated on his/her medical form, the teacher will contact you in advance of any class activity involving food. Parents are responsible for ensuring that our records on food allergies and other important medical issues are updated, both when registering students annually for school, and throughout the year, as they become aware of any changes in a student’s medical status. There is a form for this information.
- In a classroom where there is a child with a life-threatening food allergy, there must be no food containing that allergen in the classroom.
- When a food label states “may contain..” or “processed in a facility that also processes…”, it is assumed that the allergen is present.
- Teachers are trained in the use of an epi-pen and have an action plan to implement if they suspect a possible allergic reaction.
- Parents of students with food allergies are asked to provide an allergy action plan, with six copies of your student’s photo attached, to the Director of Education at the start of the school year, or as soon as possible after the condition is diagnosed. Copies are kept in the two student medical records binders, in substitute folders, and in each of the student’s classrooms. Parents are also asked to personally notify their teachers of the food allergy.
- Substitutes, upon their required check-in to the Director of Education’s office, will receive a substitute folder containing records of student allergy plans and other relevant student medical information.
- Committees and other groups meeting in classrooms are asked to wipe down tables with soap and water if serving snacks (filled spray bottles and paper towels are kept in every classroom, the library, the downstairs meeting room, the upstairs meeting room, and the bride’s room).
- Parents should assume that food may be present at school and family education events where parents are expected to be in attendance with their kids. On such occasions the event sponsor will make every effort to create a safe environment (making food labels available when possible, asking for food providers to avoid nuts and nut oils), however, ultimately, the nature of our vibrant and well-used space means that we can’t prevent all exposures. We ask for the support of our community, but parents are responsible for the safety of their own students at such events.
BETC RELIGIOUS SCHOOL BEHAVIOR POLICY
Our behavior policy is guided by a commitment to kavod --the basic respect due both to teachers and to other students. In addition, we are keenly aware that we will only achieve our education goals if there is mutual respect and cooperation between teacher and student.
The Beth El Temple Center Religious School strives to provide a positive climate in which all our students can thrive. While we emphasize classroom learning, there are additional goals of building a community through kavod and derech eretz- respect and treating people in the correct manner. Our teachers are committed to treating all students with dignity and respect. Our expectation is that students will treat their teachers and classmates in the same manner. This serves to put Jewish values into action at all times - not just in the classroom. Effective learning results when students, teachers, and parents are working together to implement these policies. For further information, please refer to our Brit Kehillah and the Parent Handbook.
Bullying - Because the BETC Religious School greatly values our positive, inclusive, and caring learning environment, we treat bullying as a serious offense. Students have the right to learn in a safe and sensitive environment at all times. Bullying in all its forms, whether verbal, physical, or psychological, is completely unacceptable. We encourage parents and students to speak with us at any time concerning bullying issues.
Working in conjunction with the Belmont Police Department and the BETC Buildings and Grounds Committee, the Religious School has developed emergency protocols in response to fire, natural disaster, hazardous leaks, or the presence of an intruder in the building. Each classroom has a practiced response plan and steps to take in the case of each specific type of emergency.
In case of inclement weather or other potential reason to cancel Sunday or Hebrew School, please look for an email and listen to announcements made over the following radio stations:
- News Radio WBZ 1030 AM and Channel 4 (CBS) (Sundays only)
- WHDH-TV – Channel 7 News (NBC) and Talk Radio WRKO AM 680
- WCVB-TV-- Channel 5 News (ABC)
If Belmont has no school on a weekday, there will be no Hebrew School. (If you are not a Belmont resident, please listen for Belmont school closings carefully as the office becomes inundated with calls).