Gross Schechter Day School in Cleveland, Ohio was recently chosen to participate as one of 15 Jewish Day Schools, and one of only two outside of the New York area, in the second year of the Day School Collaboration Network (DSCN).
DSCN is a joint project of The Jewish Education Project and Upstart Bay Area, made possible by a generous grant from UJA Federation of New York. This exciting new initiative utilizes Adaptive Leadership and Design Thinking to to create a shift in mind-sets and skill-sets that will lead to new forms of creativity, distributed leadership, and efficacy within and across schools.
In the DSCN, educators from across the religious spectrum address challenges facing individual schools while working together to bring new models and approaches to the broader field of Jewish day school education.
A team of four educators from Schechter participated in a two day retreat as part of the schools involvement in the program. The educators included Early Childhood Center director Tracey Bortz, kindergarten teacher Orli Rabkin, fourth grade teacher Donell Newman, and middle school teacher Cheryl Stone. The four spent the retreat working side-by-side with teams from other schools and experts in Design Thinking and Adaptive Leadership.
Dr. Ari Yares, Head of School at Gross Schechter Day School, participated in the inaugural cohort of DSCN during the prior school year. Dr. Yares shared that through the DSCN, we are acquiring new problem solving skills that allow us to tackle challenges and grow stronger by understanding the needs that underlie those challenges.
The Jewish Education Projects Director of Jewish Day School Leadership and Innovation, Rabbi Ed Harwitz, has been involved in the program since its inception. He commented that The DSCN seeks to become the Silicon Valley of the Jewish day school world, a real location for creativity and measurable innovation.