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03/11/2011 09:30 AM Posted by: Ricki Komiss Poster Avatar

Let's talk about the state of Shlenker as a private school...

The Honorable Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston, was at Shlenker recently to read to our Elementary students as a prelude to the Book Fair. It is exciting to have someone as well-known and prestigious as the mayor of the third largest city in the United States come to your school. Following her book reading, Mayor Parker asked the students a few questions. The first was "What does the city do for us?" It was an interesting question, but the students had a difficult time processing the answer. It took several tries before they began to grasp the importance of city services like police, fire, ambulance, trash pick-up, and water, all of which seem so obvious. Once they started thinking, the list became very long.

Maybe we think of private school education versus public school education in the same way. Both private and public schools teach reading, math, writing, spelling, social studies, and science. However, what then is special about Shlenker? Watching the dialogue between our state government officials and our local school districts has been painful at best. I can't tell you where the public schools will finally end up, but I can tell you some of the benefits of a well-established private school like Shlenker. Shlenker is mission-driven, so our students are taught a rigorous academic curriculum in a nurturing environment with an overlay of Jewish traditions and knowledge. Our students will continue to thrive in small classes taught by outstanding certified and qualified teachers. The intimate school size allows opportunities for teachers, administrators, and staff to know all the children. Shlenker provides many opportunities for prefoessional development and mentors for the staff throughout the year. Curriculum materials and technology are a part of the expectations for every classroom. Fine arts, science, and physical education will continue to be taught by the most amazing and qualified teachers and will be a part of every grade. Students will benefit from foreign language training with Hebrew from age three through fifth grade. Probably the most unique differences between Shlenker and public education are the wonderful Shabbat and holiday services, mitzvah projects, family education and community-building school-wide, and grade-level dinners, projects, and services. Unlike public schools, Shlenker is extremely mindful of our dyslexic students, special-needs students (who are mainstreamed most of the day), and gifted students.

If you are looking for value-added opportunities for your children in school, you will find them at Shlenker.

Contact Ricki

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