The nearly 700 students who attend Donna Klein Jewish Academy are getting a college-prep liberal arts education, along with Judaic studies. But they are also part of a leadership showcase for the Franklin Covey “Leader in Me” curriculum.
Walking through the halls, you see artwork illustrating inspirational quotations – “Think Win Win -Everyone can win;” “Seek first to understand, then to be understood – Listen before you talk” – all based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
DKJA is the only K-12 Jewish community day school in the country to implement the program, said Jane Neubauer Black, the school’s director of communications. The program, developed by the Franklin Covey organization, aims to develop students’ initiative, creativity, teamwork and other problem-solving skills.
The school, which opened in 1979 as the South County Jewish Community Day School in space at Temple Beth El, serves students in junior kindergarten through 12th grade. It is housed on the campus of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, off Glades Road east of U.S. 441. Students come from all branches of Judaism.
Prayer and Judaic studies are part of every day. Hebrew is taught in all grades, though students who are new to the school need not have a background in it. (Spanish is also offered in grades 9-12). Eighth- and 12-graders take trips to Israel.
Jewish history, values and tradition are woven into the academic lessons where appropriate.
“We do a lot of integration,” Black said.
That is true of all the school’s programs, including arts and technology.
Students have planted a vegetable garden this year, reinforcing the idea that we are all responsible for the Earth. Teachers are designing QR codes for each plant, so students can zap them with their smartphones and learn all about each one, Black said.
DKJA infuses technology into the classrooms with smartboards and some online textbooks. Students at its Claire and Emanuel G. Rosenblatt High School have a Mac lab.
Drama and art are not electives, but part of the regular curriculum. Students were auditioning last week for the production of Peter Pan in the spring. A “Meet the Masters” art appreciation program that also involves parents teaches deep lessons on particular artists.
DKJA also offers competitive sports as a member of the Florida High School Athletic Association, including baseball, basketball, co-ed cross-country, flag football, soccer, softball, tennis, golf and volleyball.
Students are mostly from the local area, from Boynton Beach to Coral Springs. The school offers some bus service.
The school’s junior kindergarten is a different curriculum than pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds. It’s aimed at children whose birthdays just miss the kindergarten cutoff, or who need more time before entering kindergarten. The program will have about 14 openings in the fall.
- Tuition: Starts at $12,000 a year for junior kindergarten, up to $19,980 for high school.
- Uniforms: Yes, for junior-kindergartners through eighth grade; dress code for high-schoolers.
- Middle school: Starts in fifth grade, though there are usually some seats available in sixth.
- Lunch: A kosher lunch is included in tuition.
- School day: 7:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 3 p.m. dismissal on Fridays.
- Admission: Enrollment is ongoing. The first step is to call for a tour: 561-852-3310.
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Florida Kindergarten Council.
- CHARLENE PACENTI