Is Aleph Bet a private school or an independent school?Aleph Bet is an independent school. Some private schools are managed by other organizations, such as for-and not-for profit corporations or religious institutions like synagogues and churches. Aleph Bet's Board of Trustees is independent of any other organization.
How is the school day divided between general and Judaic Studies? Aleph Bet is committed to meeting the highest standards of general education, conforming to and exceeding all Maryland State guidelines for academic achievement, while also providing a solid grounding in Judaic learning and Jewish cultural education. All students begin the day with a 30-minute egalitarian t'filah (prayer) service. During the day students have approximately ninety minutes of instruction in a combination of Hebrew language and Judaic Studies. The remaining two-thirds of the day is spent in study of language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.What about music, art, physical education, and computers? All grades have weekly classes in music, art, and physical education, taught by specialists. Each classroom has computers and the School implements a comprehensive technology curriculum for all grade levels, using a portable laptop lab.What if my child does not know Hebrew? Hebrew instruction begins in Kindergarten with letter recognition and the basic vocabulary of classroom, family, and holiday words. If a student enters Aleph Bet as a rising first through fifth grader, the School provides Hebrew tutoring to allow the student to "catch up." How can teachers cover all the general subjects in 2/3 the time allotted in other schools?Small classes of motivated students make it possible to explore subject material more efficiently than is possible in large classrooms or when time is spent dealing with classroom management and discipline. Additionally, Judaic Studies classes offer the opportunity to learn and practice "secular" skills and concepts like writing, history, and geography.
What qualifications do Aleph Bet's teachers have?Faculty members hold bachelor's or post-graduate degrees in areas pertinent to their teaching assignments. Additionally, they participate in ongoing formal and informal professional development through workshops, conferences, and university-level courses. Teachers are selected on the basis of their academic background, their expertise, their love of children, and their enthusiasm for teaching.Do students have more than one teacher for academic subjects?In Kindergarten through Grade Four, students have one teacher for all general subjects and a second teacher for Hebrew and Judaic Studies. In Grade Five, the program is departmentalized with different instructors for Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, and Hebrew and Judaic Studies.Do students in a class receive instruction on the same level?Small classes permit teachers to differentiate instruction—to offer accelerated instructions and enrichment to advanced students and to provide supportive reinforcement or remedial instruction for students who need it.Are Special Education services available?Students with some special needs may find success in Aleph Bet's small classes and nurturing environment. Families whose children have special needs should meet with the Head of School to explore whether the School's program can provide a good fit for the individual child. The School employs an educational consultant who performs diagnostic screening and recommends instructional strategies.
With which Jewish movement is Aleph Bet affiliated?Aleph Bet is multi-denominational. The School was founded and is supported by four congregations: a traditional/Orthodox congregation, a Conservative congregation, and two Reform congregations. Our students come from families who are affiliated with each of the movements as well as families who are not affiliated formally with any Jewish organization. Must both parents be Jewish for a student to attend Aleph Bet?The Aleph Bet community welcomes students from interfaith families.Must students be Jewish to attend Aleph Bet?Non-Jewish families select Aleph Bet for their children because of the small classes, the nurturing atmosphere, the academic environment, and the emphasis on values. Approximately 10% of the student body is not Jewish.
What is the class size?In general, we limit our classes to 10-15 students.What impact will a small school have on my child?Our small classes promote strong, family-like bonds between children, where children learn to accept and appreciate each other as unique individuals and to work together as a cohesive unit. Aleph Bet classes share t'filah (prayer), lunch, and recess each day and work in multi-age groups for special events like Passport Days, Tribe Time, and holiday workshops. Classes pair in various combinations for Reading Buddies, field trips, and cooperative units and special activities.Where do Aleph Bet graduates go to school?Our graduates have attended and found success at many area independent schools, including Beth T'filoh, Charles E. Smith, Indian Creek, Key School, Krieger Schechter, Severn, and at several local public schools.
What records are required for admission?In addition to the General Family Information Form, the school requests parents to submit records and referrals from prior schools and an Administrative Data Form. School personnel meet with prospective kindergartners and administer the Brigance Kindergarten Screen. Students wishing to enter first grade and above are screened by the School's Educational Consultant.When should applications be submitted?When will applicants be notified of acceptance? Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis: completed applications are due on January 31. Applicants will be notified of acceptance in early March.
How does Aleph Bet tuition compare to other private schools?In 2014-15, Aleph Bet's tuition of $13,100 was well below the average for AIMS (Association of Independent Maryland) schools.Are there registration fees?A $100 Application Fee covers the expenses of processing an application and screening the candidate. A $750 deposit is due with the contract; it is applied to the year's tuition.What tuition payment plans are available?Parents may pay tuition in one lump sum, or in periodic payments from August to May.Are there financial obligations beside tuition?Families are charged a $325 school fee that includes such expenses as field trips, textbooks and special activities. Additionally, parents are expected to purchase two tickets (@$75/each) to the School's annual gala dinner/auction event.Is any Financial Assistance available?Aleph Bet is committed to providing Financial Assistance as needed to make Jewish Day School education available to those who seek it. Financial Assistance application forms are available from the School Office.