Through the fine-tuning of the nervous system, people who master more than one language build a more resilient brain, one more proficient at multitasking, setting priorities, and better able to withstand the ravages of age. Hillel students begin learning Hebrew from day one, and these young minds quickly gain fluency in a second language. This not only provides a sound cultural foundation but also wires their brains to accelerate learning in all academic subjects.
Organizational and time management skills, which are necessary to successfully manage a dual curriculum, lead to solid study habits. Hillel's challenging curriculum prepares graduates well for advanced study. Most of all, however, Hillel Day School promotes and fosters ethical and moral identity development in each individual child.
Hillel's dual curriculum teaches our students both knowledge and values, in all subjects. We seek to nurture Jews who are not only literate but who are also empowered to become educated members of the Jewish and general community through the skills, values, and experiences that they acquire. The integrated curriculum and the use of Hebrew as a living language develop children’s capacity for complex learning, and the study of Torah texts develops critical thinking and analytical skills.
In the 1-2 and 3-4 learning communities, general and Judaic studies classes rotate between morning and afternoon sessions. For example, a child who has general studies in the morning on Monday will have it in the afternoon on Tuesday. The opposite applies to Judaic Studies. This creates more flexibility and also addresses the impact the time of day has on learning.
In kindergarten, our general studies teachers remain with the students the entire day to provide for the consistency our youngest elementary students require. The Judaic studies teacher joins the general studies teacher for half of the day to integrate the learning.
The K-4 structure allows for more general studies instructional time which is necessary as we use the “workshop model” in writing, reading, and math and continue to develop a project-based approach. All elementary schedules allow for uninterrupted teaching blocks in both General and Judaic Studies. Enrichment specials such as art, music, gym, library, and science are generally scheduled either at the beginning or end of the block.
The 5-6 and 7-8 divisions' block schedules ensure that students move easily into different groupings during the day.
Hillel prides itself on its small class sizes and faculty-to-student ratio. Class size in kindergarten ranges from 12-18 students with either one teacher and one assistant or two teachers. Class size in Grades 1 and 2 are generally not larger than 18 students and class size in grades 3-8 generally do not exceed 20 students. Most impressive is that there are two teachers in every K-4 general studies class helping Hillel meet the individual needs of each student.
Hillel's teaching methods embrace a variety of learning styles allowing us to provide for specific learning needs, whether they are remedial or advanced.
Two highly experienced teachers are in each general studies grade 1-4 classroom. This duet teaching model enables us to meet the needs of each and every student.
Small class sizes allow for individualized and smaller group work. Learning Specialists often push into a classroom and provide a range of enrichment and accelerated support as well as assistance for those students with learning differences. Hillel is able to provide a Jewish education for many children with diagnosed learning challenges.
Additionally, our Director of Student Services coordinates the entire staff, including the learning specialists, in supporting the learning needs of our children by identifying and addressing specific academic, social and emotional needs on all ends of the spectrum.
Hillel offers amazing after-school options. ECC-grade 4 students may attend our After Care program or various other enrichment and sports classes. In grades 5-8, students can participate in a full range of team sports, including soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and cross-country, and compete against other area public and private schools. Hillel also offers students in grades 6-8 an intramural sports program, with classes that include flag football, yoga, basketball, dance/poms, volleyball, and kickboxing.
All students are required to be appropriately dressed according to the established dress code. Hillel requires each student to dress in a way that reflects respect for the learning environment and which meets appropriate standards of good taste, cleanliness, and neatness. Hillel believes that students should come to school ready to focus on educational pursuits in this Jewish learning environment that reflect Kedushah (holiness) as all study is Torah.
Yes! Under Hillel’s Variable Rate Tuition program, families are encouraged to apply for assistance. Hillel is committed to helping all families provide their child(ren) with a Jewish Day School education. An important hallmark of our school has been our ability to make the school financially accessible to families. We strive to keep tuition increases to a minimum and make financial assistance available to many families. This process is completely confidential.
The Innovation Hub comprises a MakerSpace, prototype lab, audio/visual studio, greenhouse, art and science studios, an IT desk, and ample space for flexible seating, small group work and larger gatherings. It is a unique space with the resources that bring project-based learning to life, allowing problem-solving skills to develop and soar. By using tools to innovate or improve upon existing technology and materials, we all become makers. Among the tools at our students' disposal: 3D printers and carvers, laser cutters, green screen, power tools, iPads, laptops, plants, seedlings, and more.
Our 21st-century students use laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, smart boards, Google classroom and a wide variety of apps to explore, connect and create. The set of technology benchmarks for each grade builds on the skills learned the previous year. ECC4 through second graders have iPads in their classrooms. Grades 3-4 have laptops in their classrooms. Students in grades 5-8 participate in our 1:1 laptop program, which affords students equitable access to hardware, software and network resources. A laptop is a tool for developing communication, collaboration skills necessary for participation and leadership in a global economy.
Hillel's Kashrut policy ensures that all of our students, regardless of observance level, will feel comfortable at school. Thus, all food and snacks that students bring to school must be kosher, and may only be dairy or parve (foods that are neither dairy nor meat, such as eggs and tuna fish). Meat products, even if kosher, may not be brought into the school. Processed foods must bear a recognized kashrut certification (hashgahah) on their labels. Baked goods must have a kosher endorsement or have been baked at a kosher bakery. Additionally, only kosher foods should be served at birthday parties and B'nai Mitzvah celebrations, regardless of location. Foods that are prohibited by Jewish law should never be served at a Hillel meal.
Lunches are filled with high-quality, seasonal ingredients. Menus rotate on a monthly basis, and include meat meals on Wednesdays and Fridays. Hillel's meat and dairy kitchens are supervised by the Metropolitan Kashruth Council, and all food is strictly kosher. A daily soup, entree and salad bar is offered every day.
In kindergarten, we have the Thanksgiving play, Mother's Day brunch, Model Seder and graduation! Our first grade has a Hanukkah play, Model Seder and Siddur Party. Our second grade has a Torah party and a Model Seder. Third graders participate in a Havdallah program and a family Pesah program. The fourth grade has a Model Seder, and Rosh Hodesh service. Fifth grade has their first Shabbaton at Hillel, while sixth grade has a Shabbaton at Camp Tamarack. The seventh grade travels to Washington, D.C., and has a Shabbaton at Tamarack. Our eighth graders enjoy a Shabbaton at Hillel, an Israel trip, and a Minyan breakfast.
Hillel is accredited by ISACS (Independent School Association of Central States) and a member of Prizmah, the day school organization, NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools), ISM (Independent School Management). Our Early Childhood Center has received NAEYC accreditation. Hillel is an agency of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. Hillel does not discriminate in violation of the law.
As a Community Day School, we welcome Jewish children from all affiliations; in fact, a great number of our families are Reform, Conservative or Orthodox, and all rabbis are welcome guests at Hillel. The goal of Hillel's religious policies is to ensure that all children, regardless of their individual home observance, can feel at home at Hillel, and can participate comfortably in school activities. We do ask all families to respect classmates' levels of observance when planning smachot (celebrations) such as birthday and B'nai Mitzvah parties.
Hillel has an excellent reputation among the public and private secondary schools in the area. Many students elect to continue their educational experience at The Frankel Jewish Academy. The strong academic foundation that Hillel students receive prepares them for both the public (Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Walled Lake, West Bloomfield, Ann Arbor and Windsor) and private (The Frankel Jewish Academy, Cranbrook, Detroit Country Day and Roeper) high schools that they attend after their Hillel graduation.
The importance of each student is at the core of our mission. All numbers begin with 248-539-:
Early Education Director (ECC-K) Robin Pappas- 1489 1-8 Principal Melissa Michaelson- 1300 Director of Student Services- Kimberly Love - 1308 Director of Judaic Studies Curriculum and Instruction- Amira Soleimani - 5772 Director of Advancement- Amy Schlussel - 1484 Tuition Related Issues- COO John Pitcher - 1481 Head of School- Dr. Darin S. Katz - 1480