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Mind and Soul. Better together.

Frequently Asked Questions

List of 19 frequently asked questions.

  • At what age does Hillel accept students into their kindergarten?

    Students who turn five by September 1 of their kindergarten year may apply.
  • What are the advantages of a dual curriculum?

    Through this 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 are better able to withstand the ravages of age, a range of recent studies suggest. Hillel students begin learning Hebrew from day one, and these young minds quickly gain fluency in a second language.  This not only provides them with a sound cultural foundation, but also wires their brains to accelerate learning in all academic subjects.  Hillel's dual curriculum teaches our children both knowledge and values, in both Jewish and general studies.  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 dual and 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. 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.
  • How is Hillel's school day divided between General Studies and Hebrew/Jewish Studies?

    In the K-4 division, general and Judaic studies classes rotate between morning and afternoon sessions. For example, a child might have general studies in the morning on Monday and in the afternoon on Tuesday. The opposite applies for Judaic Studies. This creates more flexibility, and also addresses the impact the time of day has on learning.  Instructional time for Judaic studies is standardized throughout the K-4 division, insuring consistency in the time allotted to each class. Our 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.  The kindergarten-grade 4 schedule allows uninterrupted teaching blocks for both General and Judaic Studies.   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 ensures that students can move easily into different groupings during the day. 
     
  • What is the student/teacher ratio in Hillel classrooms?

    Hillel prides itself on its small class sizes and faculty-to-student ratio. Class size in kindergarten ranges from 13-18 students with one teacher and one assistant. 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 the two teachers in every K-4 general studies class helping Hillel meet the individual needs of each student.
  • How does Hillel address individual learning needs?

    Teaching methods at Hillel embrace a variety of learning styles allowing us to provide for those with specific learning needs, whether they are remedial or advanced.

    General studies teachers in grades 1-4 are assigned to assist in another classroom two periods each day, effectively giving students in grades 1-4 two highly experienced teachers to work in small groups or individually with students.  We are better able to meet the needs of students who need extra help, as well as those needing more enrichment.  

    Small class sizes make it possible for individualized and smaller group work. Learning Resource Centers, in the elementary as well as in the middle school, offer a range of enrichment and accelerated programs as well as support for those students with learning differences. Hillel is able to provide a Jewish education for many children with diagnosed learning challenges.

    Additionally, our Dean of Student Learning coordinates the entire staff, including the resource room staff, in supporting the learning needs of our children by identifying and addressing specific academic, social and emotional needs on all ends of the spectrum.
  • What type of after-school childcare and extra-curricular activities does Hillel offer?

    Hillel Day School offers several after school activity options. ECC-grade 4 students may stay after school in our After Care program.  Hillel also offers various after school enrichment and sports classes throughout the year. In grades 5-8, students can try out for 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.
  • What is Hillel’s dress code?

    All students are required to be appropriately dressed according to the established dress code. Hillel Day School 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.
  • Does Hillel offer financial assistance?

    Yes! Under Hillel’s Variable Rate Tuition program, families are encouraged to apply for assistance. Hillel is committed to the principle that all qualifying families who wish to give their child(ren) a Jewish Day School education should be able to do so. 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 families with incomes up to $220,000. This process is completely confidential.
  • What is the Tuition Grant Program?

    The William Davidson Foundation has given a generous grant that makes the cost of a Hillel education predictable and stable over the long term. The grant provides eligible students a credit of up to $36,000 depending on when you enrolled. For example, a first grader receives $1,000 for credit against first grade tuition; $2,000 for second grade, and so on. Lateral entry students receive $1,000 for their first year at Hillel, $2,000 for their second year, and so on. The program addresses the most frequently cited barrier to enrollment -- the high cost of tuition relative to family income and uncertainty over long term costs. Families who require greater subsidies than those provided by the Grant apply for traditional financial aid.
  • What is the Innovation Hub?

    The Innovation Hub comprises a maker space, 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.
  • What technology do students use?

    Our 21st-century students use laptops, 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. The laptop is a tool for developing communication, collboration skills necessary for participation and leadership in a global economy.
  • What is Hillel's Kashrut policy?

    Hillel is committed to the observance of kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws. Ultimately, these laws are meant to foster a sense of kedushah, or holiness; through them, the act of eating becomes holy. Hillel's 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.
  • What is the lunch program?

    Flik Independent School Dining is our service provider. 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.
  • What are some milestone programs?

    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.
  • What organizations is Hillel affiliated with?

    Hillel is accredited by ISACS (Independent School Association of Central States) and a member of the community day school organization, RAVSAK, 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.
  • What if we do not read or speak Hebrew?

    It is not necessary for parents to either read or speak Hebrew in order for their children to be successful Hillel students.
  • What level of religious observance do Hillel families follow?

    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. 
  • What schools do Hillel students attend after eighth grade graduation?

    Hillel Day School has an excellent reputation among the public and private secondary schools in the area. Many students elect to continue their educational experience at the The Frankel Jewish Academy. The strong academic foundation that Hillel students receive prepare 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.
  • If I have questions, with whom do I speak?

    The importance of each student is at the core of our mission. All numbers begin with 248-539-:

    Early Childhood Center Director Robin Pappas 1489
    Principal Melissa Michaelson 1300
    Dean of Student Learning Dr. Jennifer Friedman 5781
    Dean of Judaic Studies Saul Rube 1485
    Director of Advancement Amy Schlussel 1484
    Tuition Related Issues COO Scott Reed 1481
    Head of School Steve Freedman 1480
    Rav Beit Hasefer Rabbi Jonathan Berger 1301
Critical Thinking חשיבה ביקורתית
Creativity יצירתיות
COLLABORATION שיתוף פעולה
COMMUNICATION תיקשורת
CHARACTER אישיות
COMMUNITY קהילה
CORE JEWISH VALUES ערכים יהודיים עיקריים
Welcome to Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit, a vibrant community Jewish day school filled with joy, rooted in core Jewish values, committed to halakhah, and devoted to academic excellence. Our families are diverse in their beliefs, affiliations and observances; we work together to create a welcoming community based upon mutual respect and shared values.
Early Childhood Center, Ages 2-5 | Day School, Grades K-8 | 248-851-3220 | 32200 Middlebelt Rd. | Farmington Hills, MI 48334