Unlike the work we do in secular education (which also goes through cycles of revisiting and re-clarifying), there is no external set of benchmarks and standards that we are required to follow. There are no universally adopted textbooks or curricular materials shared by all Jewish day schools (or even by traditional groupings of Jewish day schools). We have to translate our school’s mission-vision-philosophy into self-created (or borrowed) academic benchmarks and standards. We have to build a schedule around those outcomes. We have to choose curricula based on what we believe to be true about teaching and learning.
To inform the work we have done at OJCS over the last number of years to clarify our Jewish mission & vision, we have created a variety of inputs. These inputs include the creation of a Rabbinic Advisory Committee (RAC), consisting of each pulpit rabbi in Ottawa, alumni survey data collected in grades 9 & 12, annual parent survey data, and exit survey data. Data collected from these inputs contributed to where we are at present and will continue to guide us on our journey forward.