Who is an SAR Teacher?
Our carefully selected teachers are dynamic and enthusiastic, flexible and creative, open-hearted and caring. They are deeply committed to engaging their students’ hearts, minds, and souls, and they are passionate about their content area. SAR teachers have an unparalleled understanding of children’s developmental and academic needs. They are experts in differentiated instruction, modifying their teaching to each child’s learning needs so that every student receives what they need, when they need it. They are outstanding role models who connect personally and meaningfully with each student, and they are highly invested in the mission of the school. The faculty shares their insights and wisdom with the broader community through regular posts on our blog, “Divine Sparks.” The vast majority of our teachers hold advanced degrees, and most of our assistant teachers are pursuing a graduate degree in education.
Professional development is an essential part of our culture. We dedicate substantial time for professional development in our schedule and practice in order to ensure that our faculty continues to learn and grow. We invest heavily in professional training for new programs and curricula. Our teachers are encouraged to be reflective and to operate with a growth mindset with regard to their students and themselves.
At SAR, our faculty not only learns from experts outside the school, they also learn from one another. All of our teachers are members of a Critical Friends Group, a peer-led cohort that meets monthly to explore educational challenges in our classrooms. We create a professional learning community within the school, and we empower teachers to become experts in their craft and share their knowledge and insights with one another.
Class Staffing at SAR
Our school is divided into three divisions: ELC (2-year nursery through Kindergarten), Lower School (Grades 1-5), and Middle School (Grades 6-8). Each division benefits from the guidance and leadership of skilled administrators. In our ELC, there are three full-time teachers in every classroom. Students in 3-year nursery through Kindergarten benefit from our robust Hebrew immersion program, which features a co-teaching model in which a native Hebrew-speaking teacher communicates exclusively in Hebrew all day, along with a co-English teacher as well as an assistant teacher.
In Grade 1, there are three teachers in each class–one General Studies, one Judaic Studies and one special educator–who work collaboratively to support students through their first year of formal academics. Classes in Grades 2-5 each have two lead teachers–one General Studies and one Judaic Studies–with one or two special education-certified learning support teachers per grade level as part of our Pisgah program. Also part of the Lower School team, an advanced Math and advanced Ivrit teacher work together with classroom teachers in Grades 3-5 to meet the diverse academic needs of our students.
Each teaching team in the Middle School is comprised of a Humanities teacher, a Tanach teacher, a Science teacher and a learning specialist. In addition, we offer 3-4 levels of learning in Gemara, Math, and Ivrit. This structure ensures a nurturing and supportive environment that allows us to target each individual’s learning needs and ensure access to high-level, rigorous learning.
There is a guidance staff member for every grade or every two grades, whose focus is to support all students and facilitate social relationships to create stronger, more cohesive gradewide communities. Our guidance staff partners daily with administrators, teachers, and parents to maximize each student’s social and emotional well-being and success.
Our many specialty staff members enrich students in arts, music, STEM, physical education, and educational technology. We also host world class masters in the arts who work directly with our students and share their talents and passions with them. We welcome faculty from Israel each year who reinforce the Ivrit curriculum, bring Israeli culture to life, and strengthen students’ connection to Medinat Yisrael.
SAR Academy by the Numbers
- Teachers: 198
- Faculty members who are SAR alumni: 25
- Average tenure of our teachers: 10.5 years