HAT and Strelitz Frequently Asked Questions

What type of accreditation/affiliations does the Hebrew Academy have?
Hebrew Academy has been fully accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools since 1987 and is also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.   Hebrew Academy is a founding member of RAVSAK, the Jewish Community Day School Network.

Does the Hebrew Academy offer financial aid?
Yes, if the tuition will be a financial hardship for your family, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance. The process is completely confidential.

What middle schools do your alumni attend?
Our alumni are enrolled in a variety of the top independent schools and public school programs in the area.  We also have an active alumni program which meets monthly.  The students participate in a combination of social and Jewish educational activities.

How big are classes?
Kindergarten class: Up to 16 students with one teacher and a floating assistant
Grades 1 – 5: One Teacher with up to 20 students

How would you characterize your faculty?
Our faculty is warm and nurturing and enjoys helping our students to reach their full potential.

How do you challenge your students who are above grade level?
Our dual language curriculum is challenging as students are studying the Hebrew language every day.  Students also participate in the Suzuki Violin Program beginning in kindergarten.  Teachers also provide students with challenging work within the classroom and provide individualized work when necessary.

Do you have a Parents' Association?
Yes, we have a Strelitz Parents’ Association and Hebrew Academy Parents’ Association.  They are both active and plan a variety of family events, assist with school projects, parent education and so much more. 

Do you have before and after school day care?
The Simon Family JCC runs a before and afterschool Kids Connection program in which many of our students participate. Hebrew Academy parents register for Kids Connection through the JCC. A JCC staff member picks up the Kids Connection students from our lobby, and takes them to Kids Connection, which is also on campus.  Kids Connection is open from 6am – 6pm.  For more information, please go to:  http://www.simonfamilyjcc.org/families/childcare-options/kids-connection-before-after-school-enrichment/

Do you have any afterschool activities?
Hebrew Academy offers many afterschool activities for free or for a minimal fee including:  Intramural Sports, Coding Club, Robotics, Drama Club, Garden Club and Chess Club.  The Simon Family JCC also has a variety of afterschool programs including basketball, swimming, and tennis. 

Do you provide transportation?
We do not have a bus service, but are happy to help you find other families near you who may be able to carpool.

Can student buy lunch? 
Yes, we have a great lunch program with a variety of options.  All students have the option of buying or bringing their lunch.  

What is a dual curriculum?
As a Jewish community day school, we have successfully integrated a very challenging general studies program with a solid Judaic program, wchich instills in them the core values, identity and culture of our Jewish teachings which they rely upon for life. 

Do you do standardized testing? 
Hebrew Academy students in grades 1 through 5 participate in the same standardized tests (ERBs) as other local private schools.  The ERBs are created and scored by the same company that creates the SATs for college entrance. In addition, feedback from the schools that accept our students continually suggest how well prepared they are for when they arrive for continued education.  

Can students transfer at any grade level?
Yes, we are happy to enroll students at any level.  We assess each child’s achievement levels in both secular and Judaic knowledge to ensure that we can place each student in the appropriate class. 

What will we do if we don’t speak Hebrew?  How will we help our child with homework? 
Our Hebrew teachers realize that many of our parents have little to know Hebrew knowledge, and assign homework that does not require parent assistance. 

Does our family have to be religious to attend Hebrew Academy? 
HAT is a pluralistic day school.  Our families come from Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Chabad, interfaith and unaffiliated backgrounds. 

What are your teacher qualifications? 
Hebrew Academy teachers are required to either maintain Commonwealth of Virginia teacher certification or earn an annual Jewish Education Council certificate. They must participate in specific workshops designated by the school administration. They must show an understanding of children and work towards their intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, and moral growth and development. Teacher assistants must have completed at least high school and show an understanding of children. They are active participants in helping the children reach the aforementioned growth and development. They also participate in professional development activities, including college courses, local workshops, and national conferences.

Do students go on field trips?
Hebrew Academy students (in kindergarten through 5th grade) go on one or two field trips a year.  Fieldtrips coordinate with the curriculum and include First Landing State Park, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, Jamestown, Portsmouth Jewish Museum and various performances.