Hebrew Language Academy Charter School

1340 EAST 29TH STREET
BROOKLYN NY 11210 Map
Phone: (718) 377-7200
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery. Priority to District 22.
Principal: Laura Silver
Neighborhood: Midwood
District: 22
Grade range: K-5
Unzoned
Dual Language
Charter School

What's special:

Children learn both English and Hebrew

The downside:

Long day may be tiring for some children

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

At the Hebrew Language Academy, children learn both Hebrew and English. Perhaps surprisingly, the school has attracted children of different religions and races.

As a publicly financed charter school, the academy is formally a secular organization, not affiliated with Judaism. Children do not learn Jewish prayers, but they do learn Israeli dances and songs in Hebrew. All classes have two teachers, one who speak English and one who speaks Hebrew.

The school day is long, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The school year is 190 days, 10 days more than the typical public school. Children eat lunch (which is Kosher) in their rooms and don’t go outside for recess. The long day gives children more time to learn two languages, but a day without naps or breaks may be hard on some young children. Principal Laura Silver (she is called the head of school) told us that children may have a piece of fruit as a snack to keep their energy up. Children have physical education three times a week.

We visited the school in its 2nd temporary location since it opened in 2009--a former Catholic school building with spacious classrooms and plenty of light. The school plans to move again when its new building in Mill Basin is completed in 2014.

The Hebrew Language Academy has received backing from Michael Steinhardt, a retired hedge fund manager who has given away more than $200 million and is a supporter of Israel and Jewish causes, according to the New York Times.

While Jewish parents welcome the chance for their children to speak Hebrew, some non-Jewish parents do as well, the Times said. “I am a child of God, and you know the Bible was originally written in Hebrew,” the Times quoted a parent as saying. “When you understand it in Hebrew, it’s a totally different meaning. To be able for him to have that would be amazing.”

Special education: The school offers occupational therapy, speech therapy and special education teacher support services, as well as team-teaching classes with three teachers—one English, one Hebrew and one certified in special education. The school has a full-time social worker and a full-time special education coordinator.

Admissions: Lottery with preference to District 22. There are 75 seats for kindergarteners. Very few seats open in 1st or 2nd grade,and no child is accepted after the 2nd grade. Apply for the lottery at www.hlacharter.org. the school offers regular tours to prospective parents. (Eliana Mascio, February 2013)

InsideStats

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At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Number of Students 479

Average Daily Attendance NA

Students at this school

Asian

  
1%

Black

  
40%

Hispanic

  
4%

White

  
54%

Free Lunch

  
65%

Special ed

  
14%

English Language Learners

  
8%

Safety & vibe

ARE KIDS
NICE?

How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?

9% 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

80% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average kindergarten class

NA 23 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Number of students in an average fifth grade class

NA 26 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

67% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?

66% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Attendance

How many students are chronically absent?

12% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Academics

How many teachers say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep students engaged?

75% 84% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching social-emotional skills?

93% 88% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school does a good job teaching organizational and study skills?

95% 91% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam

52% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam

31% 29% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam

92% 83% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Parents

Are parents involved?

How many parents responded to the school survey?

93% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say they attended at least one pta meeting in the last school year?

72% 72% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Does the school encourage family involvement?

How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?

81% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Do parents like the school?

How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?

96% 94% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

NA 7% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

10% 18% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:

29% 16% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

0% 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

99% 98% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?

82% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?

90% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

Percent of ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 6% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Percent of former ell students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:

NA 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say this school ensures that ells receive the same curriculum as non-ells with appropriate suppports?

82% 90% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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