July 21, 2024
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BCHA to Launch Several New Initiatives

After an exciting 2022-23 school year, Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy of Connecticut is keeping the good times rolling with some amazing new initiatives this year.

“We are so excited to be adding a number of new programs to our core curriculum in response to the requests and interests of our students and school families,” said Rabbi Tzvi Bernstein, head of school. “At BCHA we consistently work to meet the needs of our growing student population, creating a dynamic learning environment that promotes student engagement and academic accomplishment for the entire student community.”

Courtesy of the vision and financial support of Kamal Haron, BCHA will commence a three-year leadership program for upper school students. This program is in collaboration with the Israel Leadership Institute, which has pioneered leadership programs for businesses and government agencies in both Israel and Internationally. BCHA faculty members are receiving intensive training from a curriculum that was specifically designed for the school by the ILI.

In addition to the leadership program, a learners’ minyan for the upper school will be implemented this year in order to help students become more comfortable with the traditional Jewish prayer experience. BCHA will also be adding a third language for its upper school students, as Spanish will be offered for the first time.

“We are excited to see all of the ways in which we can give back to our students, ways that grow their experience in these moments, in ways that will impact their experiences for years to come,” said David Giver, upper school principal at BCHA. “We look forward to seeing the development of our students positively impacted by these initiatives.”

The BCHA middle school students will have the opportunity to learn computer coding and other STEAM topics such as graphic art, science, filmmaking, video game design, 3D printing and more. All of this is courtesy of a program with iCAMP, the largest independent STEAM education program in greater New York.

The iCAMP program will also be offered for BCHA students in grades three and four. Their program will be geared towards computer literacy and STEAM topics. These students will work with Google Slides and use trackpads and apps designed to teach core coding concepts.

In addition to international Jewish recording artist Sandy Shmuelly heading the school’s Hebrew music and song program, this year BCHA will host an enhanced music appreciation program in association with the Concordia Conservatory of Music. Students will learn the fundamentals of a broad spectrum of music styles.

“I am thrilled to be piloting these two new programs in several grades this year,” said Tricia Hoff, lower school principal at BCHA. “The music enrichment classes will be in addition to our Israeli music program and will give students an opportunity to explore instruments, music composition and theory, music appreciation, singing and voice. The technology component from iCamp will give students a further grasp on coding, robotics, video game design and engineering. I think our BCHA students will be really excited about these two initiatives and hopefully after this year, we will be able to expand to more grades.”

In addition to the enhanced music program, BCHA will enhance its theater arts program. Led by Janice Chaikelson, the middle and upper schools will showcase three productions throughout the school year.

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