Frequently Asked Questions
What can you tell me about Ilan Ramon Day School?
Ilan Ramon Day School (previously known as Heschel West) is a community day school committed to educating students in an academic secular and Judaic environment in which students develop a lifelong love of learning. Ilan Ramon students develop critical thinking and problem solving and creative self expression skills in an integrated curriculum taught by outstanding educators. Fundamental to our philosophy is the development of each individual learner to his/her highest potential in both general and Judaic studies. Our graduates are among the top in their upper schools and possess sound self-esteem, positive Jewish identification, and a love for and commitment to learning.
Why do parents choose Ilan Ramon Day School for their children?
Our parents are dedicated to providing their children with the best possible education. They choose Ilan Ramon Day School for its high level of student achievement, small class sizes, caring faculty, and emphasis on character development and connection to community. Our philosophy of education nurtures and teaches the whole child, and explores the richness of Jewish history, ritual, culture, and ethics. Our general studies curriculum includes Language Arts, Science, Computer Technology, Mathematics, History, Social Studies, Physical Education, and Fine and Performing Arts. Each subject is differentiated, so each student receives individualized attention. Judaic Studies, with an emphasis on Torah, values, and holidays, conversational Hebrew, and commitment to Israel are integral to our program.
What are Ilan Ramon Day School’s strengths?
Ilan Ramon Day School provides a safe and nurturing environment in which children’s varying learning styles are greeted with enthusiasm and respect. Both our general studies and Judaic studies faculty encourage creativity and critical thinking. Students learn problem solving, organizational, research, and presentation skills. Equally important are the lessons in integrity, kindness, compassion, and respect that are integrated into daily life on our campus.
What is the average class size?
Our E2 and E3 has no more than 18 students with a teacher–to–student ratio of 1:6 and our E4 / Transitional Kindergarten class has no more than 22 students with a teacher–to–student ratio of 1:8. Our Gesher / Kindergarten class maintains the same teacher-to-student ratio with a maximum of 24 students. Class size varies in grades 1–5 with a maximum of 24 students. In addition, there are assistants, associate teachers and specialists who support the learning and the curriculum being taught.
Our family may not be as observant as others, will our children fit in?
Our student body reflects a broad cross-section of the Jewish community, with families at all levels of observance. In keeping with the value of “Klal Israel” (unity among the Jewish people), each child and family is respected for their level of observance. Our faculty is diverse in both their backgrounds and experiences. Families across the entire spectrum of Jewish observance find Ilan Ramon Day School to be a warm and welcoming place where children and parents alike learn and develop life-long friendships.
How is the Hebrew language incorporated into the curriculum?
The Hebrew language, Jewish culture, history, rituals and tradition form the core of our Jewish studies program. In the pre-school and Kindergarten, children hear and practice the language by learning Hebrew vocabulary and songs, with a formal hour of Hebrew beginning daily in E4. As each student’s abilities develop, lessons expand to include reading, writing, and conversing in Hebrew. Hebrew is taught in functional, conversational form. Our comprehensive approach to Hebrew language training serves our graduates very well as they begin studying other foreign languages in upper schools.
How is Judaism integrated into the Ilan Ramon Day School program?
Students learn the ways in which Jewish living can be integrated into everyday life. Students learn to look at the world through “Jewish eyes,” applying morals and values to daily life. We teach the beauty of tradition, Shabbat, and the prayers associated with daily life and all of the holidays. Our teachers engage in lively discussions about Judaism, “tikkun olam” (repairing the world), and the relevance of the Torah to today’s world.
Can students enroll at Ilan Ramon Day School after kindergarten?
Students enter Ilan Ramon Day School at all grade levels, and we make every effort to ease the transition for incoming students and their families. We have several programs where new students and their families have the opportunity to meet both existing and other new families.
How does Ilan Ramon Day School prepare students for the larger world?
Ilan Ramon Day School provides students with an extensive peer community that supports a positive and knowledgeable Jewish identity. Our graduates are equipped with a level of Jewish literacy that enables them to make life decisions inspired by Jewish values, traditions, texts, and culture. Children in the 21st century are challenged by contemporary society’s values. Ilan Ramon Day School provides students with a moral framework so they successfully engage in the larger world, possessing a strong sense of who they are and learning to respect the differences in all cultures of people.
Why did the School change its operational name in 2011?
When Heschel West was founded in 1994, there was an agreement with Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School in Northridge to eventually change the name of Heschel West so that both schools could operate more autonomously. As the School turned 18 during the 2011 – 2012 school year the board and administration took an in-depth look at our institution; our history, mission, vision, and what will be our next steps in a very bright future. As we moved into that monumental year in our school’s history it was felt that this is the right time and an incredible opportunity to go through this process and affect a crucial change that will positively identify us as we move forward.
Who shall I call to find out more about Ilan Ramon Day School?
If you have other questions or would like a tour of the school, please contact our school office at 818.707.2365.