By Maya Silberstein (’21)

It’s 8:00 am, Monday morning. Your feet pound the cold, grey pavement as you bolt to your first period class not wanting to be late for your long awaited test. You look down at your watch, breathless. The lull of the foggy morning at SDJA is still around you as the entire fortress stands silent. Then, like a firework students erupt from all classrooms. In a euphoric realization, you breath a sigh of relief as you remember that there is a new five minute homeroom at the beginning of each day and you are indeed still on time for your test. San Diego Jewish Academy Maimonides Upper School has implemented many new changes this school year.

This year instead of having an A and B day with a set order of classes, class periods rotate every A and B day. For example, if on Monday the day starts with a 1A class, on Tuesday the day starts with a 1B class, on Wednesday the day would start with a 2A class, and so on. This is to ensure that classes start and finish at different times throughout the day so students aren’t always hungry, tired, or unfocused during a certain class. Jack Ross (‘18) enjoys this change because it “adds variety to his daily schedule.” Noah

new changes 2
One poster flaunting SDJA’s new mission: Challenge Minds. Inspire Purpose. Explore Possibilities. Photo: Maya Silberstein (’21)

Katcher (‘20) also says that this rotating schedule helps to keep his daily schedule from becoming repetitive and “gives him something different to look forward to each day.” Although this new schedule has taken some time to get used to, students enjoy the variety that it adds.

The five minute homeroom at the beginning of each day is a time during which morning announcements over the loudspeaker take place. Students are assigned a homeroom teacher, whose classroom they have to be in from 8:00 to 8:05 am every day. Annabelle Simble (‘19) says that she enjoys homeroom because it “stops announcements from disrupting class, especially during test taking time.”

Finally, SDJA has introduced a new online resource, Canvas. Canvas gives students access to their class pages, grades, homework, and teachers. Students Kayla Swartzberg and Madeline Ramirez (‘21) say that they enjoy using Canvas. The two freshman agree that Canvas “offers easy access to your grades, a checklist of your completed work, a simple layout of all of your classes, as well as an inbox to receive messages from your teachers.”

Overall, between the moment that students received word about these new changes and now, their attitudes have changed from skeptical to optimistic. Some may even have the odd anticipatory flash of intrigue when they think about what could be in store for the 2018-2019 school year.


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