If you happen to be driving along Pennsylvania Street in Allentown on the first day of classes at the Jewish Day School, you may be surprised. The children climbing down the school bus steps have smiles on their faces. They are glad to see their teachers welcoming them for the new school year.
Founded in 1954 with 20 students in kindergarten and first grade, the JDS has grown to include a middle school and nearly 100 students. For many of these children, the school is their second home.
What fosters this sense of belonging? It’s a combination of small class sizes, a dedicated teaching staff and a mission of inclusiveness. According to the National Education Association, small schools have better student-teacher relationships because students are more visible and teachers know each other well. Interactions like these are quite common at JDS; it’s the type of school where everyone knows your name and is advocating for your success.
But what is truly special about a JDS education is the holistic approach — sure, they take tests, but the curriculum isn’t about creating test-takers. The school works to instill a love of learning, a sense of community and a love of Judaism in their students.
“I credit the JDS with fostering a strong sense of Jewish identity and community, creativity beyond the walls of the classroom and the friendships that sustain one through life,” said Amy Golding, head of school and former JDS student.
To learn more, call 610-437-0721 or visit www.jdslv.org.