Since it opened its doors in 1995, JCDS has thrived as a community in which its students, parents and faculty find academic fulfillment, intellectual stimulation, Jewish meaning, and both personal joy and solace in one another. A smiling burst of “Boker Tov!” greets every student each morning; parents freely come and go throughout the day — visiting classrooms, volunteering in projects and extracurriculars, participating in parenting groups and adult Torah study, and serving on one of many and varied Vaad Horim (Parent Association) committees. Abundant school-wide celebrations and commemorations of Jewish and American holidays, coupled with frequent multi-age programs, unify JCDS students and enable them to develop durable and supportive relationships with peers and schoolmates from various other grades as well as with many adults in the school. The creative pioneer community spirit and school mission go well beyond the walls of JCDS. The community also gathers for hikes, life celebrations, sharing meals for Shabbat and other haggim, as well as spending much other time together, including a Mother/Daughter book club and weekend soccer games.
JCDS students know, at a very young age, that they are a loved and integral part of the community. When children are at ease, they are more able to trust, learn, and flourish. As our students grow and mature, they become increasingly willing to stretch themselves academically and to appreciate and respect diversity. Our eighth graders comment, time and again, that they recognize the gifts of support and acceptance given to them by the JCDS community, which develop an inner strength within them to meet new challenges and move forward in life’s adventures with self-assuredness and self-confidence.
“The confidence I received from being part of the JCDS community is something that will surely affect me and benefit me the rest of my life.” —Eighth grade student
Likewise, JCDS parents and families know that they are all welcome at JCDS, whatever their own stories and their own relationship to Judaism. One JCDS parent recalls asking herself, “Is it okay to choose a school for my child in part because this is the community I want to join, and the place I want to be, for myself?” And she answered yes, she says, because she recognized that the child’s school atmosphere infuses the home as well.