Support Services at JCDS
Our TeamDirector of Support Services: Karen Bernanke, M.Ed
Social Worker: Pete Sperber, LICSW
K-4 Learning Specialist: Debbie Kopel Kintish, M.Ed
K-4 Hebrew Support Teacher: Adva Schneider, M.Ed
5-8 Learning Specialist: Ilene Weiner, M.Ed
5-8 Learning Specialist Consultant: Naomi Getto, M.Ed
Our Mission and PurposeIt is JCDS' mission to nurture each student's capacity for intellectual discovery and decision-making within a respectful, pluralist, bilingual Hebrew-English environment. Excellence in this vein means making connections across all developmental areas - cognitive, social, emotional, spiritual, and physical; in essence, engaging the whole child.
JCDS aims to provide the conditions for each child to grow and thrive academically, behaviorally, socially, emotionally, and physically. The Support Services Department is thus committed to meeting each child’s needs by partnering with teachers and families to differentiate, accommodate, and modify our educational program.
Our CommitmentWe are committed to ensuring that services are readily and consistently available for all students and families. We fulfill this commitment by:
- Providing onsite services for students, such as socio-emotional and behavioral support, learning center, reading instruction, enrichment opportunities, and physical needs.
- Communicating often with families to build and sustain the bridge from school to home.
- Facilitating grade level meetings focusing on individual student needs for team consistency.
- Walking families through the process to obtain a private evaluation, Individualized Education Plan (IEP), or other resources (such as therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, 504 plans, eg.).
- Advocating for students with outside providers and evaluators, and attending necessary meetings within the public school setting.
- Working in partnership with teachers in order to build transparency and clear communication between student needs and classroom realities.
- Delivering professional development to staff to understand and support the various needs of the students in front of them.
All members of the JCDS Support Services Team are fully dedicated and passionate employees, committed to serving our community because all students deserve access to a joyful and complete Jewish Education.
For additional information, please contact Karen Bernanke.
"Two of our children have received wonderful support from Student Services at JCDS; one for a language-based learning challenge, and the other for issues of organization and completion of assignments. The learning specialists have been both professional and helpful, and they have really helped our children succeed in school and feel good about themselves and their education."