Dress Code Reminders

Click here for information on where to purchase women’s clothing that complies with Berman’s dress code.

The Berman Upper School Dress Code

The Torah considers an individual’s appearance to be a reflection of his/her sense of קדושה and צלם אלוקים. As such, the Berman dress code reflects the school’s commitment to these Torah values, and the concepts of צניעות and כבוד הבריות. The dress code helps to create an environment in the Upper School that reflects our values as Orthodox Jews and our respect for our educational environment.

We are aware that the issue of dress code is a sensitive one for our students. Therefore, we appreciate that parents support the school in fostering a positive, respectful, and respectable educational atmosphere.

This dress code applies to all Berman students (including seniors through graduation day) on all school days including midterms, finals, AP exam days, study days, and field trip days. The extracurricular dress code also applies to all attendees of school events such as athletic events, and attendees of rehearsals and participants of rehearsals, performances and practices.

Dress Code for Boys

ציצית are required
No piercings allowed
No permanent tattoos allowed

Shirts

  • Full button-down or three button polo shirts must have sleeves and fold-over collars; Turtlenecks are allowed in place of a buttoned shirt  
  • Button-down shirts may have two buttons unbuttoned, provided there is a t-shirt with a ribbed collar underneath
  • Pullover hooded or zippered sweatshirts are allowed with collared shirt, as per above, underneath; the hood of hooded sweatshirts or hooded shirts does not qualify as a collar
  • Sport jerseys are not allowed

 

Hair

  • כיפות must be worn at all times
  • No hats, except for those worn as a בגד המיוחד לתפילה during davening
  • Hair must be of a length that is both neat and presentable, reflecting the basic appearance of a בן תורה, including sideburns (פאות) of proper length – No excessively long hair
  • No dyed hair – any color

 

Pants

  • The tops of the pants are to be worn above the hips
  • Denim jeans of any color are not permitted
  • No drawstring or elastic bottom pants/joggers
  • No breakaway, pajama, sweat, or ragged pants
  • Pants are unacceptable when ripped, oversized, too tight, discolored or washed out

 

Footwear

  • Boys are required to wear shoes and socks while in school
  • No pool shoes or flip flops
  • Walking sandals or clogs allowed with socks

 

Gym – Students must be in regular dress code at all times outside of the gym or fields.

  • כיפות required
  • Sneakers with rubber soles; socks required
  • Shorts or sweatpants
  • Tank-tops allowed

 

Playing Ball During Lunch / Free Periods

  • כיפות required
  • T-shirts permitted (no tank-tops)

 

Dress Code: for Girls

Appropriate piercings in the ear only (e.g. No industrials or gauges)
No permanent tattoos allowed

Skirts/Dresses

  • Should reach below the knee when seated (The top of a slit is considered the bottom of the skirt)
  • Please note that how a student sits in class is included in dress code.  Knees should be covered at all times, even when sitting in class or walking up the stairs.  If the skirt rides up, it is not acceptable.
  • Offensive writing or images on the skirts is prohibited
  • Skirts may not be form fitting, tight or see-through.
  • No pajamas or sweats under skirts.  Leggings are permitted.

Please note that skirts above the knees while standing will always be considered out of dress code. If a student is wearing clothing as noted above, this should not be an issue.

 

Tops

  • Blouses and tops must be opaque
  • Tops may not be form fitting
  • Necklines must be near the collarbone
  • Sleeves may not be higher than a טפח (one’s own fist length) above the bend of the inner elbow
  • Tops should be long enough that midriffs not show during normal activity. “Shirts must meet skirts” at all times
  • Hooded and collared sweatshirts, and sweaters are acceptable tops
  • Zippered sweatshirts require an acceptable top underneath
  • T-shirts allowed provided they do not display inappropriate material

 

Hair 

  • Appropriate and practical hats may be worn
  • Hairstyles must be appropriate for school. Dyed hair allowed only in natural colors

 

Footwear

  • Shoes must be worn
  • Slides and sandals permitted
  • No slippers or thong sandals.  However, flip-flops that are neither shower shoes nor ones you would wear in the water are permitted.

 

Gym – Students must be in regular dress code at all times outside of the gym, fields, or dance class.

  • Sneakers with rubber soles, socks
  • Shorts or sweatpants. Shorts must be knee-length
  • Appropriate t-shirts

 

Athletic Programs – Team Sports

  • Appropriate footwear, socks
  • Practices: Appropriate t-shirts (not tank tops), knee-length shorts
  • Games/Meets: School provided jerseys with sleeves down, knee-length shorts

 

Where To Buy Clothing

In addition to a number of local stores that often sell dress code appropriate clothing (such as Forever 21, H & M, Nordstroms, Zara, Marshalls, etc.), some online retailers that often have acceptable clothing items include modli.co, doubleheaderusa.comjunees.comklozklozet.com, mimumaxi.com, wukogals.com, and koshercasual.com.

Dress Code – Semi-Formal and Extra-Curricular

Semi-Formal Dress Code (special occasions)

Boys:

  • Neat slacks only
  • Full button-down shirts only
  • Shoes with socks only – no sandals, clogs, sneakers

 

Girls:

  • No t-shirts or sweatshirts
  • No jean skirts
  • No walking sandals allowed

 

Extra-curricular Dress Code (off-hours)

Boys:

  • Jeans allowed
  • T-shirts allowed
  • Tank tops not allowed
  • Footwear follows in-school policies
  • כיפות or hats required
  • ציצית required
  • No piercings, or jewelry resembling that for a piercing

Girls:

  • Non form-fitting pants/sweats allowed
  • Tops follow in-school policies

All students should change for gym in the appropriate locker room. Athletes who leave the building early for a competition are expected to do the same.

 

Dress Code: Consequences

Please check the student handbook for more information. We will be continuing our program this year of texting and emailing students reported out of dress code as well as emailing parents as well. If this occurs seven times during the school year, a student will serve an in-school suspension. We believe that this should be an exceptional occurrence, since six warnings should provide ample opportunity for a student to adjust his/her dress.

Town Hall

This year, we are excited to be piloting a Town Hall in the Upper School. The Town Hall will take place in the Upper School Beit Midrash for 20 minutes every Friday after Tefillah. The goal of the Town Hall is to create and promote a sense of community and provide a forum for students and teachers to have a voice within the community. As such, the Town Hall will feature both discussions on community issues as well as opportunities for announcements and presentations on activities and events relevant to school and student life.

The Town Hall will always begin with a short, student-delivered D’var Torah, followed by a welcome and short presentation from the Student Council President. After this, the Town Hall will adopt one of two formats:

  • A group conversation around community issues
  • A presentation and announcement format highlighting upcoming or timely events/activities/topics

Group Conversation Format:
Students and faculty will be able to submit topics to discuss at the Town Hall Meeting, and the Student Council, together with the administration, will choose a topic for the group conversation. Students will make brief presentations, and then the floor will be open to students. The Student Council will follow up on the topic with the administration at their next meeting.

Presentation and Announcement Format:
Club advisors and leaders as well as faculty will be invited to make presentations and announcements. These announcements would include, for example: a sports team sharing their recent standings as well as an invitation to an upcoming game, a brief announcement about an upcoming fundraiser for a club, an announcement about a new club that’s starting, a short “skit” of a scene from HADAS player to entice students to come to an upcoming play, a teacher and/or students presenting about a recent accomplishment (such as the awards won from the Statistics class), news from the Israel Action Committee about recent occurrences in Israel with next steps (such as, “come write a letter to your congressman during breakfast today in the cafeteria”), a Siyum made by a class on the completion of a Seder of Mishna, presentation of Merit Semifinalists from the administration, etc.

We are excited about the Town Hall idea, and we are looking forward to using the next few months to pilot this program, assess the results, and make adjustments—to build a stronger community in the Berman Upper School.

 

Wednesday Study Period

The 2017–2018 school year is the third year in which we will be running a Study Period in the Upper School. This period is once per week, after lunch on Wednesdays, during which students are encouraged to meet with teachers, collaborate with peers, and/or work on school-related projects and assignments. We have used feedback from students and teachers to develop a mission statement for the Study Period as well as a new set of procedures that we hope will make this time even more purposeful and productive.

Mission Statement:

The purpose of the study period is to provide students and teachers a precious opportunity to meet with each other in order for students to receive guidance, help, clarification, or advice about class or classwork. This is a time when teachers have no other duties and students do not have other obligations and both are free to meet. Additionally, the study period affords students the opportunity to work together, either as peer helpers or on collaborative projects.  

Teachers and students may work one-on-one or in small groups, as the situation demands. If a teacher does not have a particular request for a meeting, he or she will have open office hours and will encourage students to meet during that time. Because teachers from the same department will share rooms, there is also the opportunity for teachers and students of different classes to help each other as appropriate.  

Department Study Period Office Locations
Mathematics Room 321 Tanakh Room 303
English Room 308 Talmud Room 319
History Room 304 Hebrew Room 316
Science Room 318

 

Ninth Graders:

During the first semester, freshmen will be assigned to proctored study hall in their third period classroom and with their third period teacher. (9th graders will thus be in rooms 305, 320, 323, and 325. Sulam students who are not in a general Berman class report to room 305.) After semester 1, students who are struggling academically will continue in proctored study hall while others will be free to work/study elsewhere.

The proctored study hall rooms are intended to be quiet, individual study spaces. Teachers who are proctoring, however, should feel free to work quietly with students in the front of the room.

Students are permitted to use technology and proctors will encourage students to use devices for assignments or school projects.

At the start of the study period, all freshmen report to their study hall rooms where attendance will be taken. All students, even if they will be going to meet with at teacher or work with a tutor, will first report to their proctored study hall room and check in with the proctor. Students who are planning to meet with a teacher or tutor will present the proctor with a “Student Period Meeting Confirmation” note signed by the teacher or tutor and will then go to their meetings.

Student Clubs and New Projects

Ellie RieselWe are pleased to announce that Ellie Riesel is taking on the role of Coordinator of Student Clubs and Special Projects for the 2017–2018 school year. Ellie joins Rabbi Moshe Grosberg, our Director of Student Activities, and Miriam Zaghi, Assistant Director of Student Activities, in helping us to expand and enhance our extracurricular offerings as the Upper School continues to grow.

Mrs. Riesel will be overseeing all student clubs, new and old. These include:

  • Girls’ and Boys’ Choirs
  • HADAS (Dramatic Arts Society)
  • Israel Action Committee
  • Model UN
  • Mock Trial
  • Newspaper
  • Math Leagues
  • Peer Counselors
  • Political Action Club
  • Yearbook

We are also working to start a number of new clubs, including a debate team, chess club, and later this year, an intramural basketball league. Additionally, Ms. Norma Johnson will be spearheading two new initiatives, including:

  • the formation of a club devoted to linking our students to under-served, vulnerable populations and providing them with community service opportunities with that group, and
  • a club that brings together our students with a teen population that is culturally different from ours (such as the Muslim American teen community) to foster greater understanding

Mrs. Riesel will be working closely with students to build up our clubs program, and she will also be a resource to students who have particular interests and want to start new clubs and special interest groups.

Moshe GrosbergMrs. Riesel will also be implementing additional school culture activities, such as Rosh Chodesh events. These will build on the annual events and programs run by Rabbi Grosberg and Ms. Zaghi, which include:

  • Orientation and BBQ
  • Kickoff
  • Chanuka Chagiga
  • School Shabbaton
  • Tzedaka Auction
  • Purim Mesiba
  • Miriam ZaghiDay of Service
  • Battle of the Grades
  • Yom Ha’atzma’ut BBQ
  • Yimei Iyun

We also plan on once again running a Mental Health Awareness Day coordinated by our new guidance counselors.

In addition to her role with student clubs, Mrs. Riesel will also be:

  • Maintaining all of the Upper School calendars, scheduling events, and communicating calendar matters to faculty
  • Overseeing the coordination of field trips
  • Overseeing grade advisors
  • Coordinating our Community Service program

We are excited to have Mrs. Riesel join our team in her capacity, and together with Rabbi Grosberg, Mrs. Zaghi, and Ms. Johnson, we are confident that we will have a robust extracurricular program for the upcoming school year.

Our New Upper School Support Team

Berman Hebrew Academy is pleased to announce the expansion of our Upper School Student Support Team. As the Upper School grows, we are committed to meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of all of our students.The new counselors, including Elana Hoffman (College Guidance Counselor), Jonnel Hector (full-time Guidance Counselor), and Abbey Borkin Rius (part-time Guidance Counselor and additional member of the Educational Support Services team) will work together with Upper School Associate Principal Rabbi Shimmy Trencher and Educational Support Services Director Beth Schoen to create a team with more seamless integration of roles and more active support and guidance for our students.

Meet our new team:

Elana Hoffman, College Guidance Counselor

Elana HoffmanElana Hoffman, our new College Guidance Counselor, comes to her role at Berman with fresh ideas and a wealth of experience. She previously served as a College Counselor for Ivy Educational Services, a New Jersey based service that provides comprehensive college counseling to students at all points in their college exploration process. Prior to Ivy, Ms. Hoffman worked as guidance counselor in the New York City public schools for 11 years and taught conflict resolution at Eleanor Roosevelt HS in Greenbelt, MD. Ms. Hoffman graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan, holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, and a second Master’s Degree in Counseling and Development from George Mason University. Ms. Hoffman is relocating to Maryland this summer where her husband will begin a new position as the Cantor at Columbia Jewish Congregation.

 

Jonnel Hector, Guidance Counselor

Jonnel HectorJonnel Hector, our new Guidance Counselor, holds a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Maryland, and he specializes in working privately and in school settings with adolescents and their families. For the last 12 years, Mr. Hector has worked at the neighboring Frost School, most recently serving as Clinical Coordinator of the Therapeutic Community Middle School. Mr. Hector also maintains a private therapy practice with Gunzburg and Associates.

 

Abbey Borkin Rius, Guidance Counselor

Abby Borkin RiusAbbey Borkin Rius, our second new Guidance Counselor, joins us from Lowell Junior/Senior High School in Oregon where she has been a guidance and academic counselor since 2013. Prior to that, Ms. Borkin Rius served as a counselor in several elementary and middle schools in the Oregon area. Ms. Borkin Rius holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Macalester College, a Master’s Degree in Social Studies Education from New York University, and a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Northwest Christian University. A graduate of Georgetown Day School, she looks forward to moving back to her
hometown.

Each of our new counselors comes with excellent experience in their fields and enthusiastic references. We are excited about the more robust levels of support they will help provide for our students to allow them to build skills for success in high school, college, and beyond.

A special thank you to our former College Guidance Counselor, Dana Ponsky, who is moving to New York to pursue a position in career counseling.

The Upper School Student Support Team is looking forward to helping our students and families navigate the exciting life changes that adolescence brings.

 

New Upper School Technology

Dear Parents,

We are pleased to announce that the Upper School 1-to-1 program will be continuing for the 2017–2018 school year. Last summer, Berman enhanced its WiFi, and during this past school year, Upper School teachers were able to utilize technology more extensively in their lesson planning. These changes have enabled our students to collaborate, create, communicate and manage information in ways that were simply not possible previously.

In order to enable and support this use of technology, the school invested in a heavily-upgraded school-wide WiFi network. From the student side, each student brought his or her own laptop or Chromebook to school on a daily basis, and the requirement for each student to have a device will continue for the 2017–2018 school year. Because the school uses Google Apps for Education, a relatively inexpensive Chromebook ($110-$150) is perfect, and there is no need for an expensive or heavy laptop.

Prior to the past school year, the school had maintained a bank of Chromebooks and iPads for student use. Unfortunately, much of what teachers had wanted to accomplish with the technology was hampered by the limited number of devices, the inadequate WiFi, and the time needed for students to log in and set up devices that are not their own. This past year, we found that our ability to leverage technology increased significantly once students maintained their own devices.

How can I purchase a Chromebook?

All Chromebooks do pretty much the same thing, and we are not recommending spending more than $150-$200. Decent Chromebooks can be found for as little as $110 on Amazon.

If you’re looking to save money, do not be afraid of buying open box items from established retailers such as Best Buy or refurbished items direct from the manufacturer. Often you can save $30 or more. (We would not, however, recommend buying a used device.)

We suggest choosing from a number of respected manufacturers, including (but not limited to) Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, HP, or Samsung. Even some of the lesser-known brands like HiSense can be perfectly acceptable, especially for its low price. Please note that the Berman WiFi system will provide optimal support of 802.11ac devices; we encourage you to check the specifications for the device you purchase and look for this designation.

To help you purchase a device, we are providing links to Chromebooks at various retailers:

  • A selection of appropriate Chromebooks meeting the optimal network requirements, or search for all $100-$200 devices on Amazon
  • Search for Chromebooks at Best Buy
  • Search for Chromebooks at Walmart

If you feel this will be a financial hardship, we do have a limited number of Chromebooks available for qualified families; please contact Dr. Levisohn and he will be happy to discuss options with you.

For more information on what we hope to accomplish with these devices, or if you have questions, please view our FAQ online. Please also feel free to contact Rabbi Kuperman at kupermanj@mjbha.org or Miriam Zaghi at zaghim@mjbha.org with any additional questions.

Thank you,

Rabbi Jeff Kuperman and Mrs. Miriam Zaghi
Educational Technologists

Rabbi Avi Levitt
Principal

Rabbi Shimmy Trencher
Dean of Students



FAQ:

What are the benefits of each student having their own Chromebook/device?
Proper use of technology is shown to enhance student learning, and our teachers are excited to incorporate technology more robustly into their teaching. This past year, teachers and students adapted to the new environment, and teachers learned better and more transformative ways of using the technology. Training sessions are continuing with the faculty who have expressed considerable enthusiasm for the additional possibilities that these devices will bring.

Technology allows us to introduce new methodologies for communicating and teaching.

Examples include:

  • Commenting on assignments in real time
  • Providing feedback on essay content as well as the student’s writing process
  • Being able to highlight a gemara or chumash in the classroom
  • Facilitating more in-class collaboration between students
  • Allowing teachers to check for student understanding instantly and to modify lessons dynamically
  • Creating videos and using images to demonstrate understanding
  • Accessing primary sources online–without leaving the classroom
  • Restructuring the classroom: small groups, large groups, individual work are all possible
  • Differentiated instruction—in a multitude of ways—including multiple levels of assignments or multiple modalities
  • ‘Pushing’ documents, websites, and apps directly to students, in the moment

How will we be sure that students understand how to use and how NOT to use the devices?
We will review with students at the beginning of the year on how to use the devices, as well as how to incorporate them into the classroom. We also distribute an acceptable use policy that all students must sign in order to ensure that they use their devices properly and appropriately. Teachers will monitor student use and let students know when it is appropriate to use the devices and when they must be put away. We will continue training the students throughout the year.

How will the school ensure that the students won’t misuse the WiFi network? Will it be filtered, monitored, and/or restricted?
A separate, filtered WiFi network is now available for Upper School student use. To ensure adequate network bandwidth for educational purposes, students will be permitted to be online with one device at a time. Usage will also be monitored for security and safety purposes.

Is my child going to be more distracted in class by the presence of the devices?
When using the devices, teachers will have mechanisms for making sure that students remain on task and are not distracted. Part of our training for teachers will focus on these methods, such as circulating around the room, utilizing screen sharing technologies, and perhaps most importantly, designing interactive lesson plans that fully engage students. In addition, we as a school will continue to instruct and train our students to forego the possible distractions and focus on the learning in the classroom. Students already have possession of a variety of devices that give them internet access, and it is our goal, along with you as parents, to help students learn how to use them responsibly and in a disciplined manner.

In addition, the school’s wifi network will have filters to prevent access to inappropriate websites. A combination of enforcement and education should help our students develop the crucial skill of managing technology and their learning in an increasingly connected world.

Why Chromebooks?
Chromebooks are available at a much lower cost than are laptops, and their ease of use, as well as their seamless compatibility with Google Apps for Education, make them a great choice for our students. For those who already own laptop computers or who prefer a non-Chromebook device, PC or Mac laptops may also be used in lieu of a Chromebook (but they must be compatible with our 802.11ac network and have the Google Chrome browser installed).

Are the devices going to be used in every class?
No. We anticipate that they will be used on a regular basis, but teachers will only use the devices when they deem it appropriate and beneficial. There may be many classes and times when the teacher will instruct students to put aside their devices based on the goals of a particular class. We still expect students to analyze literature and Chumash, read a page from the Talmud, and debate issues with each other. The devices are meant to enhance the experience of learning but not to replace all of the traditional learning that continues to be valuable.

Why are iPads and other tablets not acceptable for use?
iPads and tablets run a version of the Chrome Browser that does not support many of the Google technologies that teachers will be utilizing. Students will be able to use these devices in school but will require a Chromebook or laptop as well.

If the students will be using their devices frequently, will that cut down on the time they will spend with their teachers?
Not at all. On the contrary, because Chromebooks allow for greater efficiency and opportunity for feedback, teachers will respond with personal feedback and have as much time or more to spend with individual students.

Aren’t students better off learning the traditional skills of note-taking via pen and paper?
More schools are moving towards this type of arrangement because it can enhance teaching and learning, it can help students learn how to use technology responsibly, and, at its best, it can transform the way that we communicate and think. To give you a better idea as to the various uses of technology in the classroom, you may want to view this video on the SAMR Model or read about how technology can be utilized at various levels to enhance and ultimately transform student learning. In many cases, students can, will, and should continue to utilize traditional note-taking skills, and teachers will guide them in these choices.