Frequently Asked Questions by Parents

Why do we refer to TanenbaumCHAT as a school of significance?

TanenbaumCHAT is known for its outstanding faculty and academic program. Evidence of our distinction is that nearly every one of our graduates is admitted to his or her preferred institution of post-secondary education. Once they arrive at university, for example, they find that they are well-prepared for the rigors of academic life. By learning to manage a dual curriculum, our students are more than adequately equipped to handle the workload.

Yet, as important as academic success is, a school of significance highlights the transcendent purposes of education.

At TanenbaumCHAT, we remind students that as important as marks are for one’s academic future, school is about learning, expanding one’s mind, developing habits of mind like curiosity, perseverance, resilience, and risk taking.

TanenbaumCHAT is not just about career preparation; it’s about challenging and inspiring students to find meaning in Judaism, feeling a sense of responsibility to the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and living a life of moral excellence.

We teach that life gains significance – as does a school – to the extent that we reach beyond ourselves. We are surrounded by a culture that focuses on the “Big Me.” A school of significance moves students to understand that others need us. The world is in need of repair and our lives gain meaning when we help others achieve their goals.

What is the role of Jewish Studies in the academic curriculum?

Our extensive Jewish Studies program utilizes the same pedagogical methodologies found in our General Studies program. The curriculum covers the spectrum of Jewish thought including: Jewish History, Bible, Talmud, Hebrew Newspaper, Comparative Judaism, Rabbinic texts, ritual and life skills, Jewish Ethics, Holocaust, Contemporary Israel, and other elective classes.

In Grades 9 and 10, students take 11 courses, four of which are Jewish Studies. Jewish Studies include Ivrit (Hebrew language instruction), Jewish History, Tanach (Bible), and Rabbinics (traditions/values). A Talmud option is also available. In all the Jewish Studies courses, our goal is to show how these subjects relate to students’ lives today. In Grades 11 and 12, students continue to take four Jewish Studies courses. Grade 12 Jewish Studies consists of a variety of electives so students can choose those courses that most interest them. While each Jewish Studies course has the equivalent workload of a General Studies course, in Grades 11 and 12 the General Studies courses are timetabled to include spares. Our goal is that students learn to see Judaism as teaching timeless lessons and timely ones too. Jewish Studies is about making meaning so that the rich resources in our heritage guide students for years to come.

For students who are new to a Jewish day school education or who have left the Jewish day school system by the end of Grade 5, we offer a New Stream track where students do not require any prior Hebrew knowledge. The school offers students coming directly from a Jewish day school either an Intermediate or an Academic track depending on their Hebrew proficiency.

In addition to formal classes, students enjoy a wide range of experiences that bring to life the “ruach” (spirit) of Jewish living. The highlight of our experiential educational program is the annual shabbaton, a weekend retreat where students explore Jewish themes with their friends in an informal setting.

What if my child has never attended a Jewish Day School?

TanenbaumCHAT’s well established New Stream program welcomes students from public schools and secular independent schools or students who have been out of the Jewish day school system since the end of Grade 5. This program is recognized in our community as the opportunity that gives every Jewish child the chance to experience a TanenbaumCHAT education. Please refer to the “New Stream” insert for further details.

What enrichment opportunities are available for my child?

At TanenbaumCHAT, we strive to challenge students and provide enrichment opportunities to students who meet the entrance requirements as set out by the school for such programs and courses. We believe that students who excel in their Academics should be able to receive differentiated services, courses and challenges at TanenbaumCHAT.

Enriched math offers students who excel in mathematics the opportunity to learn extensions of the Academic Math program and participate in a wide variety of Provincial math contests and assessments. Enriched French (Wallenberg Campus only) provides additional breadth and depth for students looking for language enrichment.

 

Students can also opt to take part in Mini-mesters in Israel to enrich their curricular experience. Depending on the year, the Mini-mester focuses on research in Marine Biology in Eilat, Robotics at the Technion in Haifa, or Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship throughout Israel. We expand the opportunities each year.

• Advanced Placement

This program offers Advanced Placement Courses (AP) as part of our course offerings at the school. Advanced Placement is a program in the United States and Canada that offers university-level curricula and examinations to high school students. AP courses often replace first year university courses, which are often taught lecture-style to hundreds of students at a time. Students who take AP courses and write AP Exams have already demonstrated an ability to handle university level academic material before even stepping into a university classroom. Pre-AP classes begin in grade 11 to prepare students for AP courses, offered in students’ grade 12 year at TanenbaumCHAT. Please speak with a member of our Guidance Team if you are interested in learning more about our Pre-AP and AP course offerings.

• Jewish Studies

In Jewish Studies, we offer an optional sequence of Talmud study for 4 years. These enriched courses help develop intellectual thinking and probing for students. The courses are taught in Hebrew. Our enriched Tanach courses are available to students who wish to further their skill level in Bible study and analysis and are run when there is sufficient registration.

TanenbaumCHAT offers many clubs and committees that allow students to study extensions of various curricula and subject matter. Some examples of such clubs include Chidon Hatanach (Bible Contest), Moot Beit Din (Moot Court), the Talmud Club, Jewish Affairs and Israel Engagement.

What if my child requires additional academic support?

The Centre for Differentiated Learning (CDL) operates on behalf of students who have exceptional learning needs, which are typically identified by a psycho-educational assessment.

Students are supported through a variety of service models. The CDL staff become the students’ advocates. As advocates, they create a Student Learning Profile (SLP) for each student based on assessments, reports and interviews. Throughout the year they ensure that teachers are aware of the unique learning profile of each student. Advocates confer with parents and teachers on a regular basis regarding appropriate strategies to meet their students’ needs.

One of the important goals of the CDL is to develop independent learners.
Accommodations can be made for students with diverse learning styles who have a psycho-educational assessment and/or other formal assessments that were administered in the last three years to support your child’s unique learning needs. Please speak to the Admissions team if you require an updated assessment.

TanenbaumCHAT offers an Individualized Program in Jewish Studies and Applied level courses in General Studies for students requiring a greater level of academic support provided there is sufficient enrollment. These programs are only offered at the Wallenberg Campus.

In addition, Guidance Counsellors are available to every student for a range of academic, social and personal issues. Wednesdays offer weekly project support where teachers are available to provide students with additional help.

Is financial assistance available?

We welcome families from a wide spectrum of economic backgrounds. The Tuition Assistance program, substantially supported by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, is completely confidential and is administered within the UJA Federation guidelines. Financial circumstances should not prevent you from applying to the school. For further information, please contact Angela Buslovich, Manager, Business & Tuition, 416-636-5984 x 234.

How is TanenbaumCHAT funded?

About 94% of the budget comes from tuition. Approximately 3% comes from the UJA Federation allocation. The balance is raised from the generosity of parents and community members.

Is there a school uniform?

We do not have a school uniform, but we do have a dress code. Students are required to dress respectably, neatly and modestly. Boys must wear a kippah (or other appropriate and approved head-covering) at all times. Boys and girls must have shoulders, midriffs and knees covered. The school dress code is detailed in the School Handbook.