Welcome to a new school year! We are all looking forward to another successful year of learning and growing.
This handbook is a resource about school operations, expectations of members of the school community, and various policies related to school life. Please make this your first stop if you have any questions about these things.
Below you will see a table of contents. Click a topic to read that section of the handbook. If you wish to read the entire handbook, simply scroll down and review.
We welcome your active participation in the life of Heilicher! Opportunities can be found throughout the school by volunteering in the classroom, working with the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), or simply communicating with us about our program. The positive partnership between Heilicher and your family is of crucial importance to us and one that we will do our utmost to nurture.
Welcome to the Heilicher community.
Contacting the School
School Communications and Publications
Severe Weather and Emergency Closing
The Heilicher Educator-Parent/Guardian Covenant
School Professionals: To Whom Do You Turn?
Field Trips/Overnight Class Trips
Process of Homework
How Can Parents/Guardians Help?
Family Celebrations and Private Parties
Shabbat and Holidays
Student Use of Classroom Phones, Cell Phones, and Vending Machines
Lockers and Personal Property
Lost and Found
Please note: Policies published in the Heilicher Handbook are subject to ongoing review and amendment. The Handbook is as comprehensive as possible but may not address all policies of the school. If you notice an omission or error, please contact Elana Warren, email@example.com.
Heilicher enthusiastically welcomes all families and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or national and ethnic origin. Read our Non-Discrimination Policy in full.
Email is our preferred method of contact. Staff email addresses and direct voicemail numbers are available in the school directory. You may also email staff directly from the Meet the Staff pages of the website.
Faculty and staff check both email and voicemail frequently and will generally respond within 1 business day. Please do not try to reach faculty and staff at home unless they have given you specific permission to do so.
Each staff member has a mailbox. Parents/guardians and students who wish to leave an item for a staff member should leave it with the Office Administrator. If a student chooses to place an assignment in a teacher’s mailbox, the student should retain an extra copy.
If email or postal mail from Heilicher is not being delivered properly, please contact the school office.
Students are not allowed to receive incoming calls in school. If you need to get a message to your child, please call the school office.
School Communications and Publications
The Roar: Weekly News from Heilicher
The Roar is a weekly, must-read e-newsletter sent to parents/guardians every Thursday afternoon during the school year. Parents/guardians are expected to read The Roar each week. It includes a calendar of important dates, school news, programmatic information, and links to permission slips and registration forms. Past issues of The Roar are available on the Heilicher website.
Teacher Newsletters and Seesaw/Google Classroom
In grades K-2, teachers use Seesaw as the web platform to share information with families about what’s going on in the classroom. New Heilicher families will receive login information.
In grades 3-8, teachers use Google Classroom as an education management tool. Parents can sign up for a report on their child's progress that is sent to them by email.
K-5 newsletters will be emailed to parents twice per month on the first and third Fridays of each month. The middle school will use a Google site that parents will have access to that will be updated every other week with content from teachers.
The Heilicher Magazine
The Heilicher Magazine is published twice per year (around August and February) and is mailed to all Heilicher families, alumni families, and other community members. The magazine contains stories, photos, and announcements about school happenings and philanthropy.
Roots & Wings: A Heilicher Update for Grandparents
Roots & Wings is a quarterly email newsletter for Heilicher grandparents and special elders with information on upcoming events, stories of interest, and a link to philanthropic giving opportunities.
Heilicher maintains a Facebook page called “Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School.” We encourage all parents/guardians to “like” the page. Sharing, “liking,” and positive comments can help spread the word about Heilicher happenings and assist with recruitment efforts.
Parents/guardians are also welcome to join “Heilicher Hallway Chat,” which is a closed Facebook group for conversations about everything from recommendations for babysitters to recipes for Passover.
All school forms can be accessed via Sycamore, our student management system, linked on the Forms page of the school website. At the beginning of each year, it is important for all families to fill out back-to-school forms, including emergency contact information, medical forms, library and technology contracts, field trip permission, and more.
Severe Weather and Emergency Closing
Please review the official inclement weather policy.
Heilicher and parents/guardians form a partnership to support, model, and convey common and clear expectations to children. Together we can ensure that this partnership fosters students’ academic progress and social-emotional development.
The Heilicher Covenant
The Jewish brit (covenant) was a radical idea in Biblical times and has been the primary organizing principle of Jewish communal life ever since. A brit differs from a contract in a number of ways. Primary among them is the network of mutual responsibilities the brit imposes between each and every one of its participants. The brit also has no time limitation — its obligations continue, regardless. Finally, the source of the brit’s power is its moral authority, rather than its legal authority.
The Heilicher brit binds together all participants (teachers, staff, and parents/guardians alike) in a covenantal community committed to learning. It rests upon these truths:
- Everybody has a role to play in achieving the school’s mission. These roles will certainly differ, but they all are necessary.
- Everybody does their best to fulfill their individual role. Each individual is owed respect for their efforts and contributions.
- Ongoing and honest communication is central to achieving the school’s mission.
- Knowing and believing are two separate processes. Information always precedes and informs opinion.
- Problems will arise. The test of the brit is how we resolve them together.
With these truths as its foundation, the Heilicher brit expects all members of the community to
- Value and honor the unique knowledge and skills each individual possesses.
- Communicate in order to collaborate.
- Accept responsibility.
- Work toward the best interest of the child, always.
- Respond in a timely manner, but always demonstrate patience for the outcome.
If we each fulfill our obligations to one another through the brit, Heilicher will truly be a place where students are inspired to “find their passion and reach their highest potential.”
The Heilicher Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is the glue for maintaining close relationships between parents/guardians, teachers, staff, and students. All parents/guardians, teachers, and staff are automatically members of the PTO, and no dues are required. PTO provides parents/guardians with opportunities to build community and to support teachers and students in a coordinated way, when and where they need it most. We welcome parents/guardians (and grandparents) to attend PTO events, get involved through volunteering, and share new ideas. You can find PTO volunteer opportunities on the website.
Keeping the lines of communication open is a simple way to keep the school-parent/guardian partnership strong. Here are some suggestions:
- Read school communications, especially emails, The Roar, The Heilicher Magazine, and classroom newsletters and information posted in Seesaw/Google Classroom.
- Attend scheduled school events.
- Communicate directly and regularly with your child's teachers at appropriate times.
- Partner with your child’s teachers to solve problems.
- Attend Curriculum Nights and Conferences.
- Help in the classroom or at school events.
- Participate or volunteer in Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) events.
There are many ways you can assist your child to become a successful learner:
- Help your child understand and comply with school behavior expectations.
- Support school decisions and consequences regarding behavior.
- Provide your child with a place to study, and help them maintain a study schedule.
- Be available to provide encouragement, but allow your child to complete their own homework.
- Make thoughtful decisions regarding developmentally appropriate access to technology, including television, computers, cell phones, and independent access to the web (e.g., social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat).
- Make necessary supplies available throughout the year.
- Give encouragement and praise. Praise should be merited and specific.
- Encourage family reading time; read newspapers, books, and magazines so your child will see that reading is not just for kids.
1. Arrange for an appropriate time to communicate directly with your child's homeroom teacher/adviser or with the teacher/staff member involved in the incident or issue.
2. Problem-solve together.
3. If your concern is not resolved, refer to To Whom Do You Turn? to determine the appropriate person to contact.
School Professionals: To Whom Do You Turn?
If you have a question, start by asking your child’s teacher or adviser. Otherwise, see the list of topics and appropriate school contacts.
- All lunches and snacks brought to school must be dairy or pareve (neutral). Bringing meat from home is not permitted. Please see the Kashrut Policy for complete food guidelines.
- Students are encouraged to bring fruit or other healthy foods for their snacks and lunches. See your child’s schedule for snack time(s). Generally, each grade has time during the day for one or two snacks.
- Please make sure your child's snacks and lunches are labeled with their name and grade and do not require heating or refrigeration. Please pack utensils that may be needed as well.
- All lunches brought to school must be dairy or pareve (neutral). Please see the Kashrut Policy for complete food guidelines.
- See your child’s schedule for their designated lunchtime. Each lunch period is approximately 30 minutes. Students begin lunch by saying motzi (the blessing over bread) and end the meal with birkat hamazon (the blessing after the meal). In accordance with our Kippah Policy, students are encouraged to wear kippot for reciting b’rakhot (blessings).
- Families who opted for the all-inclusive annual meal plan will see a monthly charge on their Heilicher account on file. Heilicher does not offer a day-by-day hot lunch option. The all-inclusive annual meal plan can be selected in the Heilicher back-to-school forms. There also will be a few additional opportunities to opt in to the meal plan during the school year.
- Lunch menus are posted on the calendar found on the school’s website.
- Milk is available to all students for lunch.
- Gluten-free menus are available upon request.
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Recess Weather Guidelines
Students go outside for recess every day unless it is raining or too cold (temperature and/or wind chill at or below 0°F). Indoor recess is provided during inclement weather. Because Minnesota weather can be unpredictable, the determination of indoor vs. outdoor recess will be made just prior to each recess period. Parents/guardians should assume that students are going out each day and provide appropriate clothing.
If students are healthy enough to come to school, then they are healthy enough to go out to recess. If a doctor has said that your child should stay in from recess but is able to be in school, please bring a note to the office from the doctor, and we will arrange indoor recess.
There may be times when your child is asked to stay in for recess in order to catch up on class work or meet with a teacher.
Morning Drop-off Procedure
Drop-off is at the main (south) entrance to the Sabes JCC. Staff will be available both outside and inside the building at this time. If you arrive after Heilicher's start time, you will need to park and walk your child to the school office.
Afternoon Dismissal Procedure
Pickup will be at the back (north) side of the Sabes JCC. Please make sure that your Vehicle Identification Card with your children's LAST NAME in black marker is clearly displayed on your dashboard in the pickup line. If a card is not displayed, your student will not be released and you will need to contact the school office. Extra Vehicle Identification Cards can always be requested from the main office as carpools and dismissal needs change throughout the year. Returning parents may use their sign from last year.
For carpools, use one card with all of the students in the carpool listed on it and another card with just your student(s) for days you need to pick only them up.
Heilicher staff will use walkie-talkies to call children down from their classrooms as their parents arrive. Students who are participating in after-school activities or HaBonim will be escorted to their extracurricular programming by school staff.
If you designate a person other than a parent or guardian to pick up your child(ren) occasionally, or if you need to pick up your child(ren) early, please fill out the appropriate section in the Heilicher Communication Center. When you arrive, pull up the north entrance and call the school office at 952.381.3500, and your student will be escorted to your car.
If pick-up plans change after 1:30 p.m., we ask that in addition to filling out the form, you contact the front desk.
Communicating Late Drop-Offs or Early Pickups
All known late drop-offs or early pickups should be reported promptly through the Heilicher Communication Center. This reporting portal is critical to keeping our Heilicher faculty and staff informed of student absences.
If your student is not picked up by the end of dismissal and is not signed up for after-school activities, we will bring your student to HaBonim and charge the student's MSA account the drop-in fee for that day.
Biking to School
Grades K-5 students may only bike to/from school with a parent/guardian. Grades 6-8 students may bike to/from school unaccompanied if Heilicher has received written authorization from the parent/guardian on the Biking Permission Form. On the Barry Family Campus, students are expected to walk their bikes and properly lock them on bicycle racks.
Attendance is crucial to academic achievement. The Heilicher community is committed to supporting and working with students and families to be able to achieve school success, which includes closely monitoring attendance and planning accordingly in case of absence.
Minnesota law recognizes that it is the primary responsibility of parents or guardians to assure that their children acquire knowledge and skills that are essential for effective citizenship. Minnesota Statute 120A.22, subd.5(a). The law further provides that children between seven and 17 must attend school every day and be on time unless they have a lawful reason for being absent. Minnesota Statute 120A.22, subd.1.
Heilicher attendance policies are consistent with Minnesota statutes.
If your child is going to be late, please fill out the appropriate form in the Heilicher Communication Center. A student who arrives after the start time must check in at the office and obtain an Entrance Pass.
In the event of an absence, parents/guardians must fill out the appropriate form in the Heilicher Communication Center. A parent/guardian must report a student's absence every day that a child is out of school, unless other arrangements are made with the school nurse. If your child must be out of school for an illness or quarantine, teachers will work with you and your student to participate in learning (health status permitting).
Heilicher and state law recognize that situations and circumstances arise where students need to be absent from school. The following are acceptable, lawful (excused) absences:
- Health Care Appointments — Please make every effort to make appointments before or after school.
- Religious Holidays/Cultural Observances
- Family Emergency
- Illness — Students are allowed eight total absences in a school year, with up to three consecutive days at a time, due to illness. Additional absences due to illness will be considered unexcused without a doctor’s note.
- Family Activity/Vacation — A student may be gone from school for a pre-approved family activity. To get pre-approval from the school, you must do the following:
At least 10 days before leaving, request permission from the child’s homeroom teacher/adviser and General Studies Director for your child to be gone for a family activity. Faculty are neither required nor expected to prepare work ahead of time unless convenient to that particular class and/or teacher. Students who miss school for such family vacations may have make-up work upon their return.
Any absence that is not reported to Heilicher the day of will be considered an unexcused absence.
If a child is absent without proper approval and/or documentation (unexcused absence) for three or more consecutive days, the school will send an Attendance Alert letter to the parents/guardians. This letter is to alert parents/guardians about the attendance situation and to offer an opportunity to meet with the school and build a plan to increase your child’s attendance. Excessive tardies will be considered in this action.
If your child continues to be absent from school without proper approval and/or documentation totaling six or more days in the school year, a referral is required to be sent to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has information and resources to support school attendance.
Transportation Reimbursement from Public Schools
Families who live outside the St. Louis Park and Minneapolis school districts may be entitled to a transportation reimbursement from their public school districts. This helps cover the cost of transporting your child to and from school. Each school district has different reimbursement policies: some districts treat each child individually, while others treat each family, regardless of the number of children involved, as one unit eligible for reimbursement. Heilicher acts as your agent in the receipt and distribution of these funds. If you receive financial assistance from the school, you are not eligible for a transportation reimbursement from Heilicher.
Read more about transportation reimbursements.
Field Trips/Overnight Class Trips
At the beginning of the school year, parents/guardians are asked to sign an online field trip permission form included with Back-to-School Forms that covers the entire year of field trips. Faculty will inform parents/guardians of each upcoming field trip. If a parent would prefer their student not attend, they must inform the homeroom teacher/adviser of that preference. Heilicher arranges bus transportation for our field trips unless it is within walking distance.
Overnight Class Trips
Overnight class trips occur in the sixth and eighth grades. To encourage independence of our adolescent students, overnight trips are chaperoned by our staff, faculty, and other appropriately vetted adults (not parents/guardians or other family members).
Research at the elementary level is conclusive that homework provides a low rate of return for academic growth. Overall, the school policy is to limit required homework at the elementary level. At times students may bring home special projects, games to help with language or vocabulary, or other special items of work. It may require input from family, someone to engage with, or another connection. These opportunities are to support a healthy home-school connection.
Teachers may send homework to reinforce what has been learned for the week. This might include vocabulary or word lists or math fact practice. This work is not required but will support the learning in the classroom. Additionally, in fifth grade, homework may be addressed as a transitional practice into middle school.
Seesaw is our educational platform for Grades K-2, and access instructions will be provided to parents early in the school year. Google Classroom is our educational platform for middle school. Students can use Google Classroom to help track homework assignments and due dates. A paper planner will also be provided to middle-school students.
Heilicher's homework practices are rooted in its child-centered and inquiry-based approach to learning. At Heilicher, homework serves two purposes: reinforcing what was learned in school and developing independent work habits. This means your child should be familiar enough with the material to work on new problems without significant help. Homework assignments are designed to promote self-confidence and to reinforce the joy in learning.
Parents are expected to ensure an appropriate time, workspace and atmosphere to support effective homework habits. The work itself is is your child's responsibility.
We follow a general rule of 10 minutes of homework per grade for our first through eight grades. So, a first grade student might have up to 10 minutes of homework each night and an eight grade student might have up to 80 minutes of homework each night, depending on work habits.
How Can Parents/Guardians Help?
- Provide a specific time, appropriate work space and necessary supplies to complete the homework.
- Help your child understand that the teacher is interested in seeing what students can do on their own.
- Avoid power struggles. When you believe that your child has given the task adequate effort and attention and the task is still incomplete, contact your child’s teacher, and explain the circumstances.
Students who miss school for illness or other reasons are responsible for the work they miss. Teachers will find ways to bring children up to speed upon their return, and students may need to work on skills or projects at home to catch up.
Heilicher student progress is measured in a variety of ways, including informal and formal assessments. From anecdotal observations to standardized tests, educators use the information to gauge individual skills as well as monitor effectiveness of instruction.
Formal assessments are given to provide teachers with information on student strengths and growth areas. The data also provide guidance to whole class instruction as well as intervention and extension planning. Raw scores are not generally shared with families but will be discussed in the context of a student's other data. This will take place in conferences and in other instructional conversations between teachers and families. Formal assessments include NWEA/MAP and FastBridge.
Students in grades six through eight receive letter grades each semester in each course. Progress reports will be sent out in the weeks following first and third quarter and will indicate a student’s midterm grade in core subjects (Jewish and General Studies) and Elective final grade. Classes have unique elements to their assessment system; grades are generally based on a combination of tests, quizzes, homework, class participation, and effort/attitude. They reflect student skills, knowledge, and current performance.
Student skills, knowledge and performance significantly exceeded the expectations of the class.
Student skills, knowledge and performance exceeded the expectations of the class.
Student met the expectations of the class.
Student struggled with the content and skills and was unable to meet the expectations of the class.
Student made little or no attempt to meet the expectations of the class.
Plusses and minuses may be used to indicate a grade that lies in between the stated letter grade
Incomplete. Student did not complete significant elements of the course. If the student takes the opportunity to complete the requirements, a different grade can later be recorded.
Student met (or did not meet) the minimum requirements of the course.
Report cards are designed to offer a holistic perspective; a view of social and emotional growth as well as skills, knowledge and work habits.
Parents/guardians may access their child(ren)’s report cards through the Sycamore portal.
The report card combines letter grades, developmental (or grade level) benchmarks, and narratives. Letter grades reflect performance on tests, projects, completion of homework, and in-class engagement. Our benchmarks continuum reflects the student's abilities related to specific skills that are grade level or developmentally appropriate (See rating scale below). A student may be secure in a skill (for example accurately using conventions of writing), but may not be completing work in a timely fashion or utilizing the skill on a regular basis. The narratives provide an objective look at each student as a whole learner.
Stands for ...
A student who earns this rating would ...
Not only grasp, but apply and extend the key concept, process or skill consistently, and independently.
Meeting Grade Level Expectations (K-5)
Meeting Course Expectations (6-8)
Grasp key concept, process or skill, and apply effectively and independently.
Progressing Requires More Time/Practice
Demonstrate an inconsistent understanding or proficiency for the concept, process, or skill.
Teacher Support Needed
Demonstrate understanding of key concept, process, or skill only with teacher support.
Not Applicable This Term
Not have encountered the concept, process, or skill during the course of this semester/trimester.
Twice each year, in the fall and early spring, parents/guardians meet with teachers to share about strengths, needs, and plans for the coming months. K-2 conferences are for adults only. Students in grades 3-8 are expected to attend with their parents/guardians.
Parents/guardians are able to schedule conference times with General Studies, Judaic Studies, and Hebrew teachers. Parents/guardians also have the opportunity to see Specialists on a first come/first served basis. Grades 7 and 8 conferences are scheduled in one hour blocks where families rotate among different teachers in the auditorium.
Heilicher uses the nationally recognized NWEA/MAP tests to measure student skills in Math, Language Arts and Reading. MAP tests are normed locally and nationally, with lexile scores that indicate student performance relative to others at their grade level, but more importantly the scores indicate the amount of expected and actual growth from test to test, and year to year, for each individual student.
Heilicher believes identifying and addressing specific learning needs of each student is important in the fulfillment of the school’s mission. Each student comes to us with a variety of talents, abilities, and needs. Each is an individual with unique strengths and learning style, who possesses the ability to succeed as a learner.
Students benefit from appropriate educational planning and collaboration. It is the role of the Support Team to facilitate appropriate educational assistance to address the students’ strengths and needs. The Heilicher Support Team is comprised of a student services coordinator, learning specialists, and a school counselor.
Students who have been assessed and found to have a disability or significant academic, social, emotional, or behavioral need have priority for receiving support services. The following criteria are used to determine whether a student qualifies for services:
- An outside assessment which determines that a learning disability or a significant social, emotional, behavioral or medical need exists.
- An outside assessment which determines that enrichment is required to address a specific talent.
- An internal, informal assessment which determines that a significant academic need or need for enrichment exists.
Individualized Plan (IP): The IP is a written document for students who qualify for direct services with a Heilicher Support Team member, which identifies specific goals and objectives towards which a student will work over the course of the year. It also clarifies responsibilities of the school staff and of parents/guardians. The IP is an agreement clarifying our home-school partnership.
The plan is drafted by the Heilicher Support Team with the input of parents/guardians and staff. It may include limited recommendations from private practitioners. The IP should delineate specific accommodations. IP review meetings are scheduled periodically throughout the year.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP): Direct services are provided for students (identified through the public school system) who meet state criteria for special education services. These services are provided by the St. Louis Park Public Schools with possible supplemental services provided by the Heilicher Support Team. Students in grades K-5 will receive those services at Susan Lindgren Intermediate Center. St. Louis Park Junior High School provides services to those students who qualify in grades 6, 7, and 8. A parent/guardian may request an IEP referral or Heilicher staff may request a referral with parent/guardian permission.
Accommodation Plan: This is a plan written by an outsider provider for students with a documented diagnosis which affects learning and their ability to fully function in the classroom. The classroom accommodations are generally adapted from recommendations from an outside provider. An accommodation plan does not allow for direct service, but provides necessary accommodations in the classroom for student success.
Guidance and Counseling
Counseling is available as a short-term intervention to support students with their social-emotional needs. Students can be referred to our school counselor by teachers, parents/guardians, or themselves. Support is provided in an individual or group setting. Common referrals are for social skills, self-regulation, school-related anxieties, and inattention.
Certain information about students is considered "public" under state and federal laws. Unless parents/guardians give instructions to the contrary, schools must communicate this information to agencies that request it.
- Name, address & phone number
- Date of birth
- Weight and height (for athletics only)
- Dates of attendance
- Participation in activities
- Degrees and awards received
- Pictures for school-approved publications, newspapers, and videotapes
If you do not wish this information to be given out about your child, please notify the General Studies Director in writing.
All other student records are considered confidential. They are open only to parents/guardians and school personnel on a need-to-know basis, as determined by the Head of School or General Studies Director.
If you would like an explanation of anything in your child’s record file, you may request an appointment with school staff. If you disagree with any information in your child’s file, you may challenge the information or ask that material be added.
The Stephen and Sheila Lieberman, Children and Grandchildren Library is a center of learning and discovery where students and faculty can find books for enjoyment and resources to further their knowledge on a broad range of topics. The library houses a unique collection of Jewish sources as well as a wide range of fiction and non-fiction materials.
Heilicher takes pride in its commitment to serve a broad spectrum of the Jewish community and to celebrate the diversity of Jewish life. The school’s religious guidelines have been developed to support the specific pluralistic vision of the Heilicher community. The School promotes pluralism through an atmosphere that enables Jews with diverse systems of religious belief and practice to feel comfortable, a curriculum that provides students with information about multiple approaches to Judaism, and an ethos that promotes respectful, open-minded interaction among people representing disparate perspectives.
- Students should be clothed in a safe and respectful manner.
- Student dress and appearance should be age-appropriate.
- Students should wear clothing that is comfortable and does not distract from, or interfere with, learning and/or school activities.
- Footwear should be appropriate for running, outdoor play, and emergency exit.
- Parents/guardians should be involved in decisions regarding their student’s attire.
- Students must dress appropriately for the weather.
- Undergarments worn as outer garments
- Clothing and accessories that are revealing in terms of design (e.g., see-through material, very-low cut or high-cut, spaghetti straps, bare-belly) or provocative in its messaging (e.g., foul language, sexualized imagery)
- Hats (other than kippot) of any kind, including hoods
- Wheeled shoes
If a student’s clothing does not adhere to the dress code, the student will be reminded of the policy and given the opportunity to change. Parents/guardians may be contacted to assist their child in meeting the dress code standards. Issues related to dress code can be referred to the General Studies Director for clarification.
Dressing for Special Occasions
There are times that students will be asked to dress more befitting a specific occasion, i.e. class presentations and programs, special roles during religious services, field trips, etc. Teachers will provide specific guidelines when these occasions arise.
Heilicher recognizes the diverse practices within the Jewish community and supports the respectful and meaningful exploration of authentic Jewish behaviors. All students regardless of gender are encouraged but not required to wear a kippah (yarmulke/skullcap) during Jewish Studies and Hebrew class, t’filah (prayer), for b’rakhot (blessings) before and after lunch and snacks, and at special school functions.
The school will honor differences of practice when expressed in writing or by email to the Jewish Living and Learning Director. Students should keep their own supply of kippot with their name written on the kippah. Kippot are not available from the office.
Kashrut is a Jewish food discipline based on a reverence for life. Specific food-related behaviors are commanded (or forbidden) in the Torah (the Five Books of Moses) and interpreted over time by the rabbinic authorities of the Jewish community. This interpretation is necessary because the commandments in the Torah aren’t always specific or easy to understand.
The laws of kashrut can be confusing and/or overwhelming upon first encounter. Understanding reverence for life as the original reason for the kashrut system is helpful in navigating all the “dos and don’ts.” See a more detailed overview of the laws of kashrut: An Introduction to the Practice of Kashrut.
Food customs play an important role in every culture, and eating together is a way of building community. Heilicher recognizes the diversity of the school community and the wide range of kashrut practices in individual homes. It acknowledges its standard of kashrut will seem stringent to some and lax to others. Regardless, its goal is to allow the school to eat together respectfully while learning about a millenia-old Jewish practice.
Food From Home
Any food brought from home for snack or lunch must be either dairy or parve (neither milk nor meat). Bringing meat (which includes poultry) or any kind of shellfish from home is not permitted.
Food From the Heilicher Kitchen
All food prepared in the Heilicher kitchen is either dairy or parve. The kitchen does not prepare meat dishes.
All ingredients used are kosher certified. Usually, this means one of the “big five” kosher certifications (OU, Circle K, Chof K, Star K, and CRC); see below for images of these certifications.
No outside food is permitted into the kitchen.
The school’s cooking and serving utensils remain in the kitchen or in the dining room and are not used anywhere else in the school.
Food Served at Heilicher Events
All food served at official Heilicher functions (e.g., Back-to-School Night), whether it is packaged food or fresh baked, will be certified kosher. A “K” without additional information is not accepted as a mark of certification.
Food Served at Off-Campus Heilicher Programs
The school’s standard of kashrut is to be maintained on all school field trips and extended off-campus programs (e.g., the sixth-grade trip to Wolf Ridge and eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C.).
The school’s standard of kashrut is to be maintained at all off-campus Parent Teacher Organization-sponsored programs (e.g., grade-level sukkah parties).
Food Served at Private Events at Heilicher Family Homes
Private events are, by definition, private. However, being an inclusive community means being sensitive to the different standards of kashrut observed within the community. Please be alert to the kashrut needs of your guests when planning birthday parties, play dates, or other social gatherings. Many local stores carry kosher-certified products (e.g., Breadsmith, Byerlys, Costco, Cub, the Kosher Spot (all in St. Louis Park).
Kosher Certification Symbols
Many individuals and organizations provide kosher certification in the United States. The following are the most common and widely accepted certifications you are likely to find on food products in Minnesota:
Questions About Kashrut
Questions about kashrut should be directed to the Director of Jewish Living and Learning.
Family Celebrations and Private Parties
Birthdays are acknowledged in a variety of ways in the classroom. In the younger grades, the student may get a special job or task during the day, parents/guardians may come to read a story, and classmates may sing Happy Birthday. As students get older, the need for a classroom celebration decreases, and heartfelt birthday wishes are the norm.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND/BRING FOOD OR TREATS. Consult with your child’s teacher to arrange for you to spend time in your child’s classroom or donate something needed to the classroom or school.
When planning a personal celebration outside of school, we ask that you:
- Not distribute invitations at school.
- Try to schedule on a day other than Shabbat/שבת (Friday night and Saturday until stars out) or on Jewish holidays.
- Be respectful and accommodating to those with religious and/or other dietary needs.
- Be inclusive and understanding of the choices families make without judging harshly. You don’t want your child to be the only one who doesn’t get invited. Likewise, inviting the whole class would be wonderful, but this isn’t possible for all families.
B’nai Mitzvah/בני מצווה
B’nai Mitzvah/בני מצווה students are encouraged to read Torah/תורה during t’filah/תפילה/prayer of the week of their simha/שמחה. Heilicher presents a gift to each B’nai Mitzvah/בני מצווה of currently enrolled students. We encourage parents/guardians to invite students inclusive of the entire grade.
- No school business will be conducted by administration and staff from the beginning of Shabbat (or festivals) until the end of Shabbat (or festivals).
- School programs occurring on Saturday night will not start earlier than one hour after the end of Shabbat.
- We encourage students to plan their private parties so as not to coincide with Shabbat (or festivals).
- Homework is not expected to be completed on Shabbat and festivals.
After-Care, After-School Activities, and School’s Out Programs
Heilicher HaBonim offers fun, safe, enriching, onsite activities for K-6 students after school. Students will have snacks, active play in the gym or playground, and free-choice activities including art projects, games, and ga-ga. Students in grades 3-6 will also have quiet, staff-monitored homework time each afternoon.
Parents/guardians may preorder HaBonim for a month, a semester, or a full year at a time via heilicher.jumbula.com. All details are on the after-school section of the website (located under the Community & Extracurricular tab).
In addition to HaBonim, there are many after-school activities such as chess, artistic classes, STEM classes, and athletics. Each of these programs coordinates with HaBonim to provide seamless transitions for students who need to move from one program to another.
Heilicher offers School’s Out care on certain no-school days throughout the year. Offerings vary day to day with some special activities or field trips planned for longer breaks.
All programming is facilitated by local experts and school staff. The opportunity to participate relies on participation of the enrolled students. Participation and behavior expectations are set for the students to have fun and maintain a safe environment. If students do not follow behavior and participation expectations in the class, a call will be made to families with an outline of the concern. If the behavior does not resolve in the coming classes, the student may be dismissed from the program.
Heilicher has a full-time school nurse on staff. The nurse provides direct nursing care to students, administers medication, maintains health records, and provides training to the Heilicher staff.
All COVID-related policies will be informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines but may be adapted in response to the COVID-19 risk level in our county, community, and school. As always, these practices and guidelines are continuously evolving. We will continue to communicate as conditions dictate.
Please contact Katie Ruff, School Nurse, with any COVID-related concerns or questions.
- Encourages COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone.
- Requires staff and students to stay home when they are sick.
- Follows Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 isolation and quarantine.
- Promotes good hand washing and sanitizing practices.
- Maximizes ventilation and running HEPA air filters in every classroom.
- Intensively cleans and disinfects surfaces routinely.
In line with the current CDC Guidelines, wearing a mask is optional indoors and outdoors.
Importantly, we will require short-term, indoor masking for students or faculty who are exposed to COVID-19, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are returning to school after a five-day quarantine. Nurse Katie will provide case-by-case guidance.
Physical distancing will be encouraged. However, after-school activities, league and individual sports, HaBonim, band, and choir will take place as in a “typical” school year. All-school assemblies will occur in person, and family members are encouraged to attend.
As we did last year, Heilicher is requiring all faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. We feel this is an important step to keep our school community safe.
Heilicher is not requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID, although this policy may change with evolving circumstances or new MDH/CDC guidelines. That said, we strongly encourage families with children who are eligible for the vaccine to get it.
All COVID-19 diagnoses or close contact exposures, as well as symptoms of any other illness, absences, late drop-offs, and early pickups, should be reported promptly through the Heilicher Communication Center. This reporting portal is absolutely critical to keeping our Heilicher faculty and staff informed of student illnesses or absences and maintaining the health of our school community.
Isolation and Quarantine
If you enter your student’s COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure or you report any symptoms, through the Heilicher Communication Center please wait for Nurse Katie to contact you before you send any of your children to school that day.
- Students are not required to quarantine after a close contact COVID-19 exposure, although we will require short-term masking and ask that you administer a rapid COVID-19 test to your child on day 5 after exposure.
- Students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 must stay home for five days and wear a mask for a total of 10 days after diagnosis or start of symptoms, whichever came first.
The school will no longer serve lunch to students in their individual classrooms. They will eat in the dining room, as they did prior to COVID-19.
Per CDC guidelines, we will require that students or staff members who have been diagnosed or have had a close contact exposure to COVID-19 eat separately in a supervised environment for a period of time following their return to school.
Total Distance Learning Program
At this time, we will not offer a Total Distance Learning Program for students. Only students who are in quarantine for COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis may participate in remote learning during the time that they are out of school, as their health and school resources permit.
Please contact Katie Ruff, School Nurse, with any COVID-related concerns or questions.
Heilicher is vigilant about controlling head lice. When lice or nits are found, students are sent home to be treated. Once treated, students will be checked at school and must be found to be both nit- and lice-free before returning to class. Please contact the Health Office for additional information and resources that may be helpful in responding to head lice.
Although allergies are reported by parents/guardians on health forms, it is also important that parents/guardians communicate allergies directly with classroom teachers. Medications for allergies (inhalers, EpiPens) will be kept in the health office unless the child’s physician directs otherwise. For specific food allergies and sensitivities, arrangements can be made in the dining room for special seating or alternative menus.
All medications are administered by the Health Office, not by teachers nor by children alone. There may be circumstances when we are not qualified to administer certain types of medication. Please contact the Health Office before you send medication to school to make sure it is a medication we are qualified to administer.
Heilicher does not encourage administering medications in school unless a medical professional feels it is necessary. If that is the case, the following guidelines apply:
Medications must be in their original, correctly labeled prescription bottle, which includes the student's name, the name of the medication, and the correct dosage. We also require an Authorization to Administer Medication form providing specific directions about when the medication must be given, as well as the name of the doctor and pharmacy. We must have a doctor's written order on file to administer prescription medication.
Nonprescription drugs (ibuprofen, cough syrup, etc.) must be in their original container. We consider cough drops medicine, and the rules for dispensing medication apply to them as well. As with prescription medication, we need the Authorization to Administer Medication form specifying dosage and when it should be given.
In accordance with St. Louis Park District Nurse Guidelines, medication (mainly antibiotics) that is ordered to be given three times a day will not be given at school. Medications of this type can be given at home before school, after school, and at bedtime.
If your child is taking a prescribed medication that is given in the morning before school, a small amount should be kept at school in the health office. This will allow the school to administer the medication if a dose is missed.
Please be sure to inform the health office of any changes or updates regarding medication.
If there is a condition where medications are being administered at home for any length of time, the school should be made aware of the situation. This information helps the school to be able to act in the appropriate manner in case of an emergency.
Please inform the school if your child is taking medication for emotional/behavioral concerns. It is important for the school to partner with the child’s physician by providing behavioral information. We obtain parent/guardian approval and release of information prior to sharing this information.
One of the guiding tenets of our school is to protect the lives and health of children in the community and, crucially, other members of the community as well. Heilicher requires that all admitted or enrolled students be up to date on all vaccinations required by the State of Minnesota or Heilicher policy prior to the time of their active enrollment with the school.
The safety of our school community and security on the Barry Family Jewish Community Campus is a primary concern.
There is a substantial security presence on the Barry Family Campus, including dedicated security personnel specifically for Heilicher. All entrances to the building remain security locked at all times.
All staff and students are regularly reminded of the procedures to follow in case of an emergency, including severe weather, fire or an intruder.
Please contact Dan Ahsltrom, Head of School, with any security questions you may have.
Parents, grandparents and other family members are encouraged to be a part of daily life at Heilicher. If you are coming into school for a volunteer role, please check in at the Heilicher front desk when you arrive.
Heilicher strives for students to achieve self-discipline and self-regulation without constant threat of punishment. As with academics, this philosophy accepts that students may “mess up” from time to time as part of the learning process. The school expects a child to acknowledge wrongdoing and work to remedy the harm done by their actions. Heilicher’s approach to discipline is more restorative than punitive.
Misbehavior is a violation of people and relationships. Violations create obligations, and justice involves persons harmed, referred students, and school community to repair that harm. The central focus is that the misbehaved student is accountable to the needs of the harmed person and works to repair the harm.
Minor Misbehaviors are handled by the classroom teacher or other faculty member on the spot, and the teacher responses to minor misbehaviors might include: simply speaking with the student, helping students’ problem solve together (conflict resolution), sending the student to the appropriate administrator’s office, a phone call home, or a combination of these responses. Teachers at each grade level will communicate with parents at the outset of the school year and review the system they will use for indicating each student’s conduct status on a regular basis.
Examples of Major Misbehaviors
Interference to others’ rights to physical and emotional safety ● Damage, abuse, or theft of school property ● Possession or use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco substances, or inhalants ● Possession or use of weapons or explosives ● Truancy from school or mandatory school activities ● Use of obscene, profane, suggestive, or intimidating verbal or written language ● Conduct committed off campus or after school hours that is illegal or reflects negatively on the school ● Misuse of technology privileges ● Defiance in the face of correction ● Plagiarism and cheating
Available Consequences for Major Misbehaviors
Academic consequences ● Exclusion from classroom ● Exclusion from campus (designated as suspension on student’s record) ● Probation — official warning that expulsion will result from next major violation ● Non-renewal of enrollment contract for following year ● Expulsion
These behaviors are, but are not limited to ● Physical: hitting, kicking, grabbing, spitting ● Verbal: name calling, racist remarks, put-downs, extortion ● Indirect: spreading rumors, wearing or possessing items depicting or implying hatred or prejudice, exclusion from peer group, taking and hiding or destroying another’s papers or other possessions ● Written: threatening email, notes, graffiti, social media posts, text messages ● Coercion: forcing other students into acts against their wishes
Bullying — Key Questions for Definition
- Were the alleged bullying behaviors repeated and deliberate?
- Did the alleged bullying behaviors inflict harm or suffering?
- Is there an imbalance of real or perceived power between the alleged victim and alleged author of the behavior?
Bullying Complaint Procedure
If a student feels that they are the target of bullying behavior, they should report that immediately to their teacher. Anyone, student or adult, with knowledge of bullying behavior is obligated to report that behavior to the child’s teacher or appropriate administrator. If a teacher identifies a behavior as bullying, or is not sure, they are obligated to report that activity to administration. Any such complaint must be specific and should include all relevant information so that the school may conduct a thorough investigation.
After the school receives a written complaint, or otherwise learns of an alleged potential violation of this policy, and also receives any clarification requested, the school will determine the appropriate course of action, which may include the initiation of an investigation. If the school initiates an investigation, it will conduct the investigation as it deems appropriate, in its sole discretion. The school will make reasonable efforts to protect students’ privacy and confidentiality. Information reported will be shared only on a need-to-know basis, including with school personnel with knowledge related to the information reported and with those involved in an investigation or the conducting of an investigation.
Once the program director has been made aware of a disciplinary situation, a documentation process is initiated. This documentation will include details from the written complaint including ● Nature of incidents ● Dates and times ● Notes from conversations related to incidents ● Actions taken by the school.
The school will not tolerate any retaliation against a student who files a complaint or participates in an investigation regarding a complaint of bullying.
Remedial and Disciplinary Action
All instances of bullying may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Any violation of this policy by a parent will be considered a violation of the school’s parent behavior expectations and may be grounds for dismissal of the offending parent’s child(ren).
Cyberbullying is defined as bullying via the use of the internet, and interactive and digital technologies (such as computers, tablets, and/or mobile telephones.) The use of any school computer or electronic device for the purpose of cyberbullying is strictly prohibited. Cyberbullying using home-based or off-campus devices that results in a material and/or substantial disruption to the school and/or a true threat will constitute grounds for investigation as to whether the use violates applicable law or school rules. Should misuse be determined, the student may receive disciplinary consequences appropriate for the frequency and severity of the violation. Students and parents are encouraged to notify the program director of any incidents regarding cyberbullying immediately.
Each classroom has a telephone which students can use for outgoing calls, but only with a teacher’s permission. Students are not allowed to receive incoming calls in school. If you need to get a message to your child, please call the school office.
Cell phones (and other communication devices, such as wi-fi enabled watches) are not for use during the school day (from arrival — 8 a.m. — until end of dismissal) for any purpose, and specifically not for communication to parents, other students, friends, or anyone else. All such devices should be turned off and should be kept in a locker throughout the defined school day. The only exception to this is if a teacher directs students to use the camera, timer, or other feature for classroom purposes.
If communication is required, the student may ask permission to use classroom or office phones.
Violation of this policy will result in confiscation of the device and communication with parents (from the faculty member who confiscated the device), requiring the parent to come in to the office or communicate directly with the office to retrieve the phone. Continuing violation of this policy will be responded to by Administration.
Students are not permitted to use the vending machines in the Sabes JCC during school hours.
Lockers and Personal Property
Lockers are the property of Heilicher and should be treated with care and respect. The school reserves the right to inspect student lockers at any time. Students are encouraged to leave valuables at home. The school is not responsible for personal property brought to school.
Students should not bring games, toys, or other personal or recreational equipment to school. We will provide these items as a part of their learning or for use during recess.
At Heilicher, we use digital technology to teach the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that students need to be successful and responsible members of the community, as well as lifelong learners. Your school-owned or personal device is a tool that provides access to an array of resources.
We expect all members of our community (including students, staff, and guests) to behave in a manner that is representative of Heilicher's values and mission, whether they are having a face-to-face conversation with someone at school, using school-provided or personal networks or accounts, using school-provided or personal devices, or interacting on any communications platforms, networks, or social media at any time, on or off campus.
When using school-owned or personal technology, including networks, systems, devices, and media, you are expected to
- Adhere to Heilicher's mission and values when interacting with others.
- Behave in an ethical, respectful, and lawful manner.
- Be mindful of the permanence and public nature of your online presence, and make responsible choices.
- Protect and proactively act to keep your identity and reputation safe, as well as the identity and reputation of the school, classmates, teachers, coaches, friends, and family.
Heilicher School's Responsibilities and Privacy Policies
- You should not expect privacy on the school's networks, systems, accounts, or devices. The school reserves the right to search any electronic device used or brought on campus, or connected to Heilicher's network or systems.
- Heilicher may monitor network traffic and may also filter or block certain content.
- Heilicher may review, search, retain, or delete any documents, data, software, or emails created or stored on the school's networks, systems, accounts, devices, or devices connected to the school's networks or systems.
- Heilicher will take reasonable measures to protect your data and identity.
If you do not conduct yourself according to Heilicher's policies, rules, and expectations, you may face disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the school or nonrenewal of your enrollment contract. Possible disciplinary actions for violations of this policy may include, but are not limited to
- Verbal warnings or counseling sessions with a teacher or administrator.
- Temporary loss of access to certain technology resources.
- Community service or other restorative measures.
- In-school or out-of-school suspension.
- Expulsion from the school or nonrenewal of enrollment contract.
Charity/צדקה/Tz’dakah and Acts of Kindness/גמילות חסדים/G’milut Hasadim
The values of tzedakah (righteous giving) and g’milut hasadim (acts of loving kindness) are central within Judaism and are a component of the school’s curriculum.
Upon enrolling your child at Heilicher, you are joining a community where members give generously in a variety of ways. We encourage all parents/guardians and community members to give generously of their time, spirit, and financial resources, not only for the benefit of our students, but also for the pleasure it will bring you to be involved. We look forward to partnering with you in the following areas:
The Heilicher Annual Fund is the core, unrestricted campaign that supports financial accessibility and enhances Heilicher’s high quality education. It supports faculty excellence and a strong academic program infused with Jewish values, helping to cover the gap between gross tuition (approximately 70% of the budget) and what it takes to operate the school.
Heilicher has a history of strong parent/guardian, grandparent, alumni and community participation in the Annual Fund. The Annual Fund program raises approximately $500,000 each year from around 300 donors. Gifts to the Annual Fund are accepted throughout the year, with an official "launch" in the fall of each year.
If you have any questions about the Annual Fund, please contact Kiel Majewski, Development Director, by email or at 952.381.3503.
Heilicher hosts a community fundraising event each fall to celebrate and build community support for our school. This event raises the profile of Heilicher within the Jewish community and brings together families, friends, and supporters for an evening of fun, while honoring distinguished Heilicher families with the Ner Tamid Award, a recognition given to those who show exemplary commitment and leadership to the school.
Each year Heilicher draws approximately 500 parents, grandparents, alumni and community members to the evening. The Benefit raises $400,000+ annually from sponsorships, live auction, tributes, ticket sales and fund-a-need. Parents/guardians are key to making this event a success for our school by volunteering, bidding, pledging a sponsorship, attending, and more.
Endowment Funds and Directed Gifts
Heilicher has numerous endowments that were established by individuals who wished to ensure the continued availability and quality of a day school education. An endowment is a fund in which the principal is held permanently, and the interest is used annually by Heilicher.
You can support Heilicher endowments in two ways: (1) by sending cards “in honor” or “in memory” of a loved one for special occasions and life cycle events (minimum contribution of $10) or (2) by making a major gift to establish a fund. An endowment can be named to honor an individual, couple, or family, or may be established anonymously. Funds may be restricted to support specific programs or interest areas, or may be left unrestricted to be used where the school most needs it in a given year.
Additionally, many donors choose to support Heilicher through a donation to fund a particular project or program at the school. These are "temporarily restricted" donations, meaning they can only be used for the intended project or program, but the full amount of the donation can be accessed (not just the interest). There are many critical programs at Heilicher supported through donor contributions.
If you have any questions regarding any of these programs or giving to Heilicher, please contact Kiel Majewski, Development Director, by email or at 952.381.3503
Our admissions department handles all prospective student and applicant-related activities. If you have questions, or know of someone who is interested in Heilicher, please have them contact our Admissions Director or call 952.381.3500.
Current students will be automatically re-enrolled for the following school year until they graduate. A Continuous Enrollment deposit reserves a place for your currently-enrolled student on the appropriate grade-level class roster for the following school year and will be applied toward tuition. The deposit will be automatically withdrawn from your Heilicher account on file in the late winter each year, unless a deposit installment payment plan is chosen.
- For students starting classes before October 20, all fees will be assessed as if enrolled at the start of the school year.
- For students starting classes on or after October 20, tuition will be prorated for the number of school days remaining in the school year beginning on the first attendance day.
- 100% of the supplies/technology fee will be assessed regardless of the start date.
- Other fees will be determined at the time of enrollment.
Notice of student withdrawal from Heilicher must be provided in writing to the Admissions Director. Heilicher will not issue withdrawal refunds based on telephone notification. All fees below must be paid in full before a student’s records can be released. Read our refund policy related to withdrawal from Heilicher.
Financial assistance requests are processed by a third-party service and held in strictest confidence by Heilicher personnel. Visit the Financial Forms area of the school’s website to review the application. Financial assistance is granted based on demonstrated need and availability of Heilicher scholarship funds. Families receiving financial assistance are not eligible for transportation reimbursements.
If you have questions about financial assistance, please contact the Heilicher Business Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 952.381.3525.