Welcome to Ben Gamla Charter School!
Ben Gamla Charter School is identified as #5410 in Broward County. The school houses students in K-8. In addition to the #5410 school, we have a nested school (#5001; Ben Gamla North Broward) that serves middle school students in grades 6-8. Students in both middle schools are leveled according to their FCAT scores, their grades, and their individual needs. The middle school staff is the same in both schools (5410 and 5001).
The Code of Student Conduct Handbook for the 2012-2013 school year will be distributed electronically. The Code of Student Conduct Handbook will be posted for review beginning July 1, 2012 on the Broward Schools Web site at http://www.browardschools.com
The "Understanding FCAT 2.0 Reports - Spring 2012" document is now available at http://fcat.fldoe.org/fcat2/pdf/s12uf2r.pdf
"Understanding FCAT 2.0 Reports - Spring 2012" provides information about the FCAT itself, as well as an explanation of the FCAT report you will be receiving for your child. The document includes explanations of the student and educator reports, a glossary of the terms used in these reports, and the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) content assessed on the FCAT 2.0.
REGISTRATION FOR THE 2013-2014 SCHOOL YEAR:
All grades, Kindergarten through 8th grade may register January 22nd through January 25th. Parents of children entering Kindergarten will be given a numbered ticket and directed to look for their number on our website beginning February 6th. If their number is pulled for Kindergarten it will be listed. All other numbers will be entered in the school data base in the order they were picked during the lottery. Available seats for all other grades will not be known until late in the spring.
***A 45-minute gathering for Kindergarten parents whose number is selected during the initial lottery pull will be held in the Multipurpose Room on Friday, February 8th from 8:15 - 9:00 am. Parents can sign their acceptance letters at that time as well.
Please select "School Forms" to view the lottery tickets that were selected only for Kindergarten.
Parents must re-register their children every year for their child to be seated. This means all parents. No one can assume that a child is returning. Parents must have completed their volunteer hours by the last school day of the year to hold a seat for their child.
All parents must check in with the receptionist before entering the school. This is a Federal Law and resulted from the Jessica Lundsford Act. Parents may not move past the multipurpose room without checking in for any reason. Please help us to respect this Federal mandate.
Birthday parties are for the birthday child and his or her parents only. No siblings and no other relatives will be permitted to attend the class party. Birthday celebrations are held the last 30 minutes of the day and must be prearranged with the teacher. Treats must be store bought; we are not allowed to serve home-baked goods. The birthday treat cannot be stored during the day; it must be brought to the classroom at the time of the celebration.
Ben Gamla became SACS accredited in 2008 and has maintained an A School grade since 2008. Current e-mail addresses and phone contact numbers are imperative for registration. We are able to accept Miami-Dade addresses; please understand that additional paperwork will be required for those living outside Broward County.
Thirty (30) Volunteer hours are a mandatory commitment for families of Ben Gamla Students. All Volunteer hours must be completed by the last day of the current school year. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY YEARS YOU HAVE BEEN A PART OF OUR LEARNING COMMUNITY. Parents are required to sign in with Julieta when they visit to fulfill volunteer hours. Parents must also ask for the teacher signature on the volunteer form to receive credit for service. Volunteer work that is completed at home will have an hour value already affixed to the activity. Ben Gamla Charter is a special school with special families who value the commitment to student education and character development.
Fridays are dress-down days and serve as our weekly fundraiser. Students are allowed to dress down provided they have turned in their money Thursday morning. The fee is $1.00 for the top and $1.00 for the bottom. No exceptions will be made. This fundraiser supports our year-end trip to TY Park and other building-wide activities.
All guests must sign in at the reception desk with Julieta. Again, there are no exceptions.
Conferences are welcome throughout the year. Appointments should be made and Middle School Conferences are held as a team. Either Mrs. Miller or the Assistant Principal will attend should there be a concern or a need to explicate student progression. A liaison is available should you be unable to contact the administrators or feel you need another perspective. Our liaison is Mrs. Debra Klein. You can reach her by contacting Academica. They will provide you with her contact information.
We look forward to greeting you and making new friendships this year. Come be a part of our growing family.
PARENT ORIENTATION DATES AND TIMES FOR THE 2012-2013 SCHOOL YEAR:
Tuesday, Aug. 14th, 4:30-6:30, 1st and 2nd Grades
Wednesday, Aug. 15th, 4:30-7:00, Middle School
Thursday, Aug. 16th, 4:30-6:30, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades
Friday, Aug. 17th, 1:30-3:15, Kindergarten
ONE PARENT MUST ATTEND THEIR CHILD'S ORIENTATION NIGHT. THERE WILL BE A SIGN-IN SHEET AND YOU WILL GET A JUMP ON YOUR VOLUNTEER HOURS FOR YOUR ATTENDANCE. PARENTS OF ELEMENTARY STUDENTS MAY BRING THEIR CHILD'S SCHOOL SUPPLIES LABELED WITH THEIR NAME.
PARENTS OF MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE ASKED NOT TO BRING SUPPLIES.
BE SURE TO HAVE YOUR CHECKBOOK OR CASH TO PURCHASE THE STUDENT AGENDAS WHICH WILL BE AVAILABLE AND ARE REQUIRED K-8.
The Parent Orientation is the time to learn of grade level expectations of the teacher and the State of Florida. This is the time you will hear about the scope and sequence of the core content area classes. Teachers will have a sign-in for volunteer opportunities for your convenience. This year we have generated opportunities for parents to earn hours from home and shopping. We are going to need assistance to make our science kits in K-8. The details will be forthcoming. Parents will be held accountable for acquiring signatures for their completed service at the time or the hours will not be accepted.
Please remember to make volunteer arrangements ahead of time with our teachers. We cannot permit parents and volunteers to simply enter the classroom when it is convenient. We are striving to give our children the BEST education and we need your cooperation. Please help us by being respectful. We love having our parents volunteer. We just need you to arrange your time in advance.
The Governing Board meets telephonically several times a year and the meeting dates are posted inside the school should you wish to attend. If you wish to speak with a member of the Board, kindly phone Academica and ask for Kelly Mallon. She will be able to assist you with a contact number for the Board Chair, Mrs. Debra Klein.
If you shop at Office Depot or shop at their online site, please add the following number to your purchase and our school will receive 5 percent of the proceeds. The number is 70215848.
Our Sherut girls from Israel have made a video to share. Feel free to copy the link below and view their talents. We are all enjoying the girls...especially the children!
Below are frequently asked questions and answers to help acclimate prospective families to our organization.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Charter School?
A: A Charter School is a public school of choice that is state-funded but privately operated. Charter Schools have the autonomy and choice to set many of their own policies related to such things as curriculum delivery, parent involvement, discipline, and special programs; however charter schools, as public educational institutions, must maintain accountability academically, financially, and in all areas of legal and safety compliance.
Q: What is the difference between the many different charter schools that exist?
A: Each charter school is different. They are run by independent governing boards and each charter school corporation has its own philosophy, vision, and focus that determine the type of experience you will have if your child attends that particular charter school. For example, some charter schools focus on dual-language or performing arts programs, while others may maintain single-gender classrooms.
Q: What is the focus of Ben Gamla?
A: Ben Gamla is a Hebrew Language charter school. All students will have approximately 150 minutes of Hebrew language and culture instruction each full week of school. The focus of the class will be literacy and conversational skills presented through a cultural perspective. Students will participate in activities that expose them to Israeli art, music, and dance.
Q: Do I have to pay to attend a charter school?
A: No. Since charter schools are publicly funded, K-12 students attend tuition-FREE.
Q: What grades does Ben Gamla Hollywood serve?
A: Ben Gamla Hollywood is a K-8 campus.
Q: Can you give me some general background information about Ben Gamla?
A: Ben Gamla was the first Hebrew-English Charter School in the United States. The first Ben Gamla opened in Hollywood in 2007. There are now schools in Plantation, Boynton Beach, and Kendal. We are opening a school in St. Petersburg in August, 2012. The Vision of Ben Gamla is to be a community of learners that honors individual student needs, varied modalities of instruction, and nurtures character traits that help to develop good citizenship. The Mission of Ben Gamla Charter School is to provide a safe environment for innovative instructional practices that continuously light the path toward maximum student achievement and personal growth. As the first English-Hebrew Charter School in the United States, Ben Gamla Charter integrates Hebrew instruction giving our students a useful tool in our global society.
Q: Are Ben Gamla teachers certified?
A: Yes. Our teachers and administrators are certified and highly qualified in their subject
areas and meet the Florida state requirements for certification, the same as any traditional
public school educator.
Q: Does Ben Gamla require uniforms?
A: Yes. Students are required to wear uniforms. Uniform requirements are explicated in the Registration Packet and posted on the website.
Q: Do you provide transportation?
A: No. Parents may participate in carpools to get their child(ren) to school. Students may also walk or ride their bikes to school.
Q: Do you offer food services?
A: Yes. Breakfast and lunch will be available for all students for a fee. Free and reduced meal applications are also available for families experiencing financial hardship. While the school lunch will be kosher, there are no dietary restrictions on the lunch students bring from home.
Q: Does your school receive a grade?
A: Yes. All charter schools are graded the same as a traditional public schools.
Q: What are the school hours?
A: 8:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. for K-5th grade students and 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for 6th-8th grade students.
Q: Do you provide an after school care program?
A: Yes. Aftercare information is available on the website, www.bengamla-charter.com.
Q: Do you follow the same calendar as Broward County public schools?
Q: How can parents get involved at Ben Gamla?
A: Parents are required to complete a minimum of 30 volunteer hours per year per family. Parents can get involved in many ways such as: joining our School Advisory Council (SAC), being a part of the PARENT PARTNERS which operates via committees, or by volunteering as a room mom or dad. Parents can also help day to day by helping with anything from carpool arrival/dismissal duty to field trips and special events. Parents can volunteer school-wide and in individual classrooms. They can help with fundraising, book fairs, Parent Workshops, and more. The opportunities are endless. Each time you volunteer, you will also earn credit toward completing your volunteer hour obligation as part of our re-enrollment requirement. Attending Parent Workshops earns you double volunteer hours! Parents are required to complete their volunteer hours and re-registration packet by April 15th the last student day of the current school year.
Q: Do you have a gifted program?
A: Not per se. However, our Reading Coach is also a gifted teacher and she follows students, along with our ESE Specialist, who are identified gifted by way of their IEP. Because our teachers differentiate their instruction they meet the needs of gifted students in different ways depending on the population of gifted students and their respective Individual Educational Plans (IEP). The GEM program is not offered at Ben Gamla.
Q: My child has an IEP. Do you offer ESE services?
A: Yes. Our ESE Department meets the needs of ESE students as specified by the student IEP.
Q: My child speaks English as a second language. Do you offer academic support
A: Yes. All Ben Gamla teachers are required to be ESOL certified. Ben Gamla utilizes various strategies to meet the needs of students who have Limited English Proficiency to help them succeed in language development and in our academic program. A full-time ESOL teacher, Keralia Sotto, is on staff to push-in and pull-out students as needed.
Q: What extracurricular programs are offered?
A: We offer a variety of extracurricular activities. The activities that are provided are determined by student, parent, and teacher interest and support. To date, we offer Sports, Earth club, Student Government (SGA), Safety Patrol, Math Superstars, WISE Club, Art Club, and Cheerleading.
Q: Do Ben Gamla students have to take FCAT tests?
A: Yes. As a public school, we are accountable to the state and must administer the FCAT test to our students. We prepare our students daily implementing the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, and not teaching to the test. As a Broward County public charter school, we are also required to abide by the Pupil Progression Plan (SB Policy 6000.1) as it pertains to student promotion requirements. However, varied assessment methods are used to determine student promotion aside from the FCAT.
Q: When and where can I register?
A: Please see the Registration packets found underneath school Forms on our website, www.bengamla-charter.com.
We have two schools on our campus. Both receive the same education; the same teachers are responsible for instruction and the same administrators lead both schools. The difference can be seen in school reports when looking at the number of the school distinguished for the State and District. Our two numbers are: 5410, Ben Gamla Charter, and 5001, Ben Gamla North. To date, the 5001 school, named as Ben Gamla North, is identified for middle school students. Students in the 601, 701, and 801 classes are designated 5001. All other students are designated 5410. Should you have any questions, please ask one of the school administrators for clarification.
August 22nd, 2011
Legislation has required Principals to now make parents aware of the instructional personnel who are teaching Out of Field. The teachers listed below are all considered Highly Qualified Teachers by the State and the District School Board of Broward County. What this means to you as parents, is that the teachers named below are licensed teachers who originally selected another area of expertise. They have chosen to expound upon their initial area of certification and acquire additional training to expand their licensure. I commend them for continuing to be lifelong learners.
Ella Rav-On Hebrew
Shawn Chesney Hebrew
Amy Weissbaum 3rd Grade
Beth Vera Middle School Social Studies
I thank you for your support and I know that you, too, will recognize the diligence and additional effort these professionals are exemplifying.
Note: The above teachers will have completed their additional certification throughout the year.
I am looking forward to another fabulous year together! May we grow from strength and love for our children.
SUMMER READING AND SUPPLY LIST ARE NOW LOCATED IN SCHOOL FORMS.