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Teaneck High School Reaches Out to Local Jewish Community

Open house planned for Thursday at 7 p.m.

will hold an information session Thursday for the Jewish community in hopes of encouraging more families to take a deeper look at what the school has to offer.

School officials will host an open house that will include teachers, administrators, students and parents, all of whom will be on hand to answer questions, share their experiences, and provide a tour of the building. 

Interim Principal Dennis Heck said he believes this is the first time the high school hosted an open house specifically for the Jewish community.

“We’ve gone to homes and done things off-site, but I wanted to do it in our building because I want people to come to our building,” Heck said. “If people really want to see what’s going on at Teaneck High School, instead of having a conversation at someone’s home, I’d rather have that conversation take place in my building.”

The event is open to anyone in the community, but Heck said programs specific to the Jewish community will include:  

  • Holocaust Center and programming
  • Accommodations provided, supported, and available to the Jewish Community in all aspects of student life (kosher hot-lunch programs, accommodations for all Jewish holidays and Sabbath Observant Students)
  • Israel Club and other after-school learning clubs available to all students

Besides attending the open house, Heck said students of all backgrounds can find out more about THS through its shadowing program. Students in middle school or those who are new to town can contact THS’s guidance department to request to spend a day with a THS student.

“I believe that the people coming to shadow – the kids and their parents – they like what they see here; they’re enthusiastic about it,” Heck said. “Our guidance department does an awesome job with setting the kids up. They try to match up students who share similar interests.”

Thursday's open house takes place in the high school's Media Center and starts at 7 p.m., Heck said. Kosher refreshments will be served, and topics to be discussed will include:

  • Academic offerings, including the Advanced Placement and Honors Programs and courses
  • Educational support services and college-planning services
  • Technology usages in all subject areas and Language Arts and Social Studies course offerings

Heck said THS has a diverse student body, and he’d like to see it continue to reflect that of the township.

“THS is a unique building, and all of our students are special here,” he said. “I hope families that come to the event can see that THS offers an educational setting that would make any family feel comfortable in sending their child here. I think we offer an outstanding education. We have an open-door policy here. Anyone at anytime – whether they give us a call or stop by – can take a tour of our building."

Jason Flynn January 13, 2012 at 04:34 PM
DEE: My understanding was that a parent or two inquired about THS as an option for their children. Others started to have similar inquiries, so the school put together a presentation for those interested. I am not sure what your point is at this point- are you saying TPS should not have any marketing of their strenghts and programs? Should state universities not market - only private ones? Parents have a choice where to send their child - it may include a charter, traditional public, homeschool, parochial or private...can't a parent check them all out and make the best decision that is suitable for their family or that particular child? The power point was one that Mr. Heck stated he has already used at several open houses. The students volunteered on their own to attend and speak about THS - they were not paid and there were perhaps $10 bucks of DD munchkins on a table with some bottles of water. The building was open with 4-5 other activites going on simultaneously, including a THS Ladies BB game, adult education classes, a film crew producing a movie, the dance troop practicing, etc. So, it is not like the building was "opened up" just due to the crowd coming for the open house. I think if people are not interested in looking into THS as an option, regardless of race, religion, etc. - don't come. If you are, and want to make an informed decision, go and have your child shadow for a day or two.
zizi January 13, 2012 at 04:48 PM
A 4-year college is not for everyone...... Test scores, of course, are not the only way to judge the successes of our socio-economically diverse students. Pretty good way to look down upon kids that fail THS. I see a lot of hidden meanings in these two sentences....... Why a public school is wasting our tax money in having open houses?..... how does this open house help improve the academic standards...... why should tax payers pay for such an activity is beyond me......
Dee Are January 13, 2012 at 04:58 PM
"are you saying TPS should not have any marketing of their strenghts and programs" absolutely not. I'm saying that a public school should be marketing to everyone on the basis of what it is and can present in terms of co/extra and curricular programming. To isolate a religious group and try to attract that group opens the dor to a valid concern. Do they hold separate Open Houses for athletes, Buddhists or math students? Why not just have real Open Houses for all, every time?
zizi January 13, 2012 at 05:46 PM
"I think if people are not interested in looking into THS as an option, regardless of race, religion, etc. - don't come. If you are, and want to make an informed decision, go and have your child shadow for a day or two." I just think that tax payers should not pay for such adventure of Mr. Heck. This is not a mandated activity and should not be paid for by the tax payers. Let Mr. Heck rent the school building and pay for all the costs from his pocket or get some financial help from all those nice people who think it is a good idea
Barbara Ostroth January 14, 2012 at 07:01 AM
Mr.Flynn... it's obvious that this argument has gone on long enough, these two (especially "zizi") are "glass half empty kind of folks who just refuse to look at the positives. He didn't even read your message about the actual costs of running this open house, which were just a few refreshments -- no extra costs were involved in opening up the building or paying any salaries. Those staff members who were there volunteered their own time. And yes, other open houses are held through out the year, including a highly publicized one each year in late October for both public and private school 7th and 8th grade families. Enough said.

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