Students sleep in, lockers move north and Poland in February: Top 10 changes for 2011-12

BP Photo by Ariela Feitelberg

Ari Feuer, Deputy Editor-In-Chief

First-ever 8 a.m. start time and a completely rearranged building are among a slew of changes awaiting students when classes start this Wednesday, Aug. 24.  Here are some highlights, based on visits to school and meeting with new head of school Rabbi Ari Segal.


  1. New 8:00 A.M. Start – Students should delight in the extra 10 minutes of sleep (or homework) they can cram in every morning this year compared to the 7:50 A.M. start of years past.  School will still dismiss at 4:45 P.M. Monday-Thursday and at 1:45 P.M. Fridays.
  2. Lockers move north – All lockers have been relocated to the old Lower School part of the building, to the right (north) of the main entry foyer.  The great majority of classrooms are also located on the same wing.
  3. A new pilot, captain and leader – Rabbi Ari Segal brings years of prior experience in the field of Modern Orthodox education to Shalhevet and looks to push forward as the new Head-of-School.  Meanwhile, English teacher and Dean of Students Roy Danovitch becomes Acting Principal of General Studies.
  4. Poland-Israel trip pushed up to February – Seniors will fly out for their annual trip on Feb. 26 instead of the traditional May departure.  This year’s trip will extend for 20 days—until March 17.
  5. Students own previously forbidden territory – The old Teachers’ Lounge is now home to the new Students’ Lounge.  Old Students’ Lounge now Rabbi Leubitz’s office.
  6. Extreme makeover, Shalhevet edition – Bright Firehawk red now plasters the entrance and much of the exterior of the building, bringing school spirit out of the grey tones of old.
  7. No more extra-curriculars! – No, not really… but all non-academic activities will be newly referred to as “co-curriculars” instead of “extra-curriculars” starting this year, apparently reflecting greater appreciation for their educational value.
  8. “Traffic Hall” turns into “Teachers’ Hall”– The old locker hallway has now become a “teachers wing,” complete with a new teachers’ lounge, teachers’ eating area, and conference rooms.  The concentration of staff arises as an effort to foster collaboration between teachers.  Copy room and offices of Dr. Mercer and Lili Einalhori are located there as well.
  9. Outdoors eating spots relocated – Students will eat on the old middle school playground  (the jungle gym is still intact so far).  Old eating area outside old Student Lounge is now a teachers’ eating area.
  10. Learn Spanish while lying in bed at home! – Shalhevet will begin offering languages other than Hebrew and a handful of other subjects through an online option.  Although the number of participants will be held to just a handful this year, the administration looks to expand the program pending first-year results and feedback.