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The “From the Desk Of” series is my regular email to the Valley Torah High School community.


This week I thought pictures would speak louder than words in highlighting the amazing three day staff training we had this week. I am grateful to be part of such a dedicated team at VTHS. We all began and ended the training with vigor and resolve to apply what we learned to our school and classrooms along with a strong desire to continue learning this year.  

DAY ONE 

Day one focused on creativity and innovation that began with an inspiring framing of Valley Torah by our Rosh HaYeshiva and Head of School Rabbi Stulberger.

 

Rabbi Stulberger starting us off on the right foot.  

 

 

Then we dove into learning about building a creative and collaborative staff culture.

Staff engaged in writing down on the walls “What If” questions about VTHS and collaboratively adding to the ideas. This was right after we engaged in some comedy improv to understand the importance of “yes, and” which is where we learned how to ensure an idea gets supported and thought out.  

 

After a delicious lunch, we had a Security Briefing by Yehudah Packer, retired LAPD detective, C.E.O. of Expert Security Services, Inc. and VTHS parent.

 

Yehuda Packer telling it as it is and giving our staff
some important tips and strategies.

 

We then enjoyed learning about Caine’s Arcade and unlocking every child’s creative potential (click here to watch the Caine’s Arcade video). Then we engaged in the very first VTHS Staff Cardboard Challenge.

Four teams had this to work with to create an educational game.

Rabbi Grama trying to glue me to his game.

 

The cardboard challenge winners: Rabbi Grama, Mr. Hoffman and Mr. Lim!

 

The big winner of the day was Rabbi Samuels who won a copy of Creativity Inc.
which we spoke about in regard to starting the VTHS brain trust. 

DAY TWO
 

 

Day two was focused on policies and procedures in a collaborative fashion to begin the work of ensuring that what is on paper is what is best in the classrooms. We then had Torah Studies and General Studies department meetings to prepare for the school year. Rabbi Apter won a copy of the LEGO Movie which I used the main character “Emet” as my example of the definition of creativity. Then we had a very interactive workshop on Google Apps for Education provided by the BJE-LA and given by Lori Getz who is an amazing educational consultant.

Lori Getz, Educational Consultant, getting

us ready for some serious Google Apps work!

 

Rabbi Semel and Mr. Paradzik building a Google Site!

DAY THREE 

Day three was a highly anticipated day for all of us. We had our first all-day Leader In Me training together with the girl’s school staff. Leader in Me is a framework and common language for leadership skills that we are planning on bringing into VTHS. The program is based on the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The day was an introduction to the program and we worked collaboratively to understand the program, what leadership means to us at VTHS and what our vision for VTHS is moving forward. We will be having ongoing training on this for our staff throughout the year and begin implementation the following year. Although, don’t be surprised if you start hearing terms like “Win-Win” and “Sharpening the Saw” in the classrooms and hallways of VTHS! 

 
Mr. Mike Webb from the FranklinCovey Institute starting our vision day!

 

 Have a great Shabbos everyone and all of us at VTHS are looking forward to an amazing year!  

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Eliezer Jones
General Studies Principal
Valley Torah High School – Boys Division

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