RTA students grow up to be leaders – leaders in their chosen field, leaders in their communities, and leaders of their personal life trajectory. To lead is to be intentional in the quest for excellence and having the inner confidence to chart a strong path forward.
Honing that intentionality and inner confidence runs through an RTA education and stems from RTA’s leadership and culture, and we are proud to lead by example.
RTA Leads in Global Engagement for Students
“I had heads of school contacting me afterward asking how we did it,” reported Rabbi Elisha Paul, RTA’s Head of School, following a recent roundtable meeting he attended with two dozen other heads of school under the aegis of the Virginia Association for Independent Schools (VAIS).
Rabbi Paul was referring to RTA’s impactful role in helping resettle Jewish Ukrainian refugees and integrating young students into RTA, with the help of our partners at the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond and Jewish Family Services. This is in addition to a recent powerful connection RTA kindergarteners made with Jewish kindergarteners in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, for a joint Tu B’Shvat art project over Zoom.
For us at RTA, these efforts and programs are part of integrating our students into the global Jewish community, and are especially meaningful during a time when our Jewish brothers and sisters need us most in a region struggling with war. RTA is proud to bolster our children’s learning experience through action.
But what’s surprising is that not everyone implements meaningful and real educational experiences like this. Reflecting on his meeting with other school leaders in the greater Richmond area, Rabbi Paul shared, “to me, it’s just what we do, but they’re right, it’s a big deal.” Subsequent to that regional VAIS meeting, other school leaders reached out to Rabbi Paul to learn how they and their students can also play a meaningful role in global initiatives with impact for their students, following our lead at RTA.
RTA Leads in Curriculum Development
Research has demonstrated that young learners become better readers when they first decode and develop familiarity with the language’s building blocks of phonetic tools. That’s why RTA prioritized adopting a new learning-to-read curriculum that recently emerged from the best of phonics and literacy research from the University of Florida Literacy Institute (UFLI).
“Strength in reading is the cornerstone of a young student’s academic development,” Sorah Plotnick, RTA Learning Coordinator, shared. “So, we are eager to stay on top of the best research and curriculum, especially for reading skills in grades K-2.”
Mrs. Plotnick then learned that now some of Richmond City Public School’s best schools are following our lead. “In a recent meeting helping one of our students in an IEP (individualized education plan) capacity with a coordinator at Mary Munford, we shared as an aside the power of our new UFLI phonics curriculum,” shared Mrs. Plotnick. The response was not what she was expecting. Following Mrs. Plotnick’s comment about our new curriculum, Mary Munford did their own research into the UFLI program and will now be incorporating it into their reading curriculum! RTA was intentional about what would be best for student learning, and ended up leading the way.
To learn more about RTA’s approach to learning to read with UFLI, contact Sorah Plotnick, RTA Learning Coordinator, at email@example.com.
RTA Leads in Enhanced Student Learning Support
One benefit of having a recent Ph.D. recipient serve as RTA’s Learning Support Coordinator is the inside track to the latest research in learning. Upon completing his dissertation a couple of months ago, Dr. Peter Temple, RTA’s Learning Support Coordinator, led a recent faculty professional development workshop at RTA centered around his doctoral dissertation in Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
UDL is an approach to education focused on capitalizing on students’ individual strengths enabling them to achieve mastery in their learning. Dr. Temple and our teachers discussed various techniques to challenge our students and maximize each students’ classroom experience.
This approach in the classroom is a research-based methodology through that RTA is able to advance its one-size-fits-one philosophy of education. We understand that each child is unique and learns best in his or her own way. That’s why RTA develops a tailor-made education to best serve the needs of each child.
To learn more about how RTA can maximize your child’s potential, contact Elisha Paul, Head of School, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rudlin Torah Academy is supported, in part, by a generous annual contribution and programming grants from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.