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Kushner Academy earns ‘Blue Ribbon’ honor
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Kushner Academy earns ‘Blue Ribbon’ honor

U.S. Dept. of Education puts Livingston school among nation’s best

Administrators at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, standing under their banner proclaiming their Blue Ribbon School status, are, from left, Debbie Finkelstein, middle school associate principal; Shari Faleck, lower school director of student services;
Administrators at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, standing under their banner proclaiming their Blue Ribbon School status, are, from left, Debbie Finkelstein, middle school associate principal; Shari Faleck, lower school director of student services;

The Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy has been recognized as a 2010 National Blue Ribbon School, a national honor for high-performing schools.

The new status was conferred by the United States Department of Education on the elementary and middle schools of the Livingston yeshiva, which also has a high school division known as the Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School.

In its application, Kushner described the strong results from sweeping changes in its standardized assessments and curriculum begun in 2004, its ambitious programming for special-needs students, its professionally staffed Learning Center, and its formal enrichment program for students with advanced academic abilities.

“We’re very excited because this recognizes what we have worked so hard to do,” said Susan Dworken, head of school. “It’s really validating. And it’s something we can share with parents and kids. It’s no easy thing to send kids to a Jewish day school. This gives parents the additional boost they need to know their children are in the right place, and that we are giving them a great education.”

Kushner is one of just two Jewish day schools among the current round of recipients — 254 public and 50 private schools nationwide. All will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC, in November.

The Department of Education has been designating blue ribbon schools since 1982. The program is part of a larger Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices.

The Nathan Bohrer-Abraham Kaufman Hebrew Academy of Morris County, a community day school in Randolph, also earned the designation in 2006.

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