Dear YPHS Family,
I wanted to take this opportunity to look back over some of our great accomplishments from the 2016-2017 academic year and to share new updates and announcements for the coming 2017-2018 year.
Some Highlights from the 2016-2017 School Year
We started the year by asking our students to express their areas of interest and then formed various “teams” made up of faculty/staff supervisors and students. Each team chose to focus on a different area of school improvement and worked with dedication, excitement and passion.
- The Interior Design team undertook a massive project to redesign the interior of YPHS. Our new school environment is striking and very reflective of the positive energy of the team. Have you seen our beautiful blue and orange graphics on the walls and the vibrancy of the decor in the common area?
- In Journalism class a team of student leaders decided to share their literary work and interests with the entire faculty and student body. They put together a weekly report of their work and shared it broadly in a way that was both creative and informative.
- Student teams were responsible for organizing and leading off-campus trips (in addition to those conducted with Yeshivah of Flatbush), such as a visit to the Living Torah Museum, including an ice cream stop at 16 Handles; Aviator Sports; Bowling/Pizza Excursion; Sports Day in the Park; and, in conjunction with the PTA, a Spa Day and Basketball Tournament.
This past year we saw a newly invigorated PTA come together for the benefit of our entire YPHS family. The PTA supported our student teams in their hessed projects, such as the Hanukka Toy Drive, and created the infrastructure that enabled students to raise money toward their initiatives and allowed them to actualize their dreams. Together with the PTA, our students collected and packaged items to sell at the SCC for Hanukka and Purim, and they selected and purchased several YPHS-branded items for school pride, spirit, and recruitment. If you haven’t yet received a YPHS water bottle, stress ball, phone wallet, pen or pencil, please stop by my office in August!
One of the key, overarching and fundamental values at YPHS is the nurturing of our connection, as individuals, as a school community, and as the wider community of Jewish Americans, to the Land of Israel. In furtherance of our goal of solidifying this bond for our students, we sent a student delegation to AIPAC and conducted the first “Annual YPHS Trip to Israel” with our seniors, which has now been established and built into our school curriculum.
- I accompanied our delegation to AIPAC, which consisted of three committed and eager YPHS students from across the grades. Some highlights of our 2-day trip to Washington, D.C. included a joining with 19,000 other individuals from all different countries and walks of life to support Israel; sitting in the VIP booth to hear Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Charles Schumer, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan; concluding with a private tour of the West Wing of the White House. The attached pictures offer a glimpse of our exciting agenda.
- Our trip to Israel with the seniors allowed us to bring to life all that our students have studied throughout their years in school, and to build relationships with each other and with the Land of Israel. We are excited and proud that two of our 2017 graduates were accepted to Bar Ilan University in Israel following their trip. Initial plans are underway for this coming year’s senior trip to Israel, to take place after Pesah, which will be shared with you early in the school year. In the meantime, enjoy the attached pictures of our trip!
Our integration with the Yeshivah of Flatbush community has benefited both schools and both cohorts of students. Our YPHS students begin their day at YoF and often end the day there as well. Students in both schools take trips together, attend seminars and assemblies and share classes, lockers, sports teams and clubs at YoF. The scope of opportunitieshas expanded for our YPHS students, and the feedback we receive from the YoF administration and faculty is positive.
This past year our Kabbalat Shabbat Guest Speakers included parents Sam J. Sutton and Kim Dabah; Rabbi Eli J. Mansour; Mr. Arthur Pearlman, owner of our building, who spoke on Veterans Day about his experience in the military; a team of First Aid trainers; and a speaker from TAG, teaching about technology safety.
We concluded the school year with a graduation and awards ceremony for our seniors, chaired by PTA president Susan Salame. Over 100 guests watched as each senior received not only a YPHS diploma but an award highlighting his/her accomplishments. The bonus for each graduating senior was the presentation of a magnificent yearbook, written and crafted by the students and our Yearbook Committee and staff.
I am immensly proud of the many accomplishments of our students and faculty and am grateful for the support of the board and the parents who helped me in my first year as YPHS principal. I am looking forward to new and exciting projects for this coming year!
I want to invite all the parents to please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about your child’s upcoming school year. Be assured we are on the premises, working hard over the summer to complete minor constructions projects and preparing the school so that we are ready to begin the year with renewed spirit and positive energy.
With regards to all and best wishes for the continuation of summer fun,
Rabbi Sion Setton