Yachad’s IVDU School of Long Island Shares Unique Program with Parents & Educators of Children with Special Needs
Long Island, NY, JAN 12, 2018 – Yachad’s IVDU School of Long Island hosted an open house on January 3rd to share its important programs with parents and educators of children with special needs. Attendees had the opportunity to meet the administrators, as well as special education classroom teacher Leah Rivka Karr. They toured the current classroom and learned more about IVDU Long Island from David and Dasi Fohrman, parents of an IVDU student.
The IVDU School of Long Island, an agency of Yachad, the National Jewish Council for the Disabled, opened in September 2017 to provide a holistic spiritual, social and academic education to children with various academic and social challenges, whose needs were simply not being addressed by existing local school programs.
Yachad was approached by members of the Five Towns communities for help with a host of unmet needs for their children, foremost among them, an elementary school. “We are honored to have been able to open a school to meet the community’s lack of a high quality educational facility for Jewish children with learning challenges,” said Rabbi Ahron Rosenthal, director of Yachad New York.
One of the parents in this year’s class reports that it’s the best option by far for her child. “The school started because parents felt there was a need that wasn’t addressed,” said Program Director Dr. Leah Israeli, “they had no viable alternative other than sending them on a bus to Brooklyn, and that wasn’t a good long-term solution.” The school has been a game-changer for parents, students, and the community.
The IVDU school teaches students to find their voice and become their own best advocate. It equips them with all the skills to help them navigate the world independently. With low student-to-teacher ratios, the school has a full academic program, including reading, writing, math, art, music, and gym, as well as counseling and physical, occupational, and speech therapy. All teachers and therapists have master’s or doctoral degrees in their fields.
The Brooklyn IVDU school, established in 2002, and the new Long Island IVDU, share an experienced administration: Dr. Jeff Lichtman, Dean of the IVDU Schools; Mr. Jack Gourdji, Executive Director; Mrs. Miriam Reifer, School Administrator and Dr. Israeli, Program Director.
Modelled on the proven structure of the Brooklyn IVDU school, classes are arranged based on the academic and social skills of each student. IVDU Long Island currently has one co-educational kindergarten through second grade class, and has plans to expand to grade-specific classes ranging from kindergarten through fourth grade for the 2018-2019 school year. “IVDU is committed to serving as many students as we can and be as inclusive as possible, because all children deserve access to an appropriate education. Everyone belongs,” said Dr. Israeli, emphasizing Yachad’s core values.
To learn more about the IVDU School of Long Island, please call: 718-758-2999 ext. 3.
Photo: Mr. Jack Gourdji, Executive Director of IVDU, speaking to event participants Yachad’s IVDU School of Long Island.