FAQ about Mirowitz

What are the school hours?
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Elementary School Hours: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday
Middle School Hours: 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

During designated early-release Fridays, school ends at 2:30 p.m.

Is there before and after school care?
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Parents may bring their children to school for pre-care as early as 7:30 a.m. After care is available Monday-Friday until 6:00 p.m., and provides opportunities for students to engage in physical activity, to work independently on homework and to participate in after school clubs and activities. There is an additional charge for before and after care.

From 8:00-8:20 we offer before school recess at no additional charge.

What is the average class size?
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Smaller classes lead to deeper, more meaningful learning experiences and higher student achievement. We know that our constructivist educational philosophy works best when teachers are able to spend time differentiating instruction and working individually with students. We aim to keep class size at around 15 students.

What is the school's educational philosophy?
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Our constructivist classrooms present students with opportunities to build new knowledge from authentic experience. We believe that the primary role of teachers is not to lecture, explain or “transfer” information, but to create situations for students to explore and discover. The faculty is dedicated to uncovering the passions within each child and channeling them into inspired learning.

Why should I enroll my children there when I have a fine public school in my neighborhood?
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It’s true. Independent school is expensive. Many parents feel they can’t afford to send their children. Parents who have chosen Mirowitz feel they can’t afford NOT to. Consider these facts:

  1. Independent school students generally perform better than their public school counterparts on standardized achievement tests. Mirowitz does not endure government pressure to teach to the test, yet our authentic, hands-on learning leads to high test scores.
  2. Independent schools are not subject to the limitations of state education systems, and have more freedom in designing curriculum and instruction, implementing change and applying the latest neurological research. At Mirowitz, students typically exceed Missouri standards by at least a grade level in all curricular areas.
  3. Between the ages of 5-15, a person’s value system and sense of religious identity develop and solidify. Studies show that day school graduates express an extraordinary sense of responsibility towards influencing social values, helping those in need and affecting social change. With artistry, love and the magic of community, Mirowitz  nurtures children into strong human beings who have a firm Jewish identity and a strong moral compass. Read more about Jewish independent school education.
  4. Independent schools maintain small class sizes, so students have opportunities to work individually with teachers and learning specialists, and to be challenged to the level of their ability.
We are concerned about diversity. How does Mirowitz address that?
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Jewish day schools are more diverse than you may think. Families at our school come from different Judaic backgrounds, socio-economic backgrounds and countries. We welcome interfaith families and address diversity implicitly and explicitly through our curriculum and advocacy programs. What’s more, research shows that Jewish day school students enter the world with a confidence to engage with other people and places without losing their own heritage. At Mirowitz, students know who they are, and they emerge with the ability to draw strength from their colorful Jewish heritage, adding to the diversity of the world.

How much of the day is dedicated to Jewish learning?
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Mirowitz students develop a proficient knowledge of prayer, a love and respect for Israel, and the ability to read, write and speak Hebrew as a living language. Each of these subjects is artfully integrated into the core curriculum, allowing children to build authentic connections between Judaism and the world around them. For example, a Thanksgiving lesson about the Mayflower might include a discussion about the pilgrims in our own families who came for safety and religious freedom. A science lesson on the prairie biome might include a discussion of Torah and texts that direct human stewardship of the earth’s ecosystems.

Students study modern Hebrew for 45 minutes each day. Students engage in Judaic study four times each week, and morning t’fillot (services) connect the children to the stories, songs and values of our people.

How will Mirowitz meet the unique learning needs of my child?
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Because of our small class sizes and our extensive Learning Support Team, learning at Mirowitz is differentiated and extensions are provided so that every student is challenged appropriately.

When a student demonstrates a learning need (be it additional help or an additional challenge), or when a parent requests further inquiry into a child’s learning, we gather a Care Team meeting. A Care Team includes every teacher who works with that student, as well as an administrator and our learning specialist. Together, they create a plan for that child’s success, and review it several times a year to evaluate its effectiveness.

We take  our responsibility to provide optimal education support seriously. We have an extensive program that includes learning specialists, a speech/language pathologist, an occupational therapist, a math enrichment specialist and a counselor for social and emotional support. Every child benefits from their presence in the classroom…whether or not they have a Care Team plan.

How well do Mirowitz students perform on standardized tests?
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Each winter, the scores of standardized tests confirm what we already know – that our students are excelling. Mirowitz students consistently score high on the ERB (which measures achievement and reasoning in math and language arts) and WrAP writing assessment. Both tests are widely used by competitive independent schools.

Where do Mirowitz graduates attend high school and college?
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Graduates emerge from Mirowitz prepared for success in the most demanding public and private academic environments. They begin secondary school with a love of learning, a level of Jewish self-assurance, strength of character and the ability to make wise decisions.

Recent Mirowitz alumni have matriculated to these High Schools:

  • Clayton High School
  • Crossroads College Preparatory School
  • Ladue High School
  • John Burroughs School
  • Kirkwood High School
  • McKinley Classical Leadership Academy
  • MICDS
  • Parkway Central High School
  • Parkway North High School
  • Parkway South High School
  • Parkway West High School
  • Thomas Jefferson School
  • The Whitfield School
  • University City High School

Our 2008 graduates are currently freshmen at these fine universities:

  • DePauw University
  • Emory University
  • Harvard University
  • Haverford College
  • Ohio State University (full merit scholarship)
  • Princeton University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Missouri
Does a child starting at Mirowitz in an older grade need to know Hebrew?
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We welcome children into the Mirowitz community who have limited or no Hebrew language instruction. For students entering grades 2 and higher, we require a Hebrew language tutor initially to build basic skills and confidence. Children who transfer to Mirowitz typically do well learning to speak and read Hebrew. It’s not too late!

How will my family's Jewish practice be honored?
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At Mirowitz, Judaism is celebrated every day with purpose and joy. We are here to provide students with knowledge and understanding, and respect each family’s right to choose how they practice Judaism at home. We fully respect the diversity of religious practice in the St. Louis Jewish community and the unique customs of each congregation.

Do students take field trips?
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At Mirowitz, the world is our laboratory. Students learn about the political process by lobbying their elected officials, about the civil war at Lincoln’s boyhood home and about sustainability at Heifer International Farm. A unit on our local biome will include hikes in the prairie, restoration of the prairie, an overnight in the prairie and work growing a prairie at school. Students study geology in caves, head to the woodlands to study biotic and abiotic components, and visit streams to study erosion.

Beginning in third grade, students go on overnight adventure trips each year to allow for integration of science, history, Hebrew language and Judaics. Field work provides opportunities for discovery and for lifelong memories.

Does Mirowitz offer after school clubs and activities?
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At Mirowitz, the joy of learning starts before school and continues through prime time. Clubs cross grade levels, allowing students to learn new skills and strengthen their Mirowitz community at the same time. Activities include chess club, Girl Scouts, fencing, art, Tae Kwon Do, Equations club, Gymnastics, Mad Science, magic and more.

Will my child visit the school?
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All children come for a visit as part of the application process. Children applying for kindergarten or first grade will be scheduled for a small playgroup session in January or February. Older children (applying into grades 2 and up) will come for a one-day visit to a classroom at their current grade level. Screenings and visits are scheduled once the application and application fee are received.

Do you have a school lunch program?
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Mirowitz offers an optional school lunch program. Our chef prepares all of the meals from scratch using only locally sourced or organic foods — including vegetables that students have planted in a school garden.  Hormone and antibiotic-free milk is served with every meal. Cheese is local and made from grass fed cow’s milk.

All food served as part of the school lunch program is prepared in a supervised kosher kitchen.  Meat and dairy are served on different days.

Families can choose to order lunch from the school’s kosher, healthy lunch service, or they will be able to bring their own lunch or snack from home. All family choices will be honored in a dignified way…free of judgment and monitoring, and reflective of our commitment to respecting diverse family definitions of Jewish practice. Students will not bring pork, pork products, shellfish, or shellfish products to school.  Parents are encouraged to consider not mixing meat and dairy in meals sent from home.

Are students required to wear a kippah?
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Families may choose — and the school will support — their children’s practices regarding ritual wear at school. All students are taught about the meaning behind ritual wear, but they are never required to wear kippot or other ritual garb.

How much homework will my child have each night?
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A reasonable amount of homework encourages student initiative, develops independent learning skills, and allows time for practice and application of what has been learned in school. As a general rule, add a zero to your child’s grade to determine the approximate amount of time your child will spend on homework each day.

Is there a school dress code?
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Each Monday, students wear Mirowitz t-shirts, and on Fridays, students are encouraged to wear a white or blue shirt in preparation for Shabbat. On other days, there is no dress code.