CAARS 2020 – 2021 FAQ

Have a question that’s not answered here? Let us know! Contact Adra  Lustig, Director of Education, at

How will online learning in the fall be different from what students experienced last spring?
When we moved online in the spring we reacted suddenly without any preparation. This summer, the CAARS education staff has the opportunity to be proactive and thoughtfully plan for meaning-filled learning and engagement for our students and entire community while we have to stay at home. 

What about the revisioning process we went through last Fall?
We, the CAARS administration and the lay leadership team, had finalized a full plan for the revisioning of the program just as safer at home policies went into effect. Over the course of the spring, as it became clear that we would need to stay virtual in the fall, our team worked together to mold and adapt our original vision to meet our new reality. Please click here to learn about our new vision, mission, and values that shape our education program at CAA.

Vision, Mission & Values

Where can I learn more about the new structure of CAARS?
This past spring we held two virtual town hall meetings to share our new vision and structure with the community. The presentation from those meetings can be found below. We will also plan to have more virtual town hall meetings in the early fall.


What will the online CAARS Program look like this Fall?
Our program will meet online, in real-time–teachers and students, together live. We will utilize different online tools for engagement, including Google Classroom, so students and families are able to communicate with their teachers and access any materials, on their own. Our curriculum is being adjusted to fit an online model. 

What will the Sunday schedule be?
All classes Pre-K- 6th grade start their Sunday with Community Mifgash & Tefillah. This Family T’filah serves a few purposes.  First and foremost, it serves as a chance for your children to hear and practice singing the Hebrew prayers.  The more exposure your children have to hearing the prayers, the more “Aha! moments” they will experience as they deepen their Religious and Hebrew studies.  The second purpose is to connect our families to themselves, to each other and to God.

Pre-K – 2nd Grade

  • 9:30 – 10:00 AM     Community Mifgash & Tefillah
  • 10:00 – 10:30/45 AM   Breakout to grade level classes

3rd – 4th Grade

  • 10:15 – 10:45 AM    Community Mifgash & Tefillah
  • 10:45 – 12:00 PM    Breakout to grade level classes

5th – 6th Grade

  • 10:15 – 10:45 AM    Community Mifgash & Tefillah
  • 10:45 – 12:30 PM    Breakout to grade level classes

7th Grade

  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM        Hebrew or Electives [TBD]
    • Pre-B’nai Mitzvah students will be in Hebrew groups preparing for their B’nai Mitzvah
    • Pre & Post B’nai mitzvah students will be able to choose an elective to enhance their Jewish learning and identity

8th – 12th Grade – jtx

  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM      jtx Core classes by grade level
  • Sunday elective classes [TBD]

What will the Hebrew schedule for 3rd – 6th grade students be?
Tuesday Afternoons, 3:30 – 6:30PM
Students will be grouped in Hebrew Pods, small groups based on student ability and needs. These groups will consist of up to only 6 students per pod. Our curriculum for Hebrew is based on a progression of goals that each pod will move through at their own pace lead by a teacher. 

Pods will meet virtually on Zoom for at least the fall semester. Pods will meet for 50 minutes per week. Most pods will take place on Tuesday afternoons between 3:30 – 6:30 PM. 

Other Weekday Options
We are looking into options for Hebrew pods on other days of week. Please fill out your Hebrew pod preferences on the CAARS Registration form.

Regarding Hebrew, how can my child’s teacher listen to them practice in the short time they are in remote learning?
As we did to great success this past spring, our small Hebrew pods allow teachers to listen to your child and to help them with their Hebrew reading. 

What is a calendar for the start of the year? Has it been affected by the pandemic?
The school calendar was created in early February 2019, before the pandemic was in effect, taking the days of High Holy Days into consideration. The total number of sessions of school this year is comparable to past years. We are watching and listening to what our local school districts are sharing about the start of their year.

My kid(s) are already doing so much online. Why should we add online Religious School to our busy schedule?
Online learning presents benefits and challenges. Our teacher trainings will focus on student engagement and best practices in online relationship building, as well as how to best use online tools in order to make sure students are able to participate fully in the lessons. 

One thing our tradition teaches us is that Jewish learning never stops. Given what’s going on in the world today, it becomes even more important that your child(ren) have the opportunity for Jewish community, consideration of big ideas and values, and a boost to their Jewish identities. This is the time to make sure your child(ren) have the support of their Jewish community, which includes their teachers and the CAARS community.

One major piece of our curriculum focuses on social emotional learning and helping our students to have the tools to manage these challenging times.

I’m worried my child will be bored. How can you keep them engaged?
Our school will include a variety of ways to present content: videos, games, movement activities, giving each child the opportunity to teach (share their knowledge or experiences with their classmates), and using our breakout room capability for small group discussion. 

With all the uncertainty in my child’s life, how can they make connections with other children in the current atmosphere?
Every Sunday will start with community time (mifgash – morning meeting and tefillah- prayer) where we focus on community building and the emotional well-being of our students.  In our grade level classes, will use Zoom features such as break-out rooms, in order to let our students talk and participate in smaller groups. 

What if my child has a challenge that limits effective remote learning?
Please get in touch with our Director of Education, Adra Lustig, to discuss how we can best support your child.

What will happen in January 2021?
We’d like to give you an answer, but we do not know. We will continue to assess the safety and efficacy of different options. When we know the best course of action, we will communicate quickly and clearly with you.