Resources for Educational Achievement Collaboration and Health – REACH – is Chicago’s strategic and coordinated effort to address a system-wide need to be more inclusive, building the capacity of Jewish day schools to teach and care for students with a wide range of needs.
Our vision is to ensure that all Jewish students can attend the Jewish day school of their choice. It is our goal to partner with Chicago area Jewish day schools to provide quality education for all children to achieve their individual potential as learners so that they thrive as productive, committed and communally involved Jews.
Since 2011, REACH supports Jewish day schools with the tools they need to meet the varied needs of the whole student, including their academic and social-emotional health needs. This allows students with a wide range of learning styles, abilities, challenges and special needs to access a meaningful Jewish education that reflects their families’ values.
Instead of concentrating resources at just one or a few schools, REACH builds the capacity of all Jewish day schools in greater Chicago combined.
We accomplish this by providing school administrators and teachers with data-driven education tools and best practices, and through a combination of teacher professional development, coaching, consultation and ancillary services to students.
We do this in the following ways:
- Coordinating and providing resources and services at the schools
- Establishing new systems and protocols for each school
- Delivering assessment and consultation services
Our School Partners
We partner with day schools in greater Chicago around four main service areas:
- Direct services
- Professional development
- Community collaboration
We frame our approach as addressing neurodiversity in the classroom using a strengths-focused approach to the practice of differentiating instruction for the neuro-diverse brain. This approach can be used when working with all students, but it is especially useful for helping teachers and administrators approach students who have challenges learning.
Our philosophy is also based on Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS), which is the idea that academic success is based on skill, rather than will. Using research-based methods, we offer professional development and training based on models of best practice and data-driven information.
Using CPS, we train and support teachers to guide student behavior in a direction that will have meaningful and sustained positive effects. This leads to more consistently positive student behavior and stronger overall student success.
What our teachers and parents are saying about REACH
When my daughter started REACH she was barely able to read. Her skills in Judaic and English subjects were very weak. Because of the belief of Shoshana Grossman (REACH teacher) and the REACH staff in JDBY, my child has grown every year. My daughter has been able to spend more time in the classroom while continuing to enjoy her relationship with REACH teacher.
Our son has been a part of REACH for several years now. REACH has the most amazing educators. They are attentive and supportive, and it is so crucial to have a liaison at the school when the need arises. They all go above and beyond the call of duty. It is a service that fills an irreplaceable need in the schools.
As a fourth-grade teacher and working with REACH on a daily basis, I’ve seen the tremendous benefits of their services both with my students receiving REACH support and how they have enriched my classroom. Taking the load off of the teacher, who has a responsibility to ensure each individual student reaches her academic capacity during the year, REACH ensures that their students’ needs are met, all within the framework of the classroom.
REACH is a partner with Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) in serving our community.