Wall of Gratitude

A compilation of accolades we are receiving from parents regarding GOA’s response to remote instruction and community engagement during the coronavirus pandemic. Share your experience with us! #GOANJ #RoadrunnerPride
Week 2 has concluded and we just want to say how grateful we are to this community. The staff has put so much effort into preparing each lesson and making this online programming an extension of our school. 
 
My children really wake up each day looking forward to connecting to their wonderful school family. They look forward to their classes, and seeing their teachers and friends in their online classes. It has kept our world as close to normal as it can possibly be. Kol Hakavod
“We are totally loving “Live with Mr. H!”! Such a bright spot and fun way to start the day. Congratulations. For this and for everything. Most of the kids we know in public schools are getting a few assignments posted on google classroom to do on their own. The fact that our son has returned to school with the connection to teachers and friends and structure of the day is priceless. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Three cheers for our GOA teachers and administrators!!!”
Thank you!  Hats off to you and the whole team for working well above and beyond to make sure our kids keep learning. The incredible faculty has been working day and night to make sure our kids stay on track and feel like they can do it. Thank you and the team for pivoting as feedback comes in. This is all one big experiment (for everyone). The GOA team is incredible.

We just wanted to thank you and your team so much. [We] you guys are basically rockstars; you are doing an absolutely first class amazing job! 
“Great first day! Thank you for your creativity and giving us the resources to help the learning going. We loved the videos (and may have watched them more than once). Stay safe everyone.”
“I just wanted to thank you so much for this morning’s davening. I found it so meaningful and touching to try to daven together as a community. I also very much appreciated being able to say Kaddish this morning. I very much look forward to joining you again. Stay well.”
Thank you for all the great work you and the rest of the faculty and staff are doing so that our kids keep learning and engaged with school remotely. 
 
I especially appreciate the thoughtfulness about and measures taken to try to cut back on some screen time.
"Your happy morning messages set the perfect tone for the day!  Thanks for all you are doing to keep us smiling and sane!"
"Just wanted to thank you for your optimism, organization and dedication during this challenging time. We are so blessed to be a part of this special community. Hoping you and your families stay healthy."
"Congratulations on a tremendous week of remote instruction! As a parent, I’ve been so impressed with everything and you can tell how everyone is adapting each day, it’s really great."
"I am sure this has been an unusual and challenging situation for [GOA’s teachers and administrators]. Like everything we do for the first time, we will learn, adapt, evolve, and improve - together. Please know - that even though there will be days and emails that will surely make you think otherwise (in the stresses of our new normal, we may sometimes forget you are working parents navigating the same challenges as the rest of us) - we are all sympathetic and very very appreciative."
Thank you to all the teachers and staff who are making this new experience as special and calming as possible for the kids, and by extension, the families.You’re doing an amazing job above and beyond!
"GOA is knocking it out of the park in its quick, progressive, inspirational, practical reaction to our current situation. You are setting a remarkable example for our children and continuing to create an extraordinary environment of learning and Jewish values. Kol ha’Kavod to all of our faculty and administration! Thank you!!!"
"I just wanted to thank you for your support and your kind worded emails.  They are very much appreciated. I wish you all a wonderful, relaxing weekend and a shabbat shalom. I am so happy to be a member of the wonderful Golda Och community."
"Thank you to the administration and to the wonderful teachers for teaching our children in such a beautiful way this week."
"Seeing the GOA teachers in action is truly amazing. Thank you for giving structure, fun and learning to my child. It is really appreciated. It is a comfort to know that during this stressful time she is getting the education and support she needs. Thank you for the time, effort and hard work."
"I read and watch everything from Israel. I am so grateful that my two grandchildren joined the Golda Och Academy family this year. The school year has been wonderful in itself but how you have approached the home schooling situation is amazing beyond words. Every teacher and staff personnel and all the families and students deserve a yasher koach and todah rabah from a proud grandmother."
"Hello to the most incredible, caring and patient group of educators I have ever known! I have felt on the verge of tears for most of today, but not out of frustration, rather out of awe at all you have managed to do for our children over the past few short, BUT VERY LONG days! I can not say thank you enough, I don't know when any of you are sleeping, but I hope that you are finding time to care for yourselves and your families."
"Just wanted to thank [GOA] for your optimism, organization and dedication during this challenging time. We are so blessed to be a part of this special community. Hoping you and your families stay healthy."
"I would like to thank [GOA] and tell you that we are so lucky to have [Jordan Herskowitz as our Interim Upper School Principal]. In addition to the high professional way that Adam, Jordan and Jamie are leading the school, especially at such a difficult time, the ideas and performance of “Live with Mr. H” is something incredible, beautiful, refreshing and full with thoughts and love to our community."
"[GOA’s] “Live with Mr H” is quite enjoyable! We enjoy the humor in this chaos. It is great to see the teachers adjusting so quickly to the situation. Keep the morning live shows up and running. They are fantastic!"
"The school is a huge bright spot! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Loving “Live with Mr. H” - somehow that has to survive after all of this is over and things go back to normal!"
"Just wanted to thank you for your optimism, organization and dedication during this challenging time.  We are so blessed to be a part of this special community. Hoping you and your families stay healthy. "
"Thank you to the administration and to the wonderful teachers for teaching our children in such a beautiful way this week."
"I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you and the teachers and faculty at GOA have done. I’m so impressed with how this week has been. With all of the uncertainty in the world, to know that [my daughter] is maintaining her routine and learning and seeing the faces of her teachers and friends ... well, thank you."
"On behalf of all of the Upper School faculty and staff, we would like to thank [the Administration] for helping us to transition to remote teaching. The resources you supply, your support and encouragement are so very much appreciated by all of us. As we learn new ways to teach and connect to our students, we can only imagine what it has been like for all of you behind the scenes to keep the school up and running. If we seem frustrated at times, overwhelmed, and forget to express it, please know that we are grateful for your work and for enabling us to be the best educators, counselors and professionals under these new and trying circumstances. We look forward to our continued success together, and wish you and your families good health and a very happy spring."
"I wanted to thank you for putting together the videos and the instructions for the Pre-K assignments. You've done an amazing job, especially given the circumstances, and seeing the smile on [my daughter's] face when she sees you is priceless. I thought I'd be all fancy and play the videos through my phone onto our tv to mimic the smart board, but I realized this was a mistake. I keep missing great photo/video opportunities of [my daughter] watching both of you! She waves, says hi, walks right up to the tv and waves some more (quite vigorously), repeats the sounds the Y makes, sings along, and generally just interacts as if she was in the classroom with you. It's precious. Plus, it's also a treat for us to be a fly on the quarantined wall (well, that part's not a treat...) to get a glimpse of her day to day that we would otherwise never see. "
 
So thank you again for all of your hard work. Given the speed at which this became the current new normal, it's truly an understatement to say how impressive it is that you were able to accomplish what you have in such a short time. This is a truly unique situation and you have your own families to care for, so please know that we are beyond grateful for what you have done and will be doing.  
"The whole GOA team did a fabulous job last week of keeping classes running in a meaningful way, keeping students engaged and keeping life as normal as possible under the circumstances. We really appreciate all of the efforts."
"The teachers are doing an amazing job!!!! Having an organized schedule for the kids makes it so much easier!!!  We are very lucky indeed to have such a fantastic faculty and administration at GOA, and perhaps the two-week head start also really helped."
"I’m just writing to say how pleased we have been with the preparedness and full robust class schedule for the Middle School. I felt [my son] was very engaged this week and was learning. Thanks so much for all the effort which is truly paying off!"
"Thank you to the administration and to the wonderful teachers for teaching our children in such a beautiful way this week."
"Thank you for all your posts! We read about flowers and completed the diagram today. We have some flowers in the house so we’re going to examine them as well per the video. Really appreciate all your hard work!"
"So impressed with all GOA is doing to keep the kids motivated and educated!"
"[GOA is doing] a fantastic job with the remote instruction. My friends in other schools are very jealous. I have a friend who is a middle school principal at a private school. When I told her what [GOA is] doing she asked how the teachers are able to teach with their kids at home. They are struggling to provide the remote classroom experience because they are at home with their own kids."
"I am proud that I get up everyday and see [Lower School Principal Carrie Siegel's] smiling face. I am also proud that I took a shower and got dressed. My family is also proud that I took a shower. 🤣 Mostly I am proud of [Ms. Siegel], who wakes up everyday with a seemingly positive attitude and project that into the community. ❤️"
"I just wanted to send a quick note to express my gratitude for [GOA's] tireless work and effort to keep our kids engaged and actively learning over the past couple of weeks. As we are all learning to adjust to this new situation, it has been such a comfort for [my son] to have some semblance of a daily routine and to be able to interact with his teachers and friends in the digital classroom. I appreciate that the workload has gotten more rigorous each week and that [he] is busy outside of class independently completing his assignments. He is learning to prioritize and manage his time which will be of great benefit to him in middle school and beyond. Todah rabah and yasher koach to each and every one of you for making this work!"
All of the teachers are going above and beyond during this time. I feel their support and teamwork from all of them. This school defiantly feels like a supportive family. We love GOA and can’t wait to be back in person.
First, we wanted to take a few minutes to let you know how much we appreciate how much you are doing to help [our student] and all of the students! We really appreciate how much you have work you have put in during remote instruction. We feel so lucky to have [our student] with you continuing to help her to love to learn science this year. We are so happy with the GOA remote instruction, and know it is much BETTER than what our public school friend's kids have been receiving.
I wanted to take a minute to thank you for being amazing teachers and staff. When we chose GOA I was struck by the warm atmosphere that you feel the moment you walk into the building. My entire family is in awe of how you switched gears so quickly and were able to continue teaching our children from a distance without missing a beat. We appreciate you!
"I already knew what an amazing and special community GOA is and has been for many years but this truly highlights just how incredible and wonderful all of our teachers, administrators and staff truly are.  Everyone has gone above and beyond for all of the children and families. We are so grateful and appreciative!"
“Throughout the years we have always been grateful for the wonderful teachers at GOA, but never more so than today. Our kids are anxious. We adults are anxious. The organization and warmth and structure and excellent communications you are providing are helping to calm the nerves tremendously. Our son woke early today, got dressed, ate breakfast, had his kippah on, and was ready at his desk by 8 am for the first day of homeschool. I had to break the news that he was really, really early. He was so excited to see his teachers and classmates on the computer and to see how this new normal would play out. The morning was fantastic. He was engaged, focused, and cheerful. Did all the work in record time. A huge success in our house. Thank you!!! Keep up the great work, and keep yourselves and your families well.”
Remember when we thought Snovember was stressful?! You and the whole gan team are truly inspirational with your ability to bring joy to an unsettling situation. Thank you for everything you're doing. I know you have your own family to take care of. You're balancing it all beautifully. 
We wanted to say thank you! On our end, it seems as if 5th grade life hasn't missed a beat. [Our daughter] is completely engaged in her responsibilities as a remote learner and is feeling supported and encouraged to do her best. I can't imagine teaching 5th grade in a real classroom, let along remotely. Just wanted to let you know that you are all rocking it!
“Thank you! So impressed with all GOA is doing to keep the kids motivated and educated. Thanks as always!”
Thanks so much for organizing everything in order for the kids to keep progressing in art. It’s so great to have a creative outlet they wouldn’t normally do on their own during these unsettling times. 
“Remote learning for my sixth grader is going really great and we are far ahead of all of their public school friends. Thank you GOA!”
Just wanted to send you an email filled with gratitude. The 1st grade team is doing an unbelievable job in an unimaginable situation. Keep up the amazing work.  
Never have I been more impressed with our school. The teachers are inspirational. Really wonderful job, thank you!  
"Grateful beyond words to the faculty and administrators at GOA for their incredibly important work educating our children and for the genuine care and enthusiasm that they show in (and now out of) the classroom."
"It is been one of the most amazing experiences to see our teachers work so tirelessly and figure out this remote learning with our children so quickly. I am so truly so moved and so impressed each period, of each day how much true learning and what is shaping up and taking place. It amazes me. Both of my kids are excited to get online each morning. They are grateful to see our administrators, their friends and teachers. We can not thank you enough for all of the tremendous work that every single person is putting in to the development and implementation of this remote schooling program. Our children will be all the better for it!!"
"Just wanted to send you a note to tell you how appreciative we are of the hard work you are putting in for the 1st graders. [My son was] so thrilled to see each video every day and today’s bingo game was fun for him. As we are all learning this new way of life, I just wanted to send a note to let you know how grateful we are to have you as [our son's] 1st grade teacher."
"We are so impressed and thankful for the wonderful job that the entire GOA community has done in getting remote instruction up and running so efficiently and quickly. Kudos to all of the teachers, administrators, and staff for this outstanding job! Keeping some semblance of normal and providing the children with an education during these times is incredibly important. Keep up the great work."
"Thanks team for everything you did while trying to keep your own worlds “normal”! We, all have renewed respect for how much you do everyday!!! We are so grateful to you all and look forward to the weeks ahead."
"Thanks [GOA] for everything you did while trying to keep your own worlds “normal”! We all have renewed respect for how much you do everyday!!! We are so grateful to you all and look forward to the weeks ahead."
"We have been blessed to be part of the Golda Och Academy family for 18 years and counting. I thought when we moved to South Orange from Manhattan on 9/11/01 that day and period were beyond imaginable. Now we are faced with the spread of the Coronavirus. To say it is beyond scary is an understatement. [My daughter, GOA Class of 2017] was part of the Nachshon Project, which is based in Jerusalem, and was due to come home this June 10th from her semester abroad. Being on the faculty, I would see Rabbi Kallush and she would tell me that things were going well with Neshama. Little did we know things were changing by the minute. Within a day, all international students in Israel were told to go home. I had no idea of this development. The day after our faculty meeting, I was in Shoprite right after Shabbat and received a call from Rabbi Kallush. She told me that things had changed dramatically in Israel, and Neshama was coming home. Additionally, she alerted me to the fact that the students would be on a charter flight and that my daughter and one of her GOA classmates also on the Nachshon Project would be included. I stood there in shock and couldn’t thank her enough for including her on the flight even though she graduated a few years ago. I came home and texted Rabbi Kallush, I LOVE YOU. That’s what’s being part of the GOA family is all about. Families are truly there for each other in good and bad times. Families look out for each other. GOA was there for my family and me and we are forever grateful. Everyone is now home and safe. Thank you Rabbi Kallush, Adam Shapiro and the whole GOA family. May we all stay safe and healthy."
"I know that I, as a teacher, am putting in so much effort so far outside my comfort zone, I can not begin to imagine what this week has been like for [Lower School Administrators]. I want to thank you so much for covering every base from every angle and leading us, your staff, through this monumentous change."
"We are grateful to the fifth grade team for their 'above & beyond' work to keep the classes going."
"I've been very impressed with the online learning so far ... seems to be much more than most schools are doing, and it's so important to keep the kids busy at this time. My daughter ran off from dinner to go study for her quizzes, so it feels as much like real school as possible around here!"
"As you know, no one has had their normal life this last week or two. I want to thank [GOA] for making today more “normal” for me.  Having young voices sing with us and your way of embracing community was uplifting. [GOA’s] hard work and dedication is the resilience I needed today."
"I’m so grateful for the super human efforts from the teachers and administration during this crazy time."
"Thank you for the beautiful shacharit service this morning. It was a tremendous experience to come together as a community during this time in prayer. Your thoughtful commentary and infusion of gratitude comments made it incredibly meaningful. We watched/participated with our children and my parents joined as well from their home-multiple GOA generations! Thank you for providing this beautiful space for us to come together as a community during this upside-down time of social distancing."
"Kol HaKavod on this first week! The Upper School struck a perfect balance between serious learning/teaching and sensitivity to and acknowledgement of the current situation."
"To reflect on the week ..... THANK YOU to the amazing teachers who have demonstrated (yet again) their abilities to regroup , restructure , and think outside the box. Our girls have continued to learn and , more importantly, CONNECT with the collective group of friends and educators that feed their souls each week. We are reminded that you can touch someone’s world without even being in the same room."
"You guys are amazing!  Thank you so much for all your clear, concise assignments, your quick but impactful videos-[my daughter] loves seeing your faces!"
"Planning to light Shabbat candles 18 minutes early to express my gratitude for our amazing team, community, and family. Every single one of you is a true angel!"
"Thank you for providing such a smooth transition into this type of learning and providing excellent communication and support throughout. I’m sure you have been working tirelessly the whole week and the students notice - almost all classes have been running great and we are continuing to learn without a problem."
"Just a note of thanks for all that you do.  The girls had a great week last week and are looking forward to online school tomorrow.  Everyone is doing such a great job keeping the train moving full steam ahead."
"Remote Learning - Middle School is super impressive. Jolie is really thriving, engaged and enjoying it. Thank you for all of your hard work putting together this model in such a short amount of time. Congrats to you all and shabbat shalom!"
"I know that this is a very stressful time for all of us and we have changed our lives in unimaginable ways in the past week. I wanted to let you know about a simple act of kindness from the faculty that made things so much better for my daughter today. 

My daughter is in kindergarten with Morah Carol and Morah Jenny. We facetimed with both of them this evening, and they were so gracious to spend part of their personal “after work” time with my daughter. I can’t tell you how much [my daughter] appreciated the opportunity to talk with both of her teachers, and it brought her a sense of “normalcy”. She was able to proudly show Morah Carol her writing and talk about the days‘ assignments, and she sang songs and reviewed the Hebrew letters/vocabulary with Morah Jenny. Both of these calls took no more than a few minutes, but I think they were invaluable to keeping [my daughter's] spirits up. And for me, watching both of them interact with [my daughter] warmed my heart. Seeing her proud smile was definitely the best part of my day. Both of them should be commended for their caring, kindness and generosity."
"Kol HaKavod to [GOA’s] leadership during this time, and for the outstanding work of the entire faculty and staff.  We are so grateful for the incredible work, patience, and heart shown by you and by the teachers and professional staff. "
"So impressed with what the school has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time!"
"I always enjoy watching 'Live With Mr H.' in the morning. It’s a great way to start the day. GOA’s remote learning is amazing."
"We are so proud of [our son]! He’s racking up wins at GOA..hope everyone is hanging in there and thank you for handling this crises so well for the kids."
"Thank you so much for all of your hard work, on behalf of my children and all the children at GOA privileged enough to call you their teacher!"
"Thank you for [Lower School Principal Carrie Siegel's] positive videos on Facebook each day. It’s a great way to start our day. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Shabbat and restful weekend."