Almost 50 years after its inception, Hillel Academy is set to begin construction in late 2014 on the M.B. Glassman Hillel Academy Boys Wing as part of its campus expansion and renovation project.
The project began in 2013 with the addition of two new interior classrooms on the lower level of the campus, as well as upgraded fire and security systems throughout the building.
These new classrooms enabled the middle school boys to move from an off-campus annex onto the main campus, at the same time providing improved administrative support and services to the students and teachers.
Hillel Academy has 244 students.
The new construction will see the addition of five classrooms, office space, bathrooms and a library-study hall.
The wing will house the fourth through eighth grade boys, and will provide a modern learning environment in keeping with the high educational standards at Denver’s first and longest running Jewish day school.
Hillel Academy has been at its current location at 450 S. Hudson since 1965.
When it was designed, the building was mid-20th century state of the art.
However, as teaching methodologies have evolved through the 21st century, so have classroom designs. Frontal teaching to rows of children sitting at desks has given way to modular groupings conducive to differentiated teaching and other modalities.
The classrooms in the new wing will be equipped with the latest technology and will support these teaching modalities.
Hillel Academy plans a school-wide renovation of the existing classrooms after the new wing is complete.
The school is also in the process of a significant technology upgrade. In particular, the school is moving away from the traditional computer lab to a more progressive concept.
“By changing the technological environment, it is far more effective and less disruptive to bring the computers to the students, rather than the other way around,” says Mordechai Hoffman, executive director.
“As a result, we have purchased two mobile technology centers with 20 Chromebooks each, which brings the computers to the classroom and can be used for more effective testing and academic instruction.
“The huge advantage of the Chromebooks over a traditional laptop is not only their speed and effectiveness, but also the many controls in place to maintain a safe and secure learning environment.”
Hillel Academy Principal Rabbi Yitzchok Goldstein said, “The M.B. Glassman Hillel Academy Boys Wing will not only provide much needed space on the tail end of a decade of year-on-year enrollment growth, but will also provide a modern, academically rich environment for our students.
“As we constantly strive daily for greater and greater academic excellence from our students and teachers, so too we will now be able to provide the appropriate facilities to make that next leap.”
General Studies Principal Marcie Calm added, “Having the new boys wing of the school will help them develop a greater sense of community — allowing for additional programming tailored to their needs while still adding to the culture of the greater Hillel Academy campus.
“This can only enhance their total educational experience at Hillel Academy.”