Students can be dropped off as early as 7:30 AM. There is supervision in the gymnasium every day until 7:50 AM when the classrooms open. Middle School students may congregate in the Middle School Commons.
Rashi offers an enriching After School program Monday-Thursday from 3:00-6:00 PM. After School provides a supportive environment with a variety of electives, organized activities and independent time for supervised homework and quiet activities. Many electives are offered, such as piano, drama, karate, dance, and chess.
We are pleased to offer five morning bus routes serving Newton, Western suburbs (Cochituate/Wayland, Natick, Wellesley and Needham), Brookline, Jamaica Plain, Chestnut Hill, South Boston, and Back Bay as well as three afternoon bus routes serving Needham, Wellesley, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Brookline, and Boston. We also have an extensive carpool network and are happy to connect families with neighbors. For information about bus routes and applicable fees, visit our Transportation page.
All students bring a kosher-style lunch to school. Rashi offers a hot lunch program on Mondays and Tuesdays if a minimum enrollment is met for each semester. Rashi's parent/teacher organization, Yachad, provides pizza on Thursdays for students who are enrolled in their annual fundraiser.
Rashi is a nut-aware facility. Our school nurse closely monitors any food brought into the school for general consumption and provides advance notice to parents when food is provided by the school for holiday celebrations. When possible, allergen-free options are provided. In our Chadar Ochel, we offer nut-free tables for students with allergies to nuts. We also require that our Kindergarten - Grade 2 classrooms are nut-safe as snacks are eaten in the classroom.
Rashi is committed to having a socioeconomically diverse student population. Rashi grants financial aid to approximately 30% of enrolled students on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Amounts range from $1000 to 80% of tuition. Find out more on our Financial Aid page.
Rashi alumni thrive at the most challenging independent, Jewish, and public high schools in the area. Rashi graduates are capable, confident, self-aware learners who take on leadership roles and our high school placement record is the natural result. Of the Rashi graduates currently in high school, approximately 40% attend public high schools, 30% attend independent schools, and 30% attend Gann Academy, the Boston area Jewish high school. Over the last five years, of those that apply to private independent high schools, 100% were accepted by at least one school, and overall, 76% of their applications were accepted to schools typically admitting 15%.
The Rashi School is an environment that honors that multiple perspectives inform human experience. We seek to enroll students from a range of socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, from a variety of communities, and from all kinds of family configurations and structures. Additionally, The Rashi community is enriched by the presence of families from Russia, Israel, South Africa, Mexico, South America, Canada and Great Britain. Finally, Rashi is the recipient of the Morton E. Ruderman Foundation Grant which, as a partnership between CJP, the Ruderman Family Foundation, and Gateways:Access to Jewish Education, helps defray the cost of both school-based and ancillary services for students with disabilities and special needs.
The Rashi community draws families from many different Jewish backgrounds and affiliations. We strive to create an inclusive culture that is respectful of different beliefs and Jewish practices. We believe that there is no right way to observe Judaism and therefore we present and discuss different customs, laws, and understandings of Jewish culture and observance so that students and their families can make informed decisions as to how to incorporate Jewish practice into their lives. A family's practice (aside from our communal observances) is a personal decision.
A little over half of our families currently identify themselves as Reform, about 25% identify as Conservative and the rest identify as Reconstructionist, Renewal, Chabad, secular, or other. Rashi family practices reflect a broad range, from secular to social-justice-oriented to observing Shabbat and keeping kosher, and everything in between. Families at Rashi generally find others whose observance is similar to their own as well as those who are 'more' or 'less' observant. We are comfortable with and celebrate the full range of individuals' practice and preferences.
Rashi's Kashrut Policy strives to balance a healthy respect for diversity with a desire to share and eat together as a community. Food served by the school is kosher (if meat) or vegetarian (but not necessarily displaying a hekhsher or kosher certification). We strive to offer some hekhshered food or food not requiring a hekhsher at every event. Food brought into the school from home must be either dairy or meat and not contain pork or shellfish. Pareve (neither milk nor meat) items can be packed with dairy or meat meals.
Every year, we welcome students in all grades who have transferred from other schools. Students transferring into second grade and above (except those coming from other Jewish day schools) participate in our Mechina program, a Hebrew tutoring program which prepares children to transition into their grade's Intermediate level Hebrew class within one school year. There is an additional cost for this program and financial assistance is available. The cost for this program is $1,800 per family.
Synagogues are the foundation of Jewish life in America and are the primary place of worship and life cycle events. Rashi encourages all families to be active members of a synagogue. If you are not already a member of a congregation, our school rabbi would be happy to meet with you to help you find a congregation that meets your needs.
Rashi students are encouraged to be active in their youth group and to stay integrated in their synagogue's community, but participation in Hebrew school is matter of personal choice for each family. Some synagogues require students in their Bar/Bat Mitzvah year to participate in religious school.
At Rashi, children receive a rich Jewish education. They enter their Bar/Bat Mitzvah year with strong synagogue skills and comfort with the Reform prayerbook, Mishkan Tefilah. Students work directly with their family's congregational clergy to learn to chant their Torah portion, write their divrei Torah, and complete any other requirements of the congregation's Bar/Bat Mitzvah preparation program.
The admissions committee looks for a fit between Rashi and the student as well as the student's family. The committee looks for a match between the child's learning profile and the school's educational approach, the fit of the child within the social structure of the classroom, and the child's ability to positively add to the classroom environment. The committee also seeks to admit candidates whose families are aligned with the school's mission, values, and educational approach, and who will partner successfully with the school to support the child's success. Additionally, the committee seeks to create classes that are balanced in terms of gender, age, learning styles, personality types, geography, and economic background.
Rashi values community and recognizes that for many families, having all children enrolled in one school is a priority. However, we recognize that each child has a different learning profile and needs and that Rashi may not be a match for every child. Siblings are given priority for available spaces, however, sibling applicants must meet the same admissions criteria as all other applicants.
Children must be 5 years old by September 30 in order to enroll in the Kindergarten class. In some instances, we will work with the child's preschool to determine the appropriate placement for a child who just misses the cut-off.