This week, the Warrior Word interviewed high school principal Mrs. Meredith Kaltman to get a look into her daily schedule in the Hebrew Academy High School.
“My morning starts early in the morning. The first thing I do when I arrive at school is say good morning to Mrs. Benguigui and Norma. I check with them to see the situation of students turning in their phones and who's arriving late. Then I usually hang out during breakfast while students are eating after davening. Then I end up yelling at them to go to the first period.”
“I typically try not to schedule meetings during the first period, not before 9am because, that way, I can address any issues that might be popping up first thing in the morning. For example, a student who's late, a student who comes to school and is completely out of the dress code, or a parent who needs to meet with me. I do this so that way I have some time before my first meetings to address any issues.”
“Depending on the day of the week, I have different meetings that are scheduled every week. I typically try not to schedule meetings on Mondays because Mondays are always a whirlwind of activity from the weekend and anything that might have popped up.”
“Every Tuesday morning I meet with Morah Twito about activities, and then I meet with the high school admin team about things going on in the high school. On Tuesday afternoons, I've got a meeting with the entire school admin team, including the head of school and all the other principals.”
“On any given day, like Wednesday, I sometimes meet with students and go into classrooms to observe instruction, because I am supposed to be the instructional leader here.”
“Thursday mornings I meet with the high school admin team and Dr. Stein. On Thursday afternoons I meet with the English teachers. I'm actually about to schedule a meeting once a week with the math, science, and history teachers.”
Lunchtime & Dismissal
“Usually, I try to keep my lunchtime free so I can go to lunch and talk to kids and occasionally eat some food. I am here until at least 4pm when everyone leaves, but most days I stay after four, even to the point when the facilities staff come to lock up the buildings and set the alarms; I'm still here, and they have to make me leave so they can set the alarm. At the old building, I actually knew how to set the alarm because I would stay till late at night trying to work, but now the latest I stayed this year was 6:30, and I get anywhere between 120 and 150 emails a day that I have to reply to or delete if they're spam messages.”
Dealing with Students’ Discipline & Questions
“I have to deal with schedules and discipline, and usually once a day Rabbi Manne and I meet to go over referrals that might need intervention. I call and email parents. I also have kids coming up to me to ask to meet with me and ask questions, and many teachers have questions for me. Overall, as a high school principal, my days are jam-packed."
Composed by: Eliora Gdanski (11th)