(Courtesy of The Leffell School) After 22 years as a vibrant, independent Jewish day school in Greenwich, Connecticut, Carmel Academy has announced that it will be integrating many of its families and elements of its program into The Leffell School, a Jewish independent school serving approximately 740 students on two campuses in Westchester County, effective the 2020-2021 school year. Carmel Academy plans to wind down its own independent operations at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 academic year.
“Given the current realities of finances and enrollment, we believe that the very best way to ensure a continued, top-quality educational experience for our students is to seek the expanded opportunities and economic efficiencies that come with joining a larger, mission-aligned institution,” explained Nora Anderson, Carmel Academy’s head of school.
Carmel Academy has an
extraordinary legacy of academic excellence, spirited Jewish life and learning and attentiveness to the needs of all learners, particularly through its PALS (Providing Alternative Learning Strategies) program for students with special needs, which will continue under the auspices of Leffell.
The Leffell School was established in 1966 as Solomon Schechter School of Westchester and changed its name in July 2019. The White Plains campus houses grades K-5, and the middle and high schools are located in Hartsdale. The school is known for its rigorous dual curriculum, unique K-12 engineering and entrepreneurship programs, experiential Jewish life (including a two-week trip to Israel in eighth grade and its capstone Lev v’Nefesh senior experience in Poland and Israel), and strong college placement.
Head of School Dr. Michael Kay said, “We have long admired the strong leadership and educational offerings of Carmel Academy, whose mission and values are closely aligned with our own. The Leffell School is excited to warmly welcome Carmel Academy families, and our own community will be enhanced through the incorporation of the Carmel community and legacy.”
The two schools have long been guided by a common set of priorities, including a relentless commitment to academic success for all students; celebration of traditional Jewish observance, culture, text and language; strong character and values; a warm, nurturing community; and open engagement with diverse perspectives. The boards of trustees and administrations of the two schools are working together to ensure a smooth transition.
Carmel Academy board member Pam Feldstein noted, “We are very proud of what we have achieved as an independent school, and at the same time we feel a strong sense of responsibility to provide an experience for our students that preserves the best of what our school has always represented. We have confidence that integration into The Leffell School community presents the best pathway for continuing our important mission and ensuring that the Carmel legacy endures.”