Evaluation of the B’Yadenu Demonstration Project: Executive Summary of Final Report of Phase 1
January 20th, 2017
The B’Yadenu (“In our Hands”) Demonstration Project was created because, historically, students with special learning needs (SLNs) have had difficulty succeeding in Jewish day schools (JDSs). Under-enrollment has been due to a variety of school conditions such as lack of skills, strategies, and resources to serve these students, resistance to change, insufficient professional development (PD), and limited experience addressing SLNs. The five-year model demonstration project (Phase 1), funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation, was designed and implemented by a team from Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), Gateways Access to Jewish Education, and Yeshiva University. Five Boston area JDSs participated in two cohorts: two schools in Cohort 1 (a third dropped out) and three schools in Cohort 2.
The two primary goals articulated in the B’Yadenu Logic Model were to: 1) Create and deliver an effective, sustainable, and adaptable model for JDS education to serve an increased number and range of students with SLNs in the Boston area and 2) Document and disseminate the model for adaptation in other communities. To address those goals, the primary “intervention” of B’Yadenu was professional development (PD) at each school, tailored to each school’s plans and overseen by the school leadership team.
From 2012 through 2016, Goodman Research Group, Inc. (GRG) conducted an external evaluation of the project, funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation.