Is it possible to boost reading and math scores and reduce costs at the same time? The Affordable Jewish Education (AJE) project’s “2 Sigma Education” model continues to do just that. Thanks to the 2 Sigma model, Hebrew Academy of Long Beach’s (HALB) K—4 students made more progress in math than 99% of U.S. students and more progress in reading than 95% of U.S. students during the 2015—16 school year.

“Today is a big day not just for AJE and HALB but for all of Jewish education,” said Jeff Kiderman, executive director of AJE. “To see an established, respected school like HALB use our 2 Sigma model to significantly improve its educational product and save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in the process is truly exciting.”

With its focus on maximizing one-on-one and small-group instruction, 2 Sigma Education is an education model driven by research showing that the average student taught one-on-one performs better than 95% of students in a traditional class. Using classroom-management best practices, third-party online educational content, and proprietary data-analytics tools and strategies, 2 Sigma Education maximizes one-on-one instruction in a highly effective and efficient way.

Using the 2 Sigma model, HALB’s 475 K—4 students demonstrated outstanding academic performance and growth on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. In 2016, HALB’s K—4 students outscored their predecessors by an average of over 10%. The results were particularly strong in kindergarten, first, and second grades, which performed in the top 2% of all U.S. schools in math and in the top 3% of all U.S. schools in reading.

By providing more personalized support to a wider range of students within the classroom, the 2 Sigma model also enabled HALB to realize significant cost savings through more integration of enrichment and remediation into the classrooms and the merging of three small classes into two larger classes in several grades. Over the past two years, the 2 Sigma model has generated over $450,000 in annual cost savings in grades 1—4, representing over 10% of HALB’s elementary-school budget. (HALB’s kindergarten is located on a separate early-childhood center campus).

“The 2 Sigma program has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams,” said Lance Hirt, HALB president. “We’re amazed by how much our students have grown and by the efficiencies that have been generated.”

In an effort to continue to enhance all aspects of its academic program, HALB is reinvesting the funds to provide additional support in Judaic studies, increasing the number of sections in its middle school, and expanding the middle-school support program. All of these investments are now possible without any adverse impact on parents’ tuition bills or the school’s bottom line.

“Working with HALB has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Rabbi Avrumi Sacks, chief academic officer of AJE. “It’s not easy being first, but HALB’s administration, faculty, and students have been great partners and the results speak for themselves.”

Founded in 1954, HALB is a Modern Orthodox Jewish day school in Nassau County dedicated to creating a warm and nurturing environment, to developing academic excellence in Judaic and general studies, and to helping each student achieve his or her unique potential. With 1,700 students from nursery through 12th grade across three campuses and four schools, HALB is one of the largest Jewish day schools in the country.

Founded in 2011, AJE works with new and established Jewish day schools to dramatically improve academic performance while significantly lowering the cost of education through the 2 Sigma Education model. AJE partner schools have demonstrated stellar academic results and have already saved over $6.5 million for Jewish families.

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