Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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Jewish school celebrates new home

The upper school students in Nevada's first Jewish school to serve students in preschool through high school, The Milton I. Schwartz Hebrew Academy and Adelson School, are proud to say they finally have classrooms that can't be relocated.

At the beginning of this school year, they made the transition from portable buildings to a newly completed $65 million campus they share with the middle school students.

While the new Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus has been in use by students since the first day of school, Aug. 25, its grand opening celebration was held Sept. 25.

And what a celebration it was.

The ceremony was in a brand new gym that was carpeted especially for the event so as to protect it from floor-damaging high heels.

On the stage, under a banner proclaiming "The Advancement of Learning is the highest commandment," Las Vegas city councilmen Steve Wolfson and Larry Brown rubbed elbows with Mayor Oscar Goodman and Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. and member of the board of trustees for the school.

A crowd overflowing out of the hundreds of chairs set up for the event looked on as choir students sang and school officials, including Head of School Paul Schiffman, expressed their sincere gratitude to Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson for their $25 million donation that helped make the new campus possible.

Once the speeches were done, the numerous parents and prominent community members in attendance, including Gov. Jim Gibbons, were given free reign over the 14-acre campus to check out the school's new science labs, media center, performing arts theater and sports features.

Summerlin resident and parent Randi Lampert said her fourth-grade son Aaron is most excited about the swimming pool, a feeling shared by upper school students and sisters AJ and Sara Kantor.

The school's new indoor competition-size pool has six lanes and a leisure pool with zero-depth entry for younger children.

Other new sports amenities include an indoor running track, tennis and volleyball courts and a fencing area.

Aside from sports facilities, the new campus also boasts technology-smart classrooms.

Schiffman explained one feature the teachers now have at their disposal: interactive white boards called SMART boards.

The new technology will allow teachers to write on the board and send it to computers for printing, he said, as well as preload pieces of their lessons on the board.

AJ Kantor said she's excited about the new technology, especially the brand new Mac computers available for student use and that each classroom has a stereo system.

"By using all different types of media, we are able to get more and more information," she said.

A full-service Kosher kitchen, college counseling center and instrumental music room are also highlights of the new campus.

Summerlin resident Gloria Alarcia, who along with her husband cares for their granddaughter Sarah while Sarah's father is in the service, appreciates all of the new technology and opportunities provided by the new campus.

"It is the best decision we made as grandma and grandpa to put our granddaughter here," she said. "It's like day and night from public school."

The Milton I. Schwartz Hebrew Academy opened in 1988 to serve students in preschool and kindergarten through eighth grade.

The Adelson School opened for grades ninth through tenth in 2007. Eleventh grade was added this year and 12th will be added next year.

The school's current enrollment is close to 400 students.

Schiffman said with the opening of the new campus, he expects enrollment to increase substantially.

However, there will be a cap on the number of students served by the school.

The maximum number of students in each grade level is 60, with class sizes not exceeding 16 students.

Ashley Livingston can be reached at 990-8925 or [email protected].

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