Hidden Sparks' popular LEARNING LENSES COURSE

    is being offered this summer, free of charge, in partnership with the Jewish Education Project. Funding for this course comes from the NYC DOE and as a result participation is LIMITED to secular studies teachers in Jewish day schools and yeshivot.

    Join us for four eye-opening days, August 7th-10th and learn to observe, reflect and plan for all the students in your classroom.

    Earn 34 CTLEs!

    Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Who Should Take This Course?


    • Learning Lenses, a collaboration between Hidden Sparks and The Churchill School and Center, is Hidden Sparks’ core curriculum. This course is designed for faculty members of day schools and yeshivot. We welcome general and Judaic studies classroom teachers, resource room staff, guidance personnel, and administrators.

    What you will learn

    What Will I Learn?

    • The Hidden Sparks Learning Lenses curriculum will help you learn how to observe, reflect and plan for all students in your classrooms.
    • Using multiple lenses and real-life case studies, you will learn to understand student strengths and challenges, and identify strategies for all learners, including those who struggle academically and present challenging social-emotional issues. 
      • Neurodevelopmental Lens: A neuro-developmental understanding of learning  including topics such as attention, memory, social skills, language, higher order thinking and sequencing.
      • Ecological Lens: the ways in which the child’s home life, classroom culture and community impact their experience.
      • Temperamental Lens: identifying, understanding and celebrating components of a child’s innate personality.
    • You will expand your instructional and conceptual toolboxes to improve student achievement.

    Course structure

    • The four-day course  will run from 9am-4:30pm on August 7th-10th in Midtown Manhattan. 
    • There will be a brief assignment to complete in the evenings.
    • A certificate of course completion for 34 hours of coursework will be provided upon completion of the course. (Hidden Sparks is authorized by the New York State Department of Education to provide Continuing Teacher and Leader Education.)
    • Brown bag lunch


    Hollis Dannaham

    Hollis Dannaham, M.Ed., is a Senior Hidden Sparks Coach. She has been empowering complex learners for 30 years as a learning specialist, special educator, administrator, and consultant in public, private, and charter schools. Hollis created Transform Boundaries, an organization dedicated to helping schools create programs for reaching their complex learners, served as the Director of Academic Intervention at Explore Charter School, co-created the Carmel Alternative High School for at-risk teens, and worked as a learning specialist at the Student Success Center of All Kinds of Minds. She was recently published in Jewish Educational Leadership Journal and  Education Update.

    Claire Wurtzel

    Claire Wurtzel, Co-Educational Director, recently retired as the Director of Faculty Development for the Churchill School and Center in New York. Prior to this position, Ms. Wurtzel was the Director of Faculty Development for the New York City Schools Attuned initiative for All Kinds of Minds, where she oversaw Schools Attuned courses, mentor training and facilitator training for over 400 New York City schools. As one of two educational directors for Hidden Sparks, Ms. Wurtzel provides training, supervision and ongoing mentoring to the Hidden Sparks teams of coaches, principals and Internal Coaches. To fulfill long-standing interest in Jewish education, Ms. Wurtzel has worked to adapt the Schools Attuned professional development program for Jewish day schools. Most recently, she and her husband, Bill Wurtzel, co-authored the book, Funny Food: 365 Fun, Healthy, Silly, Creative Breakfasts, and have been running workshops in New York City schools to improve children’s eating habits.

    Space is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

    For further information about the course, please contact:

    Sara Diament

    Director of School Services

    • “  I have learned about taking time to really look more closely at student work in an effort to ‘get closer to the student’.  ”

      Course Participant
    • “  I had a wonderful time. The idea of Lenses was very clarifying for me in terms of giving me a structure through which to analyze children and their abilities/disabilities in a school setting.  ”

      Course Participant
    • “  In the future, I will allow student to understand their own strengths and weaknesses and work together with them to develop a set of goals and strategies.  ”

      Course Participant
    • “  I learned to reflect on my own teaching and activities and how they affect my classroom dynamics.  ”

      Course Participant
    • “  Going forward, I will try to look at students’ behavior through the different lenses, as opposed to labeling them.  ”

      Course Participant
    • “  I liked the case studies and sharing opinions and strategies with colleagues, as well as the variety of activities presented.  ”

      Course Participant
    • “  This program has been eye opening! It is extremely well planned and an excellent model for facilitating a great learning process. I cannot wait to train the rest of my staff.  ”

      Course Participant