Extra Credit: Kadima Closes

By Kym Clark - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - When the senior class of Kadima Memphis Jewish High School graduates, it will be the school's first graduating class, as well as the last.

The school held its last class Friday, April 30th in the Park Place Center at Ridgeway and Park, shutting its doors for good.

Senior Jessica Rubin was one of the school's first nine students when it opened its doors four years ago.

"It was very much an experimental process," she said. "We were kind of like the guinea pigs, I guess you could say. We had to build the curriculum and ask for what we wanted and be very open about what our needs were and be patient about getting them met," recalls Rubin.

Kadima was Memphis' first coed, college preparatory/Jewish studies school. What it lacked in actual classrooms and desks, Rubin says, it more than made up for in quality of education.

"I personally enjoy the advance placement AP curriculum. This year I'm taking AP English and AP Psychology and Biology," the college-bound Senior said. "It's just like kind of an extra challenge and allows you to really reach your educational potential I guess you could say."

Senior Logan Belz, who has a learning disability, appreciated the school's one-on-one student teacher ratio.

"It gave me a chance to expand my horizons and to mature me as a person by taking myself to places where I couldn't go before."

Kadima also boasted top notch technology: each student was given a laptop connected to a SMART board, among other things, and some of the best instructors.

The troubled economy made fundraising difficult and the decision was made by school administrators to close it down.

The underclassmen will now transfer to other schools, as will most of the teachers and staff, some of whom will return to Israel.

Incidentally, Kadima's graduating class has a 100% rate of college acceptance.

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