Merkaz has two campus locations that meet in person on different nights of the week.
Westport Area Campus
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Bridgeport Area Campus
7:00 - 9:00 PM
A typical Merkaz evening schedule is First Period - Snack - Second Period
If these times do not work for you and/or you have a change in your schedule,
independent studies can be arranged. We can make it work for you!
Regular and punctual attendance is essential for a successful experience at Merkaz.
A student may miss no more than four class sessions in any semester course to attain credit for that course.
Families will receive notification by e-mail when an absence trend is noted.
It is each student’s responsibility to track his/her own attendance at Merkaz.
No need to call the Merkaz office regarding student absences, unless there are special requests.
If a student exceeds the absence limit, they will not receive credit in that course.
In extenuating circumstances, an appeal for credit may be made via email to the Head of School within one week of the end of the semester. After reviewing the appeal, the Head of School may use their discretion to allow make-up work.
If a student misses more than 15 minutes of class time, either due to lateness or an early dismissal, he/she will not receive credit for that Session.
Lateness / Early Dismissal (When in the building)
If you arrive after the 7:00 PM. or 8:00 PM class bells, you must sign in and get a late pass at the Merkaz desk. This assures that you will receive credit for your attendance in class that evening.
Habitual lateness will be addressed by the Head of School in collaboration with the teacher. (See Attendance Policy)
Students leaving early must provide a written permission slip from their parent and must sign out at the Merkaz desk.
Conduct & Expectations
At Merkaz, we strive to create a learning community that encourages mutual respect, friendship, safety, and individual responsibility. We believe that no student has the right, because of their behavior, to interfere with the teaching and learning process.
Students are expected to behave appropriately, in a manner that is respectful of administrators, teachers, guest speakers, other students, and property. In addition, students participating in any special programs will respect and abide by the rules/policies particular to those premises and activities.
The following behaviors are prohibited while classes are in session:
Food or drinks in the classroom without prior permission from the Head of School (ALL food brought to Merkaz must be Kosher and nut-free.)
Vandalism (Students and/or parents will be held financially liable for the cost of repair or replacement of any property damaged or defaced.)
Use of drugs or alcohol by any student on school property
Smoking or vaping on school premises
Use of cell phones and all electronic devices, unless approved by the course instructor. All must be turned off while in class. Unapproved use of electronic equipment will result in the removal of the equipment for the evening.
Inappropriate attire, including dress and grooming that are offensive, distracting, or disruptive to the educational process
Leaving the building without permission
Violation of the above policies will be addressed by the teacher and/or Head of School, and parents will be notified when necessary.
Serious violations may constitute grounds for dismissal at the discretion of the Head of School.
Student Driving & Traffic Guidelines
The safety and security of Merkaz drivers is of utmost importance!
Students must operate vehicles in a safe and appropriate manner, and must abide by the established parking lot traffic flow. The Head of School has the authority to prohibit a student who violates safe driving practices from using the school parking facility.
Student drivers and parents must observe designated Entrances and Exits to and from the parking lot.
Safety & Security
To best ensure the safety and security of our students, students may not leave the building when Merkaz is in session without a signed permission slip from their parent.
A Security Guard will be present each evening.
Tzedakah and Youth Philanthropy are an important component of the Merkaz learning experience. Tzedakah will be collected weekly upon arrival. Contributions will be donated to worthwhile causes identified by the Merkaz community. Parent encouragement is greatly appreciated.
Kosher/nut-free snacks and drinks will be provided each week during our break. All food brought into Merkaz must be kosher and nut-free.
All guests and visitors must be approved ahead of time by the Head of School.
Students who bring a guest to Merkaz must have a note from the guest’s parents stating that they have permission to be at Merkaz.
Senior Merkaz Transcripts
Be sure your college application stands out from the rest!
Your application says a lot about you. College Applications officers have shared that they are most impressed with students who are willing to make a long term commitment to an extra-curricular activity. Merkaz participation indicates commitment to learning, an inquisitive mind, the importance of connecting with your community, and represents a broad spectrum of learning experiences. Be sure to include your Merkaz experience in each college application! Time and again, it has proven to give students an advantage in the competitive application process.
As a Senior, your Merkaz Transcript along with a cover letter will be provided for you to include with your college applications. The letter explains the Merkaz program, your involvement and commitment at Merkaz, and the graduation requirements. You will be notified when these materials will be available early in the fall semester.
REQUIRED SENIOR COURSE: All Seniors are required to take the Choices on the College Campus course during the spring semester of senior year. This course is designed to help prepare you for life as a Jewish student in the next phase of your life. Questions? Please email the Head of School.