Podolski NESS Program

The mandate of Podolski NESS is to support students’ academic, social/emotional, and spiritual well-being. Our students are supported through a wide range of services. We offer the delivery of small-group academic remediation, small-group academic enrichment, independent learning projects, ESL, psycho-educational testing, therapeutic counseling, speech language therapy, and occupational therapy. In this way, we support the growth of whole child.

A hallmark feature of Podolski NESS is the small group academic support provided to diverse learners. Skilled specialists provide many academic accommodations for students to successfully access the General Studies and Judaic Studies curricula. Staff use varied teaching strategies to enable each student to progress through the grade level curriculum. Changes are made to the physical environment of the classroom and/or the school for those with physical exceptionalities. Finally, adjustments are made to assessment methods to be sure that each student is truly able to demonstrate his/her learning.

Podolski NESS

Shalom, bienvenue, welcome to Podolski – NESS!

At Netivot HaTorah, we are committed to providing excellent educational programming that supports the development of ALL of our children and adolescents. At the start of the year, NESS learning specialists gauge students’ interests, strengths, and needs.  Drawing from methodology designed to increase engagement and strengthen fundamental learning skills, NESS instructors provide content support and set students on a path toward achieving their full potential.

NESS specialists provide academic remediation to target students’ gaps in general studies and Judaic studies. Our new language learners benefit from ELL language instruction. Enrichment programming is offered to students that thrive when given accelerated and more open-ended parameters. Our social worker organizes social skills groups and provides a safe space for kids to share thoughts and feelings. In partnership with the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Jewish Vocational Services (JVS), we also offer occupational therapy, speech language pathology, and complementary psycho-educational assessments. NESS ensures that the whole child blossoms!

The Podolski NESS Department encourages ongoing professional growth of Netivot’s teachers. Teachers remain informed of best practices. The NESS department participates in on-going professional development to enrich their understanding in developmental needs, comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, co-teaching, and inclusive practices.

We encourage a strong partnership between the home and school. This connection allows the NESS team to optimally support children’s academic, social, emotional and religious growth.  I encourage you to visit and discuss your child’s learning profile. I look forward to helping your child reach his/her potential!

Message From Director

Lauren Korzinstone, M.Ed.

Director of Educational Support Services

LeadershipLauren Korzinstone is the Director of Educational Support Services (Podolski NESS). Lauren obtained her Master of Education from McGill University with specializations in Educational Psychology and Inclusive Education. Prior to joining Netivot, Lauren served as the School Improvement Consultant for Montreal’s Jewish day school system. Lauren guided senior administration in identifying, developing and implementing sustainable solutions to achieve each school’s strategic priorities. She worked at the Bronfman Jewish Education Centre and encouraged schools to attain international standards of educational excellence.

Lauren was granted the Dr. John A. Bryant Memorial Award for her significant contributions as an inclusion practitioner. She is the recipient of the Phyllis Shapiro Award and the Chantal Malard Memorial Prize for excellence and innovation in teaching. Lauren is certified by the Ministère de l’Éducation du Loisir et du Sport and the Ontario College of Teachers.

All of our teachers are Ontario certified with advanced qualifications in special education.

North Campus

Ms. Natalie Epstein

Mrs. Ronit Gal

Morah, Daphna Grossman

Morah Shira Katchen (maternity leave)

Morah, Ariella Markus

Mrs. Julie Merrick

Mrs. Janice Pick

Mrs. Melanie Sandler

Morah Penney Singer

Mrs. Heather Slapack

Morah Liora Weitzner


South Campus

Ms. Tania Samson

Middle School

Morah Shayna Goldberg

Mrs. Saundra Kirschner

Mrs. Karen Yehudaiff

Social Worker

Ms. Bailey Newman


Mrs. Joanne Conte Casola

Mrs. Goldie Anisfeld

Mrs. Lori Crindle

Mrs. Suzanne Dales Murray

Psycho-Educational Consultant

Mrs. Joy Koplowitz
Staff Photo 1Staff Photo 2

The Kimel Centre for Inclusion is situated at the heart of the school.  The architectural design took into consideration our diverse learners. Here, each child feels safe and supported as he/she works towards enhancing personal abilities and developing life-long learning habits.  The Active Learning Space lends itself to cooperative group-based activities and presentations. Three color-coded zones comprising of tables, chairs and educational materials foster a supportive climate.The Lounge provides a comfortable meeting area to gather.  Silent Study Rooms can be used for test-taking, independent review, work with a peer, or one-to-one guided intervention. The soundproof feature heightens student focus. Students access this beautiful space at lunch time for assistance with homework. Throughout the day, students can also access the space with a hall pass.

Kimel Centre For Inclusion 1

Kimel Centre 3

The Kimel Centre For Inclusion 2

Consider going on a bike ride… Do you thrive on steep inclines? How would you feel if you were a speedy biker and were told to slow down? NESS offers enrichment opportunities to talented, gifted, and high achieving students so that they are appropriately challenged.

Enrichment is provided by theme. Eligibility to participate is based on the learner’s complete profile. Classroom grades, results from standardized achievement tests, psycho-educational assessments, teacher referrals, and/or parent recommendations provide insight into the student’s ability.

Students are eligible if they display:

  • Superior natural ability
  • Talents (specific high level learned capabilities)
  • Personal attributes (will power, motivation, adaptability, creativity)

Students in the enrichment program progress faster through the academic content covered in the classroom. Students then receive richer and more varied educational experiences that help develop creativity and critical thinking skills.

In the Middle Division, select students are given the opportunity to follow independent learning projects. Each participating student fills out a learning contract. Completion of tasks occur at school and at home.
Enrichment Progamming Pic

Curriculum support is offered to students in grades one through eight for General Studies and Judaic Studies. Each session is forty minutes in duration.

Students are placed in NESS groups for teaching methodology to be differentiated. This means that students in the NESS group receive instruction that is at a different pace, level, or format. The specialist adjusts the teaching strategies based on the students in the particular group. The NESS specialist, therefore, matches techniques with each learner’s unique profile. A learning profile is the child’s particular areas of strength and need.

The NESS groups are not fixed or permanent. These groups are flexible and change over time. Depending on the subject matter and students’ needs, groups may range in size from two to six students.

Curriculum Support

Curriculum Support 2

Jump Math is an innovative, research based program used by teachers to remediate math skills.

We offer a research validated Executive Functions Program to Middle School students enrolled in our Learning Strategies Seminar. According to research, students who performed well in the Executive Functions Curriculum had a higher rate of homework completion, improved organization, and success in reading.  The purpose of this seminar is to acquire learning strategies that can be applied across subject matter in order to become more independent and efficient learners.

the concept of the functioning of the human body and the brainexec2

Families that have moved here from Israel and elsewhere are supported by enrolling their children in our English Language Learners program.  Within the classroom the emphasis is on cooperative learning, use of English-speaking role models, hands-on activities, visuals, demonstrations, and modeling. Students in our ELL program are provided with individualized and small group support. Focus areas include vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and day-to-day conversational English.

Gross motor and fine motor abilities, visual-motor integration, and visual-perceptual skills all impact school performance. Students are referred for occupational therapy services for a variety of reasons. If a student has difficulty manipulating writing tools, lacks independence with self-care tasks, and/or is having issues with written output (English, math etc.), a referral will be made for an OT assessment. Occupational therapy is provided in the school setting.  Attainment of goals and skills are closely monitored. Applications are made to the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). For an application form, please contact the Podolski NESS Department.

Speech Language Therapy is provided to students that would benefit from individualized speech, language and communication support. A referral for therapy will be made if the student demonstrates difficulties with articulation (sound development), language expression (grammar vocabulary, connecting ideas), fluency, voice and social communication. Therapy is provided in the school setting.  Attainment of goals and skills are closely monitored. Applications are made to the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). For an application form, please contact the Podolski NESS Department.

Netivot HaTorah offers psycho-educational testing within the school context.  This is fee for service. An assessment is carried out as a tool to better understand a learner’s profile.