Middle School Curriculum

Female student with braids taking notes in pencil

Middle School Philosophy

Academic, religious, physical, social, and emotional growth is the focal point of our middle school's dual curriculum in secular and religious subjects. Students are encouraged to think, question, learn, and make decisions based on Jewish and American values.

All middle school students take Math, Core (an interdisciplinary study of history and English), Hebrew, Jewish Studies and Tanakh, and Science, along with electives and/or Resource sessions. Leveled courses in math and Hebrew meet students where they are to ensure that each student can succeed.

Students take:

  • Core (an interdisciplinary study of language arts, history, and social studies)

  • Math

  • Hebrew

  • Jewish Studies

  • Tanakh

  • Science

  • Health and Physical Education

  • Electives including world languages, Resource programs, STEAM, and arts

  • Middle School Majors

Middle school girl raising hand in class

Subjects

Core

Our Core curriculum is an integrated, immersive program encompassing language arts and social studies. This interdisciplinary approach emphasizes skill building, research, independent reading, and expository writing. Using the lens of social science and literature, students engage in technology-driven creative projects and cooperative learning.

Each grade focuses on one of the central themes of Western civilization and our Jewish roots, the development of the American government and representative democracy, and the American dream.

Math

All students are placed in the appropriate educational pathway. There are at least three tracks per grade with small classes that advance by level from pre-algebra through geometry. We emphasize problem-solving strategies, estimation, and mental math skills while incorporating the use of technology.

Science

Our middle school Science curriculum is an integrated three-year program designed to enhance student engagement around three themes: Planet Earth, Planet Water, and Planet Space. Our students make connections between the practical applications of science and their own real-world experiences with dynamic, hands-on learning capturing their natural sense of wonder.

Jewish Studies and Tanakh

The goals of our middle school Jewish Studies curriculum are to develop proficiency in studying Jewish texts, decode language, and formulate and support educated opinions. Studying our history and beliefs engenders appreciation of students’ shared history and Jewish identity, and affirms our commitment to religious diversity and open dialogue.

Our middle school students take two Jewish Studies classes based on Tanakh (Bible) text study and analysis and Jewish history, ethics, religious values, holidays, and practices.

Israel

Our curriculum is infused with interdisciplinary opportunities to connect students with their heritage and homeland, Israel. Courses spotlight ancient and modern Jewish history, archaeology, ethnology, geography, Israeli government, and immigration.

In 8th grade, our middle school educational program culminates in a 10-day Israel experience.

Hebrew

Our commitment to studying Hebrew as a living language makes it possible for our students to investigate ancient texts as well as Jewish and Israeli culture through Hebrew conversation, history, and popular culture.

The Bishvil Ha-Ivrit curriculum brings the Hebrew language alive through print and digital media. From introductory to advanced levels, we offer Hebrew instruction tailored to each individual student. The curriculum is linguistically sequential, with texts and tasks increasing in complexity as language skills improve. Lessons feature things that matter to teenagers, from modern technology, food, family, and sports to friendship, leadership, and freedom.

Students attending a Jewish day school for the first time receive extra support material to enable them to succeed in the acquisition of Hebrew language.

World Languages

Exposure to new languages broadens our students’ awareness of world cultures and teaches them to be better communicators.

Our middle school students can explore languages beyond English and Hebrew by taking a “language wheel”—a taste of French, Latin, and Spanish. Starting in 7th grade, students begin to matriculate in one of these languages.

Students are inspired to further explore these languages and cultures through clubs, trips, and cultural exchanges.

Health and Physical Education

Our middle school Health curriculum emphasizes mental, physical, and psychological health during adolescence.

In our Physical Education program, personal fitness, teamwork, and sportsmanship are highlighted through exercise and seasonal sports. Students participate in Presidential Fitness tests and work toward personal goals.

Electives

Students can play an instrument, sculpt, build, act, design, create, and explore their interests through electives. Electives are offered by trimester to allow students to experiment with different courses throughout the school year. Examples of classes include sketching, public speaking, cooking, coding, and music.

STEAM

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) is a framework for teaching across disciplines that inspires future innovators. Our STEAM program with state-of-the-art Innovation Lab provides a rich curriculum of courses and electives to facilitate meaningful collaboration and allow our young adults to make important connections across subjects.

Centered on design and engineering project-based learning, STEAM classes teach students to collaborate, foster confidence, and develop leadership skills. Middle school STEAM courses include Lego SUMO robotics, Rube Goldberg machines, 3D printing, coding, and laser design.

Middle School Majors

Our unique majors program helps middle school students become involved in a specialized subject of interest. In courses dealing with the arts, mindfulness, political science, social activism, and STEAM, students implement skills they’ve learned in other classes to contribute to the community and wider world.