Academics

Middle School

Middle School

The Middle School experience features increased academic choice and independence within a nurturing structure of personalized support. Our program gives students the foundations to grow in their skills and self-confidence, learning to balance demands in academic, social, and emotional realms and to successfully meet the demanding challenges of High School and beyond. Through the lens of Jewish values, we encourage our students to be good citizens and advocates — engaged in the world around them and ever mindful of the experiences and needs of others. They experience early adolescence with the knowledge that their teachers care about them and are deeply invested in their success, embedded in a peer community that emphasizes character and friendship.

Individualized Academic Programs

No two students share precisely the same academic passions and learning styles, and our Middle School course offerings represent a thoughtful mix of heterogeneous and leveled classes that enable students to experience an individually tailored program within the context of a unified learning community. Our Enriched English Language Arts sequence caters to students who love reading and writing, while our algebra-based physical science course offers chemistry and physics instruction for students whose mathematical skills are advanced. Mathematics and Hebrew language are taught at the skill-enhancement, grade-level, accelerated, and honors levels. Some Judaic Studies courses are taught exclusively in Hebrew, while others allow for English-language conversation. The result of these options is an academic schedule that is tailored to the needs of the individual student.

Integrated Learning

A hallmark of our multifaceted middle school curriculum is the integration of learning. Academic departments work together to craft projects and assessmentsincluding the Renaissance Faire and STEAMPosium--that demand creativity, collaboration, and cross-disciplinary thinking. Students learn to apply knowledge and skills in new and novel situations, capitalizing on the transferability of their learning. Additionally Jewish values and concepts are infused in our students’ everyday lives and are reflected in the way they engage in all aspects of academic and civic life.

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  • Mentoring Groups

    Individual and group work, as well as cooperative learning opportunities, are important parts of the learning process in Middle School. All students meet weekly in small groups with a faculty mentor to participate in conversations about the community, social, and cultural experiences that characterize early adolescence. These social/emotional learning sessions emphasize values and instill an awareness of the unique contribution and perspective of each group member--enabling students to broaden their self-awareness, capacity for empathy, and leadership skills.
  • Academic Support

    Our Middle School is committed to meeting the needs of students with a wide range of learning styles and needs. The Center for Academic Support (CAS) is staffed by learning specialists, trained in special education, who provide small-group support to students multiple times per week. They also work with the classroom teachers to differentiate their instruction implement individualized learning plans and accommodations for each CAS student. Regular contact with families is a key component of this program.
  • Israel Experience

    As a communal celebration of the bar/bat mitzvah process, the eighth-grade class spends two memorable weeks in Israel. This capstone experience of the Middle School years firmly establishes the lifelong connection with the land of Israel, which is such an important element of our school’s core values. In preparation for this trip, the Israel Studies Seminar emphasizes the notion that developing a deep understanding of the history of the Jewish people is a critical element of becoming a knowledgeable Jewish adult.

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  • Electives

    As an enhancement of the core academic program, students are encouraged to nurture their passions or pursue new ones through the academic elective program. Course offerings, which change each year, typically include engineering, coding, studio art, drama, instrumental music, and chess. Students in seventh and eighth grades may also take a second world language, typically Spanish or French.
  • Beyond the Classroom

    Middle School students have a full array of opportunities to participate in activities outside the classroom. Some clubs and activities are offered annually; others change based upon student interest and leadership. Examples of extra-curricular options include competitive athletics, musical theater and drama, literary magazine, Model United Nations, intergenerational chess, and robotics.
  • Jewish Life and Learning

    Inside and outside the classroom, our Jewish Life and Learning program emphasizes joy, relevance, and lifelong literacy. In Judaic Studies classes, students engage in deep, thoughtful discussion about biblical and rabbinic texts, as well as Jewish history. Jewish experiences outside the classroom, including holiday celebrations and the eighth-grade Shabbaton (off-site Shabbat retreat), provide the crucial formative experience of living Jewishly in community. And annual capstone ceremonies bring families together to celebrate their children’s learning and accomplishments.
  • Celebrating Bar/Bat Mitzvah

    The celebration of the bar/bat mitzvah is one of the hallmark events of the middle school years for many students. As a school, we guide families through this process in a manner that enhances celebration and community comfort and reduces anxiety. While families of course celebrate the milestone in different ways outside of school, each student has the opportunity to mark the occasion in school in front of the entire class. Students may have an aliyah, read from the Torah, and share some words of Torah during school tefilah. This is an incredibly powerful moment shared with the grade-wide community.
Lower School Campus (K-5)
30 Dellwood Road
White Plains, NY 10605
914-948-3111
Upper School Campus (6-12)
555 West Hartsdale Avenue
Hartsdale, NY 10530
914-948-8333