program: middle school (6-8)
Developing deep thinkers and proactive upstanders
As students grow out of childhood and into their teenage years, life becomes more exciting—and occasionally more tumultuous. We’ve designed the JDS Middle School program precisely for this crucial period of transition. By challenging and supporting your child in equal measure, in all aspects of their development, we ensure they’re fully prepared academically, emotionally, socially, and ethically for high school and beyond.
This intensive, wide-ranging, inquiry-based program consists of...
- Language Arts
- Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM)
- Social Studies
- Judaic Studies
- Hebrew and Spanish
- Student Council
- 8th Grade Israel Trip
- 3D Printing and Design
- Business and Economics
- Computer Programming
- Drawing and Cartooning
- Fashion Design
- Green Leadership Team
- …and more
Solutions in Science
Every year, guided by expert faculty members, Middle Schoolers identify an area of interest, devise a project, engage in research and/or experimentation, gather and present their results, and reflect on the learning process. Our whole community is invited to this highly anticipated fair, which has featured amazing student projects like:
- What is muscle memory and how does it work?
- What is the impact of dam construction and removal?
- What is gene mutation?
- Who are the KKK?
- How does the stock market work?
- How can I refute Holocaust denial?
Jewish Life and Learning
As your child moves into their teenage years, our Jewish Studies program prepares them to think and act as confident leaders and upstanders. The curriculum focuses on two key areas: “Jewmanities,” which integrates Jewish Social Studies and related Jewish texts, and Hebrew language instruction. Highlights include:
- 6th Grade: No Profit in Prophecy Students learn the ten parts of a book of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible. Students then choose a modern problem, like bullying or climate change, and write their own book of prophecy.
- 7th Grade: JCAT, Jewish Court of All Time In this web-based educational simulation, students take on a persona and debate a timely issue from Jewish history—practicing research skills, higher order thinking, and considering multiple perspectives.
- 8th Grade: Choosing Life: Rescue and Resistance during the Shoah The 8th grade Holocaust unit focuses on those who fought back, spiritually and physically, against the Nazis. Students find inspiration and assurance that one person can indeed make a difference.
See the complete guide to Jewish Life and Learning at JDS.
Based on the principles of Responsive Classroom, our Middle School educators have created a comprehensive program to help meet students’ academic needs, build community, and provide a safe space to develop strong relationships and social skills. Advisory meetings include:
- Mixed advisory: students meet with their advisor in a small multi-age group once a week
- Grade-level meeting: each grade meets with two teachers once a week
- All Middle School meeting: the entire student body and faculty gather three times a week
Learning Resource Center
Because we recognize and value individual learning styles and profiles, our Learning Resource Center provides learning specialists who consult with teaching teams and parents, and support students as they strive to reach their academic potential.
Athletics and PE
The Middle School PE program strengthens students’ confidence, teamwork, and good health. We include strength and cardiovascular exercises in each class, and focus on improving skills in running, throwing, kicking, balance, and striking. This skills lead to small- and larger-sized games of soccer, volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, and speedball.
Our goal is to provide experiences that allow every student, at every level of skill and confidence, to succeed. As we challenge students to improve their times and scores in a range of activities, we grade them on their own personal improvement.
In Middle School, we also offer competitive athletics, allowing all players to improve their skills while experiencing the joys and challenges of teamwork. Our coaches help students build strength and conditioning while learning sportsmanship. We currently offer Girls Volleyball in the fall and Coed Track and Field in the spring.