The Upper School offers a rigorous curriculum both in General and Judaic Studies. Our aim is to challenge every student to reach his or her highest potential. We strive to achieve this goal by providing students with the necessary tools to meet these challenges, and developing a partnership between home and school to support both academic and social/emotional needs.
Instruction is driven by student’s unique learning styles, strengths and needs. Activities are designed to take students deep into the content. The academic program is enriched with guest lecturers, field trips and fine arts. Our courses in Language Arts, Social Studies and Judaic Studies are literature based, providing students the opportunity to read a wide variety of books by American and International authors. In addition to English, Hebrew and Spanish are taught as secondary languages. Step into any Math or Science class at B’nai Shalom and you will see students working collaboratively to solve problems and analyze and apply data.
Our Jewish Studies program is both immersive and intensive. Students are challenged to work with advanced, classical literacy sources. Siddur, Tanach and selections from the Mishna are studied, and students are taught and encouraged to question, reflect and debate topics stemming from these sources. Jewish history is an integral part of our program. Students follow the chronology of the Jewish nation beginning with Abraham. Present day issues are woven throughout curricular study. Students take part in programs like JCAT (Jewish Court of all Times), an online simulation game, and “The David Project,” which focuses on our connection to the land of Israel. Materials created by the Lookstein Center (Bar Ilan University) are integrated into the curriculum.
Students develop fluency in modern and biblical Hebrew throughout their tenure at B’nai Shalom. The study of Israeli history and culture prepares our students for the highlight of their eighth grade year – a trip to Israel. This ten-day trip brings theory into reality as students come face to face with places, people and events they learned about, fostering deep understanding of the bond between the Jewish people and their homeland.
Students in the Upper School have many opportunities to acquire leadership skills. They elect and run the school Student Council. Leadership courses like Junior Achievement and Learning to Lead (leadership models inspired by the Center for Creative Leadership) are offered to our seventh and eighth graders. Yedidim, our buddy program, allows students to act as role models for children in preschool and kindergarten.