Experiential Learning

Lessons outside of the classroom help students take learning to a higher level.

Hands-on, personal learning experiences help students to cement the knowledge they gain in the classroom. At Denver JDS, every grade (K-12) incorporates field trips and other experiential opportunities into the curriculum.

Connected, immersive opportunities to make classroom learning deeper and more meaningful in the Lower Division include Helping Hands projects (such as visiting JFS, meeting and learning about service dogs, building and delivering bikes for low-income kindergarteners to name a few); visits to the Shofar and Matzah factories for younger students; theater events, trips to Roxborough State Park, Miller's Farm, and the Argo mine, as well as Alaskan pen pals and integrated baseball units for higher grades.

Associated fees are included in enrollment contracts where applicable, or otherwise approved by parents for payment through SmartTuition.

Overnight Trips

Overnight trips are one important component of the Denver JDS experiential learning curriculum. Beginning in third grade, each class includes an overnight trip in its curriculum. Destinations complement classroom learning units, and the shared experiences foster powerful bonds amongst students. Extended time away from parents and the rest of the school community also promotes independence and supports social and developmental growth.


Museum of Nature and Science Third graders "camp in" overnight at the museum, where they roam otherwise empty halls and learn about gold mining rocks, and minerals.


Plains Conservation Center In fourth grade, students experience the life of a pioneer homesteader or plains Native American. Weather permitting, they spend the night in a tipi.


Keystone Science School For three days and two nights, fifth graders learn survival techniques for living in the rocky mountains.


Snow Mountain Ranch Sixth grade spends two nights and three days learning about ecology near Granby.


Urban Service Seventh grade students learn about homelessness and poverty in the Denver metro area. They provide volunteer help to organizations that serve those in need, such local food banks, homeless shelters and Project Homeless Connect.


Durango Eighth graders spend five days focused on American studies and southwest cultural experiences.


Los Angeles Students travel by air for the first time as class to spend four days learning about "Jewish L.A."


Israel Sophomores consistently report that their five-week HIP experience is an extraordinary and life-changing event.


Washington D.C. Juniors spend five days in the nation's capital, learning about political activism and civic engagement in the context of Jewish values and principles.


Senior Development Program During their final semester at Denver JDS, twelfth graders take a three week off-site course comprised of Life Lessons, Community Service, and the Work World.


All School Musical

Students publicly perform on stage in our annual Hanukkah musical production. The show is written and produced by Lower Division music teacher, Rufina Feld, and each grade (K-5) performs it own song. Members of the Glee Club and Upper Division students enjoy performance roles as well.

Shabbat Retreats

Each fall, middle school (6-12) students can participate in an in-town Shabbat Retreat (Shabbaton) at a local synagogue. In the spring, seventh through twelfth graders are invited to an out-of-town Shabbaton in the mountains.

Organized and led under the guidance of student council, these inclusive programs give Denver JDS students an authentic opportunity to learn together and build meaningful relationships with one another across grade levels. In keeping with our pluralistic approach, all programming complies with the laws of Jewish Sabbath, and all food is certified Kosher.