Preparing for college and beyond
Teenagers thrive on adult-like experiences. As Denver JDS students mature, they receive increased responsibility and leadership opportunities to support their progression toward accountability, independence, and integrity.
- Students learn, and are expected, to advocate for themselves by attending teacher office hours, speaking up in the classroom, and through conflict resolution with peers.
- Beginning in 9th grade, students can receive off-campus privileges, subject to parental consent and acceptable academic status
- Student led clubs and programs -- from Student Council to Color War to participation in Shabbat retreats (Shabbatonim) and more -- provide a safe space for Denver JDS teens to gain hands-on leadership, autonomy, delegation and decision-making experiences.
- In addition to the work they do in class, all high school students take on a minimum of 18 independent community service hours/year.
- During the last several weeks before graduation, our Senior Development Program gives 12th graders intern-style "real world" experiences.
Our school's social wellness program run by Susan Klein, LMFT, supports students' emotional well-being.
Students take their learning to a higher level when they study outside of the classroom. Learn more.
The academic rigor of AP courses (typcially beginning in 10th grade) demands a high degree of individual commitment and encourages development of time-management skills.
Highly personalized guidance through the college admission process is part of the Denver JDS package
Denver JDS high school faculty earn and develop mutual trust and respect from and for their students. They get to know each student well and use the close relationships they build to help each student excel both academically and personally.
Hebrew - In keeping with our school’s commitment to Israel – and because learning a foreign language at an early age enlarges brain capacity and provides students with an academic advantage – teaching students to read, write and speak Hebrew is an important part of our daily academic curriculum. Classes are taught almost exclusively in Hebrew, and topics include Israeli society, culture, and current events. During their sophomore year, Hebrew learning intensifies when Denver JDS students spend 5 weeks on our HIP (Hebrew Israel/Immersion Program) trip. Incoming students without a Hebrew background are brought up to speed with a complementary Hebrew introduction program.
Judaic Studies - Judaics in high school places an emphasis of flexibility and choice. Each semester, students select three "core" courses, four "option" courses, and a Tefillah (Jewish prayer) course -- which can range from things like yoga, meditation, or gardening to more traditional minyan (study group) options. An intentionally wide variety of courses in the areas of Text & Tradition, Thought & Ethics, and Jewish History offers broad appeal and encourages individuals to seek meaning and purpose in their lives. Honors Judaic Studies courses, which feature more Hebrew and a more challenging academic program, are available for students seeking a more rigorous academic track.
English - High school English involves advanced literary analysis and close reading of modern and classic novels, including delving into the relationships between different literature and its historical period. Close reading of thematic American work leads to increasingly complex essay writing and sophisticated verbal responses to a variety of literary ideas. AP English courses are available in 11th and 12th grade.
Math - From geometry to advanced placement calculus and statistics courses, high school students develop deductive reasoning skills and gain analytical problem solving abilities that set them up for success in college and beyond. Course placement is determined by math readiness and AP classes are available in 11th and 12th grade.
Science - Biology, chemistry, and physics -- each with labs -- teach students the fundamentals of science and scientific inquiry. Seniors can choose between Honors chemistry or psychology for their final semesters of science credit.
Social Studies - Students delve into world history, U.S. history and economics during their high school years. Studying historical, geographic, economic, and civic lessons from the past gives students a framework from which to consider current events and economic paradigms. AP options are available in 10th, 11th and 12th grade.
Spanish & P.E. - In each year of high school, students can elect to study Spanish or gym three days per week.
Technology - Our state-of-the-art computer lab features Apple computers at every seat and students use the space for independent research projects as well as classroom learning. Our Upper Division iPad program allows teachers to bring 21st century learning directly into the classroom. For the 2014-15 school year, 9th graders are piloting a program in which each student is required to bring personal devices to class.
Our High School Scope & Sequence document with a comprehensive, subject-by-subject measure of the skills and concepts taught in grades 9-12 is coming soon.