Academics (grades 9-12)
Students take their learning to a higher level when they study outside of the classroom. Click here to learn more.
The academic rigor of AP courses (typically 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. Click here to learn more.
And you shall teach [these words] diligently
to your children.
— Deuteronomy 6:7
Extraordinary education is more than just a part of our tagline; it’s at the core of our existence.
Academic excellence goes far beyond having a high grade point average. Denver Jewish Day School students are inspired to think deeply, work collaboratively, listen thoughtfully, and act responsibly. Literature circles, science experiments, project based learning, lively classroom discussions, and Judaic values make up the daily experience here. Through active, hands-on learning with their peers, students gain an understanding of the world around them and the impact they can have.
Our pluralistic Judaic program inspires learners to develop a positive relationship with Israel, Torah, and the Jewish people. A focus on our school’s Divrei Chaim (or Words to Live By) is fostered in all grades and all classes. Hebrew language is studied in every grade as well, and a six-week Hebrew Immersion Program (HIP) in Israel for the 10th grade is a keystone of our Hebrew program.
Our High School Curriculum
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. Click below to learn more about each academic area of our high school curriculum. Click here to learn more about Experiential Learning at Denver JDS.
- Social Studies
- Judaic Studies
- Spanish & Physical Education
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 grades.
AP Language and Composition will focus on developing advanced skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking. Students will analyze a variety of texts, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, to understand rhetorical strategies, argumentation, and literary devices. They will learn to write effectively for different purposes and audiences, using evidence to support their arguments. The course will also emphasize vocabulary development, speaking and listening skills, and research techniques. Overall, it will prepare students for college-level writing and analysis.
A high school AP Literature course explores various works of literature to deepen students' understanding and appreciation of literary analysis. Students study a range of genres, including fiction, poetry, and drama, to analyze themes, characters, and literary techniques. They develop critical thinking skills to interpret and evaluate texts, examining the author's intent and the historical and cultural contexts. The course also focuses on developing advanced writing skills, including crafting analytical essays and engaging in class discussions. Overall, it prepares students for college-level literary analysis and fosters a deeper understanding of literature as an art form.
- Contemporary Fiction
- Science: Fact and Fiction
- Composition: Telling True Stories
- Composition: Writing as a Life-Skill
- Shakespearean Tapestry
- Composition: Research Paper
- The Literature of Social Friction
Over time, humans have written about crazy scientific possibilities. We read about life on other planets, parallel universes, and the future with science leading the way. We will also look at how that is a commentary on the times in which the stories were written. We will explore the possibilities that our future holds, with the help of science, looking at novels, short stories, television and film. From older classics to new, we will follow science fiction’s evolution and discover why it has continued to build in popularity.
This is way more than journalism. We will be exploring how various mediums can be used to convey something real. Written biographical pieces are a part of it, but be prepared to flex your artistic side with more creative approaches to the genre of non-fiction through the use of comedy, film, poetry, and whatever else might best display the truth of our reality.
This is an introductory course in the works of William Shakespeare. We will read and get to see several plays. We will talk about a variety of Shakespeare’s themes, such as the nature of love, betrayal, leadership, and the power of art. We will examine the most famous characters and dig into how memorable characters are made, as well as why a play is considered a tragedy and a comedy. We will be silly and creative together in order to experience what actors and audiences experienced and continue to experience. (We will try to see several live performances and maybe a few movie adaptations of the plays we read.)
Ah, research papers. The dreaded assignment of any given class. What if they all of a sudden became easy and enjoyable? In this course, you will learn how to get an A on any assigned topic, all the way through college, by following a method of writing that is likely a whole lot faster than what you are doing now.
People often come together to stand for what they believe in. When enough people take a stand, change happens. This class will look at the literature created to make a statement about a social issue and literature written after a change which documents the history of the changes made by people raising their voices together. We will be looking at several different movements and examining books, pamphlets, short stories, and personal narratives of some of the most important movements that have dramatically changed our lives.
Click here to download a PDF of our 2023-2024 English curriculum offerings and graduation requirements.
From algebra to geometry to AP 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 grades.
This course will build on the algebraic concepts that students mastered in pre-algebra and other middle school courses. These topics include but are not limited to higher-level variable expressions, solving for a variable on both sides of an equation, simplifying various types of expressions including multiplying monomials and binomials, as well as exponential expressions. The later part of the class will focus on introductions to several families of functions (absolute value, linear, and quadratic), their behavior, and how they are used in application.
This course will build upon geometric concepts and reasoning abilities that students have learned through elementary and middle school. Topics include but are not limited to: geometric reasoning to solve for variables; formulas for perimeter, area, and volume of various 2D and 3D shapes, reasoning and pattern deduction, constructions of geometric figures using geometric tools, as well as applications of geometric theorems and proofs.
This course will build upon the algebraic concepts and reasoning abilities that students have learned through Algebra 1 and Geometry. Topics include but are not limited to operations with polynomials, solutions to polynomials, equations, systems of functions, matrices, transcendental functions, sequences and series, and basic trigonometric functions.
This course will build upon the algebraic and trigonometric concepts and reasoning abilities that students have learned through previous algebra courses. Topics include but are not limited to: families of higher degree polynomial functions, inverse and composite functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, matrices, explicit/recursive sequences and series, and probability.
This course will require students to call upon the concepts and reasoning abilities they have learned through Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus. New topics include but are not limited to: limits, continuity, lines tangent to a curve, differentiation, anti-differentiation, areas under curves as related to the use of integration, maximizing and minimizing functions, calculus theorems, and calculus applications to real-world problems. Calculus BC includes exposure to differential equations, polar and parametric functions, and infinite sequences and series. The syllabus for this course is determined by College Board. More information can be found at www.apstudent.collegeboard.org.
In this course, students will learn about the major concepts and tools used for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students will explore statistics through discussion and activities, as well as design surveys and experiments. Topics include but are not limited to selecting methods for collecting or analyzing data; describing patterns, trends, associations, and relationships in data using probability and simulation to describe probability distributions and define uncertainty in statistical inference; and using statistical reasoning to draw appropriate conclusions and justify claims. The syllabus for this course is determined by College Board. More information can be found at www.apstudent.collegeboard.org.
Honors Algebra 1, Honors Geometry, Honors Algebra 2, and Honors Pre-Calculus classes are also offered based on student interest and staff availability. These classes cover the same content as their college prep counterparts, however, the content is covered at a faster pace and includes more challenging problems per topic.
For questions, contact Andria Rabenold, Department Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to download a PDF of our 2023-2024 Mathematics curriculum offerings and graduation requirements.
The high school curriculum supports the three-year science graduation requirement by offering year-long college preparatory courses in biology, chemistry, and mathematics based physics. In addition, we offer semester long elective courses to allow students to explore topics not covered in those introductory courses to integrate with the Tzedek track or to delve into topics at a college level.
- AP Physics I
- AP Environmental Science
- Physics of Light and Sound
- Physics of Sports
- Physics of Air and Water
- Forensic Science
- Honors Biochemistry of Proteins
- Advanced Genetics
- Computer Science Principles
- Intro to Web Design and Programming
- Mobile App Design
This course encourages students to cultivate their understanding of the interrelationships of the natural world through inquiry-based lab investigations and field work as they explore concepts like the four Big Ideas; energy transfer, interactions between earth systems, interactions between different species and the environment, and sustainability.
Physics of sports is a conceptual physics course that applies the laws of force and motion to sports. Topics include speed, velocity, acceleration, force, impulse, momentum, energy, and Newton’s laws of motion. We will gain a better understanding of these terms and enhance critical thinking skills through experimental design, data collection, and analysis.
In this one-semester course students will use skills and knowledge gained in biology and chemistry to forensics - the application of science to law. Topics studied will include crime scene analysis, physical evidence, microscopy, trace evidence, and fingerprinting. Case studies and laboratory work will make up a significant part of the class work. Biology and Chemistry prerequisite.
Do you wonder why you have blue eyes when both of your parents have brown eyes? Do you want to learn more about how gene mutations lead to cancer? If so, then this class if for you! We will spend the semester exploring genetics from simple dominant/recessive inheritance to more complicated patterns of inheritance like epistasis, multiple alleles and polygenic traits. We will study these traits over multiple generations through experimentation and critical analysis of current research.
an exciting course designed to introduce high school students to the fundamentals of modern computing, including web development. This course covers a wide range of foundational topics that form the building blocks of computer science. By the end of this course, students will have a solid foundation in computer science principles and will be able to apply their knowledge to solve real-world problems.
Mobile applications are becoming increasingly important to our consumption of media, news, social interaction, and learning. In this course, students learn how to create mobile apps using React Native, build applications to run on their own smartphones, and create an app to solve a specific problem! Prerequisite: Should demonstrate a good knowledge of coding concepts.
Click here to download a PDF of our 2023-2024 Science curriculum offerings and graduation requirements.
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 grades.
- United States History (8th Grade)
- World History (9th Grade)
- CP/AP United States History (10th and 11th Grade)
- CP/AP European History (10th and 11th Grade)
- AP Macroeconomics
This class covers the history of the United States from its inception beginning with the Native Americans and following on with European Exploration, Colonial America, the American Revolution, the creation of our nation, the Civil War, immigration, the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and culminating with the present day. Skills emphasized include reading comprehension, note-taking, analytical thinking, research and essay writing.
World History students will examine the historical development of ancient and modern societies in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, South and Central America, the Indian subcontinent and Asia. The socio-economic, political and cultural trends of key time periods will be studied to help students understand events that have shaped our current world. Reading comprehension, analytical thinking, evaluating primary and secondary source material, independent research and essay writing are the key skills fostered and utilized in this class.
This class is offered to tenth and eleventh grade students at either the college preparatory (CP) or advanced placement (AP) level on a bi-annual rotation with European history. It is a two semester survey of United States History from the pre-Columbian period to the present day. Skills utilized include critical and evaluative thinking, interpretation of primary sources and essay writing. At the AP level, discussion is the primary method of instruction, and, throughout the year, students will be introduced to typical questions used on the AP Examination.
This class is offered to tenth and eleventh grade students at either the college preparatory (CP) or advanced placement (AP) level on a bi-annual rotation with United States history. It is a two semester course which covers the history of Europe from its foundations in Ancient Greece and Rome down to the modern era. The Byzantine Empire, Feudalism and the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Industrial revolution, Nationalism, World Wars I and II,and the Cold War are amongst the topics studied to give students a better understanding of our modern world. Skills utilized include critical and evaluative thinking, interpretation of primary sources, public speaking, and essay writing. At the AP level, students will be regularly exposed to the type of questions found on the AP Examination.
This elective class is taught over two semesters to eleventh and/or twelfth grade students. Course content includes but is not limited to the following topics: basic economic concepts, supply and demand, measurement of economic performance, national income and price determination, the Financial Sector, inflation, unemployment, economic growth and productivity, and international trade and finance. Skills utilized and acquired include reading text for economic content, analysis and description of economic models, use of formulas and models to measure and illustrate economic performance, creation and explanation of economic models, graphing of economic conditions, illustration of economic performance indicators, and understanding government intervention in the economy. Students regularly practice the types of questions they will encounter on the AP Examination.
In 10 Countries in 10 Months: An Historical & Contemporary Tour through Europe, Asia, and Africa, students will intellectually experience ten countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Topics covered will include the following: significant historical episodes, current events & politics, literature & philosophy, film & music, art & museums, and geographical landmarks & sports. Students will become acquainted with the following countries: France, Germany, Poland, Turkey, China, India, Japan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, and South Africa.
Students will become familiar with different types of religions. They will encounter and get to know religions from the following geographical locations: the Middle East, East Asia, India, Africa, and America. They will discover their origin, their history, and how they are practiced - specifically in the contemporary American context.
This course will cover the history of social movements in the United States, from the early 19th century to the present day. Students will learn about social, political, and economic conditions that influenced the rise of various social movements. Movements including civil rights, women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights, environmentalism, and labor rights. Students will analyze the strategies and achievements of these social movements, and their impact on American society and culture.
Click here to download a PDF of our 2023-2024 Social Studies curriculum and graduation requirements.
In keeping with our school’s commitment to Israel – and because learning a foreign language provides students with an academic advantage – Denver JDS students engage in daily Hebrew learning. Our program fosters proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. 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 six weeks on the Hebrew Immersion Program (HIP). Incoming students without a Hebrew background are brought up to speed with a Hebrew introduction program.
- Hebrew Grammar
- Hebrew News for Beginners
- Saviv La’Olam - Round the World Tour in Hebrew
- Advanced Conversational Hebrew
- Hebrew Through Nature Walks & Excursions
- Israeli Culture Through Hebrew Media
- Teatron - Drama b'Ivrit
An advanced course to take students to the next level in all skills of language acquisition, with a focus on topic-based vocabulary-building, complex sentence structure, and accurate usage of verbs. There will be opportunities to engage in debates, dialogs, and group conversations. Teacher approval required.
Click here to download a PDF of our 2023-2024 Hebrew curriculum and graduation requirements.
Judaics in high school places an emphasis of flexibility and choice. Each semester, students select a "core" course, an "option" course, and different tefilah (Jewish prayer) option — which focus on building skills and literacy while cultivating personal meaning. An intentionally wide variety of courses in the areas of Text & Tradition, Thought & Ethics, and Jewish History offer 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.
- Jewish History
- American Jewish History
- Book of Samuel
- Explorations in Talmud
- Israel Seminar
- Tzedek Seminar
This course ranges from the birth of Abraham to the birth of the State of Israel and provides a comprehensive overview of the rich and diverse tapestry of Jewish civilization. Spanning centuries, this course delves into the ancient origins of the Jewish people, exploring pivotal moments such as the Exodus from Egypt, the establishment of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the Babylonian exile, and the rise of Hellenism. It examines the development of Jewish religious and cultural traditions, the impact of the Diaspora, and the struggles faced by Jewish communities throughout history. Students will also explore key figures and events leading to the Zionist movement and the eventual establishment of the modern State of Israel, gaining a deeper understanding of the enduring legacy and resilience of the Jewish people.
This course explores the rich and diverse experiences of the Jewish community in America from its earliest beginnings in 1654 to the present day. Through an examination of primary sources, historical narratives, and engaging discussions, students will develop a deep understanding of the significant events, individuals, and movements that have shaped American Jewish history. The course will emphasize the connections between the past and the present, encouraging students to explore their own roles and identities within this dynamic historical context.
In this class, students will embark on an exploration of the vast breadth of the Gemara's offerings. With an emphasis on variety rather than depth, this course offers students a taste of the diverse themes, concepts, and debates found within the pages of the Talmud. From legal disputes to ethical quandaries, philosophical musings to historical narratives, students encounter a multitude of captivating topics that demonstrate the multifaceted beauty of the Talmudic tradition.
This class will focus on the dual aspects of the spiritual and agricultural significance of the Jewish Holidays and calendar cycle. We will identify and learn various sources including a number of different rabbinic and modern texts in an effort to learn beyond the Siddur, Machzor, Mishnah and Gemara. We will attempt to find meaning and make personal connections to the “why” we actually do the things we do on our holy days and what they are supposed to do for us as Jews.
We will look at the history of the State of Israel beginning with the advent of modern Zionism in the late 19th Century, with a heavy focus on the formative period of 1915-1949 which, under Ottoman and then British rule, laid the groundwork for the borders and challenges of the modern Middle East. We will also take time to examine elements of Israeli culture through film, literature, and music.
Click here for a PDF of our 2023-2024 Judaic Studies curriculum and graduation requirements.
Our school features a one-to-one bring your own device program, allowing for all students to have their own personal computer with them for their classes. Teachers plan their lessons with this in mind, using the technology to expand the walls of the classroom and take the learning to the next level.
Detailed class list coming soon!