Academics (grades 6-8)
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 Middle School Curriculum
Every member of the Denver JDS middle school faculty has a commitment to providing extraordinary education and a passion for teaching and empowering budding teens. Click below to learn more about each academic area of our middle school curriculum. Click here to learn more about Experiential Learning at Denver JDS.
Literature and composition courses focus on building students’ oral and written communication skills. In addition to studying a variety of literary genres (novels, plays, short stories, poetry, etc.), students expand their pubic speaking, vocabulary, and study skills. Most importantly, these classes are designed to teach students how to write articulately in a variety of academic situations.
In addition to mastering the highest level of basic mathematical functions, math courses in middle school include functional geometry, pre-algebra, and algebra. Students are differentiated by math readiness, and learning is reinforced by relating it to everyday life. The math curriculum meets students where they are, and allows them to grow their math knowledge at their own pace irrespective of their grade level.
The middle school science curriculum focuses on scientific methods, processes, and skills while students attain basic content in the earth, physical, and life sciences. Students design and carry out original research for Eureka Week exhibitions twice a year, with the opportunity to expand that research into a project for competition in the Cardel Homes Denver Regional Science Fair.
Recognizing that the Hebrew language connects students to the land, State, and people of Israel as well as helps to unlock traditional Jewish texts written in Hebrew, our Hebrew classes foster proficiency in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension. Classes are taught almost exclusively in Hebrew, and make use of authentic materials that connect students to Israeli history, culture, and daily life. We also work with students who are new to Hebrew through a small group mechinah (preparatory) program.
Our middle school Judaics program helps to build students’ core skills and content knowledge. All students take a core course which meets each day and uses Biblical and rabbinic texts as a framework. Additionally, students in seventh and eighth grade are able to choose an area of interest to explore such as Jewish history or ethics. Students in seventh grade also get a taste of our Tzedek (service learning) program. Students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade participate in our tefilah (prayer) program which focuses on fostering literacy, making personal meaning, and connecting to God and spirituality.
Creative and physical outlets are important for healthy brains and bodies. Each week in middle school, students partake in three days of physical education. Strength training, agility and even CPR/first aid training are offered for all Upper Division students. For one semester each year, middle school students receive two days per week of art instruction focused on discovery and creativity through a variety of art styles and media.
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.