Our students enter first grade prepared to read to learn, to understand the language of mathematics and to ask and find answers to questions and solutions about issues related to science, social studies and Jewish studies. These skills continue to grow from year to year. Students have an opportunity to articulate and explore their passions through projects and interdisciplinary learning opportunities. A yearly portfolio of work samples teaches our students how to measure their academic, social and emotional growth over time.

Students learn to document their learning using blogs, journals and storytelling, thereby reflecting on their learning each day. Teaching students how to provide feedback to others through peer review and critique is reinforced annually as our students mature. First through fifth grade classrooms use the same language arts and math curriculum, as well as teaching strategies. A reading and writing workshop model of instruction supports individual growth and provides for continuity in instruction. This approach allows teachers to build upon each student’s strengths and provides more scaffolding in the areas in which students may need further support.

Students are provided developmentally-appropriate opportunities to “own their learning” by regularly allowing their voice and choice to shine through in what they want to learn about a particular topic. As they continually grow and thrive as learners, they also acquire the grade-level specific skills, habits and core competencies expected of students who will find success throughout their lives.

Students use technology to support their roles as consumers and producers of new information. Students learn how to do research so they can become knowledge-seekers and knowledge-creators.

The arts begin to play an even larger role in the curriculum as students begin to look through a STEAM lens, incorporating science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

Hebrew and Jewish studies take on a new meaning as students continue on their journey to becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah and to internalize the Jewish values that are such an integral part of the MJDS experience. Prayer (tefillah) is a regular part of their schooling, as are Jewish holiday celebrations and weekly Kabbalat Shabbat experiences.