Curriculum
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5th Grade

Rodeph Sholom Middle School offers a unique middle school environment where learning is prized, teachers are specialists in both their subject disciplines and the developmental needs of adolescents, and Reform Jewish values form the foundation of learning in and outside of the classroom. The division is comprised of 5th through 8th Grade.

The stimulating curriculum recognizes that middle school is a transformative time of intellectual, emotional and spiritual development. The Jewish ethos of our community provides a firm grounding in the ethics and values which are essential traits of active and responsible citizens. Over the course of their Middle School years, students encounter a myriad of authentic leadership opportunities. At its core, the Middle School is designed to provide students with the tools necessary to learn how to evaluate themselves and the world around them. The heart of the Middle School experience is the advisory program.

In the 5th Grade, advisors focus on the needs of students in this liminal year and aid in the transition from elementary to middle school. In this transitional year, students are supported in developing their study skills, becoming more independent and organized, while beginning to practice self advocacy. This support is given to the students through the advisory program, and in the 5th grade Seminar class. In the 5th grade the students do an annual camping trip, work with their 1st grade buddies, and participate in many other experiences. 5th graders regularly come together as a community to discuss and practice important early adolescent issues.
  • 5th Grade Art

    In 5th Grade art class, students spend half of the trimester learning the fundamentals of working with clay while creating a low relief sculpture, and the other half exploring the 20th century post-impressionist painter Paul Cezanne. Mastering the technical basis of sculpture, students explore shapes and dimensions, analyzing what they see in nature and applying this to their pieces. Scale, balance, depth, proportion, symmetry, texture, and pattern are explored as they create their unique works. While they each paint a still life with acrylic paint on canvas board, they learn that Cezanne ignored the rules of classical perspective, allowing each object to be independent within the space of his paintings. Students learn how working from nature and memory, Cezanne built form with color and used gradation to create dimension.
  • 5th Grade Digital Art

    The focus of 5th Grade Digital Art is to create a foundation for design thinking as well as to foster learning and innovation skills. Exposure to a variety of software is provided throughout the trimester to encourage experimentation. In conjunction with the 5th Grade Science curriculum, students design their own birdhouses using Adobe Illustrator. Using the laser cutter and hand tools students are able to  make their digitally designed wood birdhouses come to life. The second half of the course focuses on learning 3D Design through Tinkercad. Students complete several projects by learning the mechanics of reducing and combining shapes while also understanding how to move the work plane around on the X, Y, and Z axis. Lastly, students work to design an aesthetically pleasing pencil holder that is able to hold at least one pencil.
     
  • 5th Grade English

    In the English department at RSS we create a safe and supportive environment for students to explore and practice reading and writing strategies within novel-based units of study. Novels are chosen for their text complexity and themes present, while allowing for a diversity of voices and stories. Varied opportunities are provided for students to grasp a strong comprehension of the class texts, followed by diverse written and spoken forums where students can express their theories and ideas about what they are reading. Both reading and writing are explored as a process. As students make their way through the steps of learning a specific reading or writing skill, teachers structure lessons around the gradual release of responsibility; first introducing a skill with teacher-led support, then moving students towards trying that same skill with the support of a peer, and finally encouraging students as they work to master the skill independently. Grammar is taught within the editing stage of the writing process and its instruction is based on the individualized needs of each group of students. Finally, a space is created within each unit for project based learning, offering differentiated opportunities for all types of learners to interact with the curriculum in creative and complex ways.

    The theme of 5th Grade English, New Beginnings, corresponds to a 5th Grade student’s entry into the Middle School program. Literature offerings such as Tuck EverlastingBridge to Terabithia, Day of Tears, and A Long Walk to Water all share coming of age stories aligned to the developmental stage of a 5th grader. Students also experience a poetry mini-unit where they are able to transfer their prior knowledge of literary devices to the poems that they experience.

    Students learn about the importance of annotation and close reading as they explore the idea of simple themes and the role literary devices play in interpreting a story in a more in depth way. Close reading is a skill that is taught as a step-by-step process, which allow students to engage in a deeper interpretation of the text.

    5th Grade students develop their writing skills through a variety of assignments including nightly questions connected to their reading comprehension, summaries, personal responses, creative writing, and both technology-based and creative projects. There is an emphasis on writing as a process. Students are led through the steps of the writing process as they create analytical paragraphs about major themes they find in the assigned class novels.

    Careful consideration is placed on explicitly teaching the studentship skills needed to be successful in middle school English. Students are introduced to academic protocols and discussion starters, how to take and use notes to further one’s own learning, how to study for vocabulary quizzes, and how to ask meaningful questions that will extend learning.

    Major topics:
    • Writing: Topic sentences, using transitions to connect evidence and topic sentence, introducing evidence and creating a summative conclusion
    • Literary Terms: Similes, metaphors, personification, mood, tone, connotation, denotation, onomatopoeia, foreshadowing
    • Grammar: Intro to verb tense agreement, run on sentences, point of view, capitalization, punctuation
    • Reading: Whole class texts, supplemental non-fiction, and independent reading
  • 5th Grade Hebrew

    Our Middle School Hebrew program uses a whole language approach emphasizing all four components of developing language skills- listening, speaking, reading and writing. While the pace and volume of the curriculum can vary from class to class, we use a variety of methods including dialogue, games, reading, writing, conversation, and an online program called “Ulpan Or.” The program is designed to increase students’ appreciation for the Hebrew language and their heritage. We provide students with the ability to communicate in Hebrew in a variety of situations and expose students to the life experiences of Hebrew speaking students in Israel. Students are exposed to Hebrew slang and gain a deeper understanding of Israeli culture. Throughout the program we reinforce and review grammatical sentence structures and conjugation of verbs in the present and past tenses.

    The Hebrew curriculum for 5th Grade reinforces the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Central to the 5th Grade curriculum is an online program called “Ulpan Or: Hebrew at the Speed of Light.” This program is innovative, interactive and research-based, developed using 21st-century technology from Israel. It includes short video clips, audio clips, built-in structured exercises, virtual flashcards, Israeli songs, and much more. The ultimate goal of each unit is for students to be able to act out in Hebrew a dialogue given to them in English. Students expand their knowledge of Israeli culture, history, literature, traditions and Jewish holidays. In addition to Ulpan Or, supplemental material is used as part of a whole language approach: grammar concepts and syntax are reinforced through short stories, conversations, games, and creative writing, and selected material from various sources allows us to explore Jewish traditions in greater depth as well.

    Major Topics: 
    • High Holidays: Liturgy and Ritual
    • Acquaintances
    • Feelings
    • Directions
    • Numbers
    • Auxiliary Verbs
    • Infinitive verbs and present tense
    • Blessings for Reading Fluency: Kiddush or Adon Olam
  • 5th Grade History

    In middle school, history students access a range of historical time periods, ideas, and themes. Each unit closely focuses on a particular era or geographic part of the world. Units are spiraled from one to the next and students frequently make content connections to prior units of study, both within a particular year and from grade to grade. RSS honors the different voices that shape history. History classes include the narratives of those who have often been marginalized in the past. Students learn to differentiate primary and secondary sources and learn to corroborate and read into the bias, nuance, and subtext, of primary sources. Students learn to engage with a variety of primary sources – including speeches, letters, poetry, artwork and images, architecture, and legal codes. Each grade level looks at the relationship between cause and effect to glean historical significance as well as change over time. Writing is an essential part of the history curriculum and is spiraled across the four grades.. Students begin middle school by learning to write with supporting historical evidence, and by the time they graduate they are able to articulate arguments about the past that are supported by numerous sources. By the time students graduate, they are not only expected to be able to incorporate pieces of historical evidence and quotes from primary source documents, but are also expected to show the importance of that evidence as it connects back to their argument. Geography is woven into each unit of study across all grade levels as students learn the importance of physical and geographic features as well as its relationship to historical events. Furthermore, lessons and assessments utilize different modalities of learning, allowing for a range of learners to access the material.

    Students begin their first year in the Middle School by studying the ancient world, in particular, civilizations that arose in river valleys such as Mesopotamia, and Egypt, as well as the Greek city-states. The course begins with a study of geography, which is reinforced throughout the year. Students then learn about the characteristics of civilization and the ongoing conflict between nomadic peoples and settled cities. They learn how the geography affected these cities and the empires that grew out of them. In addition to studying how civilizations’ particular geography influenced their development, students also learn about these cultures as the seeds of our contemporary Western civilization. The study of the ancient world in history class is complemented by students’ contemplation of ancient Israel, Egypt, and Babylon in Jewish Studies.

    Students learn history through a mixture of hands-on and textual learning. Simulations, debates, tableaux, and art projects are among the many assignments, which allow for multiple entry-points and honor different learning styles. Student skills are explicitly taught as they learn how to take notes, use graphic organizers, write strong paragraph responses, organize their materials, and study actively for tests and quizzes. 5th graders write a formal research report which includes quotes that illustrate historical examples culled from their research and a formal bibliography. This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the many skills incorporated into a research project, including asking good questions, exploring various resources, note-taking, paraphrasing, and organizing information. We also use this as an opportunity to discuss academic integrity. The 5th Grade history program emphasizes process, reflection, and the development of skills, while simultaneously expecting mastery of content.

    Major topics:
    • Geography and Archaeology
    • Mesopotamia
    • Ancient Egypt
    • Ancient Greece
  • 5th Grade Jewish Studies

    In Middle School Jewish Studies, students are asked to read, think, and write critically about Jewish texts, particularly the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible). Whether through the study of Jewish holidays, theology, or the historical experience of the Jewish people, students sharpen and employ general academic skills - close reading, primary source analysis, and public speaking among others - as they navigate a structured, spiraled curriculum that challenges them intellectually, spiritually, and ethically. In addition, students learn skills specific to Jewish Studies, whether Tanakh and Siddur navigation, the rabbinic style of commentary, or, guided by the core Reform Jewish value of “informed choice,” how we might derive contemporary meaning from ancient texts, customs and ideas.

    In 5th Grade Jewish Studies, we focus on the theme of Kehillah Kedoshah (holy community). We explore the ways in which Jewish people around the world and throughout history have created holy community through the observance of shared practices and traditions like kashrut and Shabbat. We also examine how holy communities are created in and around physical spaces by looking at both classical Jewish text about the Mishkan, as well as examples from contemporary Jewish life. Our goal is to gain a deeper understanding of Jewish rituals, traditions, and prayers, and the connection between the things we do as individuals and the construction of a kehillah kedoshah.

    We begin the year off with a close look at the Jewish holidays, thinking about how the rituals and symbols of each holiday provide us with the tools to reflect on its overarching themes. We compare the practices of different Jewish denominations and global communities to understand the many different types of holy communities. This allows each of us, individually, to view our own practices as part of a broad and diverse Jewish world. Students learn how to critically read and engage with the Tanach, in an effort to develop their critical thinking skills and uncover the spiritual and historical roots of modern Jewish life. In 5th Grade Jewish Studies, students learn through partnered text study (chevrutah), class discussion, and collaborative hands-on projects.

    Major Topics:
    • Jewish Holidays: Symbols, Rituals, Themes
    • Tanakh Navigation and Citation
    • Holy Space: The Mishkan
    • Holy Time: Shabbat
    • Holy Practice: Kashrut
  • 5th Grade Math

    The RSS Middle School Math program is designed to help students develop as mathematicians and emerge from 8th Grade ready to take on High School level Geometry, Algebra 2, and higher level courses. Throughout the curriculum, lessons are designed for students to further develop their vital mathematical processes including problem solving, reasoning and proving, communication, making connections and representation. In 6th-8th Grade, there is one honors sections of math, allowing students to be appropriately challenged as necessary. While students continue to study an overview of mathematics including number sense, geometry, statistics, and probability, there is a particular emphasis on preparing students for Algebra in 8th Grade. Beginning in 5th Grade, students explore ratios, proportional relationships and algebraic expressions through contextual problems and stories. The Math department constantly evaluates the best curriculum resources to use, pulling from researched based curricular including Prentice Hall, Connected Math, Structure and Method, and Blitzer textbooks. Using a combination of curricula allows students to make relevant connections to their everyday life and model the math around them. Teachers emphasize the use of multiple strategies to solve problems and guide students to find the most efficient solution. Throughout the middle school years, there are certain components of the curriculum that “spiral,” purposefully repeating, allowing students to explore concepts and topics with increasing complexity, and to reinforce previously learned information. In addition, students are supported at their individual level while improving their note taking, organization, and collaboration skills. As appropriate, lessons and sometimes class sections are further differentiated to allow for advanced or extended study of mathematical concepts. All students have the opportunity to participate in more challenging independent study through “Problems of the Week” or “Anchoring Activities.” In addition, students may join the Mathletes club to compete in Math Olympiad contests.

    By the close of 5th Grade math, students understand the meaning and effect of operations with whole numbers, decimals, percent and fractions. Students can apply properties of numbers, explain the relationship between operations and use the order of operations to demonstrate their number sense. When solving problems, students use use benchmarks, models, and equivalent forms to visually represent their thinking before moving on to more concrete ways to show their work using numbers and symbols. During their study of number theory, students complete a “What’s my Favorite Number” project to creatively describe a real number and provide clues for the reader to investigate and identify the solution. As part of the study of data and graphs, students collect and analyze data, represent their findings in a variety of charts and tables and are able to explain the advantages of each.  By completing fun experiments in class like, “The Jumping Jack Challenge”, students make observations about data, check the reasonableness of their findings and graph points on a coordinate plane. Students learn that estimation is a tool used in a variety of situations including checking answers and making decisions, and develop strategies for estimating results of arithmetic operations.

    Major topics:
    • Factors and Multiples
    • Ratios and Rates
    • Equivalence of Fractions and Decimals
    • Fraction Operations: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division
    • 2D and 3D Measurements
    • Decimal Operations and Percents Applications
    • Variables and Introduction to Equations
    • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • 5th Grade Music

    The Arts program at Rodeph Sholom provides our students opportunities to experiment and produce work in a safe and nurturing environment where they are encouraged to be curious, take risks, and learn from their mistakes. Through process and creation, RSS students develop the skills to be creative thinkers, capable of reflection and solving problems. Students work individually as well as collaboratively in an artistic medium which includes studio and digital art, drama, and music. Our goal is to instill love and appreciation of artistic expression as well as curiosity and personal growth. To provide middle school students with a broad variety of art classes, they cycle through a different art discipline each trimester. By the time students reach 8th Grade, they have a breadth of experience and are able to select two, year-long arts electives that allow them to concentrate on a specific art. In addition to the regular curriculum, students may elect to join an art or music club, participate in the middle school musical and play, as well as be a part of advanced band. Additionally, after school instrumental lessons, taught by professionals from the symphonic and Broadway community, complement our program as do a variety of instrumental ensembles. RSS student work and performances are highlighted at the end of school year annual Arts Festival.

    Digital Composition

    The focus of 5th Grade Digital Art is to create a foundation for design thinking as well as to foster learning and innovation skills. Exposure to a variety of software is provided throughout the trimester to encourage experimentation. In conjunction with the 5th Grade Science curriculum, students design their own birdhouses using Adobe Illustrator. Using the laser cutter and hand tools students are able to make their digitally designed wood birdhouses come to life. The second half of the course focuses on learning 3D Design through Tinkercad. Students complete several projects by learning the mechanics of reducing and combining shapes while also understanding how to move the work plane around on the X, Y, and Z axis. Lastly, students work to design an aesthetically pleasing pencil holder that is able to hold at least one pencil.

    Drama

    5th Grade Drama is an introductory course that introduces students to the basics of acting for the stage. Emphasis focuses on theatre terminology, blocking, speaking with distinction, expressing emotion, creating a character, and understanding a script. Students learn the collaborative nature of theater through activities which include group performances, games, and drama related exercises. A major project in5th Grade Drama is the “Play Packet/ Presentation.” Students are placed into groups and given a simple script used as the basis for creating a small scale production. Each member of the group chooses a position and then carries out particular duties working with other team members towards one common goal.

    Studio Art

    In 5th Grade art class, students spend half of the trimester learning the fundamentals of working with clay while creating a low relief sculpture, and the other half exploring the 20th century post-impressionist painter Paul Cezanne. Mastering the technical basis of sculpture, the students explore shapes and dimensions, analyzing what they see in nature and applying this to their pieces. Scale, balance, depth, proportion, symmetry, texture, and pattern are explored as they create their unique works. While they each paint a still life with acrylic paint on canvas board, they learn that Cezanne ignored the rules of classical perspective, allowing each object to be independent within the space of his paintings. Students learn how working from nature and memory, Cezanne built form with color and used gradation to create dimension.
  • 5th Grade Physical Education

    The RSS Physical Education Department seeks to empower all students to sustain regular, lifelong physical activity as a foundation for a healthy, productive, and fulfilling life.

    The PE curriculum is based on physical activities and an introduction to a variety of sports in an active, caring, and supportive atmosphere in which every student is challenged and successful. RSS provides all students with a variety of activities and challenges that contribute to the development of their physical, cognitive, and emotional well being.

    RSS PE program focuses on the following:
     
    • Outdoor education 
    • Skill development 
    • Competitive play 
    • Collaborative skills and fair play
    • Cultural movement activities 
    • Fitness
    • Electives 
    • Parks & off campus locations

    In the RSS Middle School, students engage in a year long course of study that utilizes local parks and other off-campus locations as its classroom. The middle school Physical Education curriculum is designed to meet the physical, social, and emotional needs and interests of the individual student. Students participate in individual and team sports in each grade, where the faculty emphasize skill development, fair play, and healthy competition. To encourage lifelong fitness skills to maintain a healthy lifestyle, different fitness components of cardiovascular exercises and muscle strengthening are embedded into each PE unit.

    As part of a diversified curriculum, 5th-7th graders participate in one of three cultural projects, with each unit culminating with a performance for the full middle school student body. 8th Grade students choose electives that are unconventional team sports and fitness offerings. This allows for the students to learn in small groups and an opportunity for students to explore their interests. Some past offerings included indoor and outdoor rock-climbing, yoga, rugby and long-distance running. 

    In the warmer months, RSS utilizes Riverside Park for Physical Education classes. In an effort to maximize ‘active minutes,’ students safely walk to the park as a group before using the fields, trails, and courts for class. Beyond the normal team sports (soccer, football, frisbee, etc.), students participate in different types of outdoor activities such as bouldering, trail-runs, and trust walks. 

    During the winter months, RSS is fortunate to have access to the JCC and Police Athletic League Duncan Center as indoor sites. Our curriculum concentrates on indoor sports, such as basketball, floor hockey, team handball, and volleyball.

  • 5th Grade Science

    The RSS Middle School Science Program expands students knowledge of the world around them by understanding the principles of science. Students explore phenomena through testing, exploration, and observations. This is completed through in-class demonstrations, individual and group work, projects, and lab work. Students are encouraged to try out new ideas, make mistakes, and then learn from those mistakes. One of the core principles in exploring science is to be a resilient and reflective thinker, and that is the main goal of the RSS science program. As students enter middle school, the focus is on process and standards of scientific inquiry, slowly building from concrete to more abstract concepts. We move from simply showing how things work, to applying knowledge to new and different contexts. Each year students have a final project that they present at the annual STEM Expo. The projects are student driven and allow students to explore their individual interests. At the completion of 8th Grade, students leave Rodeph Sholom with a solid foundation for further study in science and yearning to learn more.

    Life sciences, including biology and ecology, are the focus of science in the 5th Grade. The year starts with an introduction to science through observation and classification, followed by microscopes and cells, then moving to plant life cycles, and ending with ecology. The curriculum is centered around inquiry-based activities with an emphasis on science-specific skills that will help students find success in future science courses. Each unit is assessed with homework, assessments, and a culminating project.
     
    The “Observation and Classification” unit is based on Linnaeus’s system of taxonomy and is centered around the seven levels of classification. Using dichotomous keys as a tool, students practice making observations to classify organisms. The skills of close observation and description are further explored in the “Becoming Birders” project. Students keep field notebooks to record their observations and inferences about the natural world. In addition to learning about identifying and classifying birds at large, each student becomes an expert on one species of bird in Central Park.

    Students continue building their scientific skills of observation, description, and inferencing with a new focus of study, in the “Cells & Scopes” unit. After learning basics such as how to properly use a compound microscope, the differences between a plant and animal cell, and cell organelles, students use their field notebooks as microscope journals. Here students are required to understand concepts such as magnification, the field of view, how to properly prepare a slide, and to make detailed quantitative and qualitative observations as well as illustrations.

    “Green Machines,” the unit on plants, focuses on the ecological concept of adaptation. Students learn how plants have evolved into complex organisms, and how their adaptations, such as specialized dispersal methods, allow them to survive in their ecosystems. After learning about the life cycle of an angiosperm and different methods of seed dispersal, each 5th Grade student engineers their own seed to have a unique and successful method of dispersal. Students design blueprints for their model, create their own 3D structure, and make a presentation for the class. In preparation for the STEM Expo, students create a detailed display board highlighting how their specific method of dispersal works, the type of environment their plant grows in, and the scientific name and a cross section displaying the different parts of the seed. Students combine their knowledge of how an angiosperm reproduces with their own ingenuity to produce a wide variety of seed dispersal methods.
     
    5th Grade Science culminates with the Ecology Unit. The curriculum focuses on topics such as biomes, climate change, and interspecies interactions. This wide-ranging unit pulls together content knowledge from the other units, to end the year with a big-picture ecological view of our world.
     
    Major Topics and Projects:
    • Observation and Classification: Field notebook and bird species guidebook page
    • Cells & ‘Scopes: Microscope journal, cell model project
    • Green Machines: Seed engineering project for the STEM Expo
    • Ecology and ecosystems: organism interactions project
  • 5th Grade Seminar

    Seminar is a 5th Grade class designed to support students in their transition to middle school. The essential question of the Seminar curriculum is: What does it take to be an active student? Students cover topics such as study strategies, reading and writing skills, organization, and more. The seminar teachers work closely with the 5th Grade content area teachers to assure synergy between the skills being taught in seminar and those needed in classes. Students also spend time reflecting on their work and exploring who they are as learners.
  • 5th Grade Study Hall

    Students are assigned to study hall periodically throughout the week. This is a time for students to work independently, with the support of a teacher if needed. During study hall, students can arrange to meet with a teacher, work with other students in the Action Center, study, or get ahead on assignments.
  • Action Center

    The Action Center is located in the Middle School Library, is a drop in space for academic support, with a focus on curriculum and organization. Students go to the Action Center for help with their assignments, need help getting started or to better understand a concept learned in class. The AC is staffed by Middle School faculty who are able to guide students in any subject. Students choose to go to the AC during their study hall periods, if they prefer to receive extra help instead of working independently. The Action Center encourages students to take responsibility for their learning, and independently advocate for their academic needs.
  • Advisory

    At the heart of the middle school is our advisory program whose primary goals include nurturing students’ social-emotional development, as well as facilitating academic and intellectual growth. Advisors provide guidance and encouragement to students throughout their middle school experience and serve as the child’s advocate, in addition to serving as the main point of contact for parents. Each student is assigned an advisor. Advisory groups are led by a middle school teacher and generally consist of 6-9 students. The advisor meets with the family during parent conferences, and is the person the family communicates with directly for any matters concerning their child’s experience at school.

    Advisory is a time to focus on social and emotional development. Advisors may use this time to navigate social issues, to discuss relevant grade level or current event topics, or simply engage in a fun game or activity that will help the group bond and develop deeper relationships with one another. Advisory periods are also occasionally used for other grade wide programming including Wellness & Sexuality classes and our responsible digital citizenship curriculum. Students also meet individually with their advisor for guidance and support.

    Each child is assigned an advisor when they begin 5th Grade and they have that advisor for one year. In 6th Grade, students are assigned a new advisor who they generally stay with from 6th through 8th Grade. An important feature of the advisory program is the active participation of students in their own academic and social emotional development. Over the course of the three years and daily meetings, a deep and enduring relationship forms between advisor and advisee. This relationship transcends the usual teacher student relationship and often forms a bond that continues past a student’s graduation.
  • Learning Center

    In middle school, some students attend the Learning Center (LC) instead of a Study Hall, typically once a week. The LC functions as a guided study hall where students receive curricular support on assignments and are encouraged to work on aspects of learning that are more challenging for them. With the guidance of the learning specialists, study skills and effective strategies are embedded into the academic work, and students use this time to sharpen their understanding of personal strengths and areas for improvement. Every period in the Learning Center looks different: students might work one on one or in small groups with a learning specialist; they may work on the same assignment as their peers or focus on different school subjects. The role of the learning specialists is to gently and consistently support students’ curricular challenges. Through our work in the Learning Center, we aim for students to internalize the strategies that they are learning and practicing, and to apply them independently in their work both at home and at school. We believe that teaching children how to be students is just as important as what they are studying, and so we help to build these important lifelong student skills. Learning specialists regularly communicate with subject matter teachers, advisors and department heads to understand the curricular expectations and the students as they grow. This collaboration is key in supporting students and helping them to meet the curricular standards, enhance their confidence, and build their independence.
  • Recess

    As physical activity and play is an essential part of child development, we make every effort to give students an opportunity to participate in physical activity regularly.. Additionally, the Skydeck is open for recess three times a week during morning break. There is a choice recess period twice a week during advisory where students can choose between study hall, recess, gardening, arts, or other activities.
  • Wellness

    The Rodeph Sholom Middle School Wellness program for 5th through 8th graders delivers accurate, age-appropriate information and emphasizes healthy relationship skills and development of self control. Using a social emotional learning approach, our curriculum incorporates many activities including role plays and discussions. We incorporate opportunities for students to learn and practice communication and relationship skills so that they can make responsible decisions and maintain healthy connections with others. Our goal is to give students accurate information, help them to develop healthy communication skills, and promote family communication.