Experiential Education

RSS students are exposed to a wealth of
rich opportunities that take place beyond the structure of the traditional classroom. RSS students regularly use New York City as their classroom. In Pre-K through 2nd Grade, curricular field trips help students learn about the RSS/CRS school and shul community, the community surrounding the 84th Street campus, the landscape of the Upper West Side, and the individual character of New York City’s five boroughs.  

In 3rd and later grades, students go on supervised trips that bring them further and further afield. In 3rd Grade, visits to Inwood Hill Park and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum tie into a study of the northeast and to immigration. While in 4th Grade, two-day trips, one in the fall to Green Chimney's Clearpool Camp and one in the spring to Teatown Lake Reservation integrates science, Jewish Studies, and social emotional learning in an exploration of the outdoors.

5th graders attend a fall trip to Frost Valley where they bond as the newest incoming Middle School class and challenge themselves with activities ranging from hiking to rock wall climbing to boating. 6th graders travel to Washington, DC for a two-night, three-day exploration of the nation’s capital that includes a visit to Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center. 

For an entire week during the spring, 7th Grade students tour the southern United States while learning about the convergence of Jewish activism and the Civil Rights Movement. Finally, 8th graders culminate their RSS experience with a two week trip to Israel which both cements their identity as a class and asks them to ponder their responsibilities as Reform Jews when they leave RSS and go forward to area high schools, and, indeed, the rest of their lives.  

In addition to these trips, students also regularly engage in service learning that takes place outside the classroom. From Kindergarten trips to the CRS shelter, to 5th graders’ in-school service with their 1st Grade buddies, to 8th graders’ work with relief organizations during their trip to Israel, community service plays a large role in helping RSS students become socially responsible leaders who are guided by Jewish knowledge, values, and ethics.