The School within a School
While our middle school is an integral part of Tehiyah Day School as a whole, we also provide our middle-school students with an environment, curricula, and experiences suited specifically to them. Our three-year program encourages young people to challenge themselves both academically and personally. Maintaining rigorous academic standards, we also encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and to become forceful advocates for themselves in the world. Teachers act both as instructors and advisors and, in addition to our high academic expectations, the school also emphasizes the development of a sense of ethics and character. Maintaining an open line of communication among teachers, students, and parents is of utmost importance. It is our best hope not only that our students are prepared academically for the next stage in their education upon graduation, but that they will also carry with them fond memories of friends, laughter, learning, and a sense of their place in the world.
Beginning in middle school, students transition from having one main general studies teacher and Judaic studies teacher to moving from class to class throughout the seven-period day. The one exception to this pattern is that the English and history periods are combined into one flexible double period of humanities. The subjects are well-suited for integration, as the critical thinking skills required for the study of history are tied to the expressive language skills developed through reading and writing. In addition, the literature read is, in general, thematically related to the historical units studied, providing further context and scope for both subjects.
Mathematics & Sciences
The mathematics program is designed to foster a positive mathematical disposition, to enable students to feel mathematically empowered, and to prepare them, both in skills and in confidence, for their high school mathematics studies. Middle school science is a laboratory-based curriculum that begins with an introduction to methods of scientific investigation, safe use of lab equipment, and accuracy and precision in scientific measurement. Within the scope of the science curriculum for each year, which includes developmentally appropriate topics in current health, students move from learning to follow a laboratory procedure to being able to ultimately formulate a hypothesis and design their own experiments.
Tehiyah is fortunate to be included in a select group of schools chosen to pilot the dynamic new Hebrew language curriculum, NETA. NETA’s goal is to have students actively participate in Hebrew language and culture and is a program that makes the most of each student’s potential for growth. It raises student achievement by providing a curriculum and materials that meet national second language instruction standards, by professionalizing the teaching of Hebrew, and by providing regular assessment.
In Judaic studies, students in middle school progress to a study of additional sections of the Hebrew Bible and chapters from the Prophets (Nevi’im) and the Writings (Ketuvim). Students continue their in-depth study of the Torah including close readings of text, commentaries and midrashim. They become familiar with the t’fillot of the evening service, the Torah service, and the Shabbat service. They also study Jewish history and culture from the Greek period of the Hasmoneans (Chashmona’im) to the present. The focus on Jewish values continues in middle school and sixth grade marks the beginning of a hands-on middle school community service program, which supports their study of mitzvot and middot.